Friday, October 31st, 2014

How To Have A Vegan Passover

Published on March 23, 2013 by   ·   3 Comments Pin It
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Passover Vegan-Style: It’s that time again.  When kids ask the questions, and the adults have to give them presents for their inquisitiveness.

GGA is rife with vegan friendly Passover recipes. In fact, last years best of is already viral again.  But in the interest of keeping our freedom fresh, here are some new recipes to kill your inner plague dying for good vegan seder food.

The New York Times just printed an article with passover kosher vegan recipes (it’s great, read it here.)

Don’t forget shmura matzah tastes ten thousand times better than traditional matzah, it’s worth the extra shekels. Though it may seem there is so little you can eat (bread, tofu, beans, rice… all out of the picture for Ashkenazi Jews) – look at all you CAN eat like fruits, veg, nuts, and matzah. We could live on matzah with earth balance sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt at our house.

But here’s what makes this post special and sexy – vegan recipes by some of our favorite Chef’s:

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First off;

Colleen Patrick Goudreau (“The Compassionate Cook”) shares her paschal truth;

 Text and recipes are reprinted with permission from Fair Winds Press. The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

A Jewish holiday observed by most Jews, Passover (Pesach) commemorates their exodus out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom. A vegan Seder is not only traditional in its own right, but it more accurately reflects the principles of freedom and mercy that signify this holiday. The most significant observance involves the removal of leavened foods and the serving of matzoh commemorating the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt did not have time to let their bread rise. Matzoh, unleavened bread made from flour and water, can be used as flour (for cookies and cakes), meal (for bread crumbs), farfel (a noodle or bread cube substitute), and full-sized matzohs (as bread). Matzoh is eaten three times during the Seder.

Vegan Seder Plate

The Seder Plate is a special plate containing six symbolic foods used to retell the story of the exodus. 

  • Charoset, a mixture of fruit and ground nuts soaked in wine, represents the mortar used to cement bricks when the Jews were slaves in Egypt.
  • Parsley, celery, or other green herbs dipped in salt water, symbolize spring and new life, as well as the tears of the Jewish slaves.
  • Freshly grated horseradish, sometimes mixed with cooked beets and sugar, symbolizes the harshness of slavery.
  • Bitter herbs, such as the bitter-tasting roots of romaine lettuce, are also used to signify the bitterness of slavery.
  • Jewish vegans replace the egg, a symbol of fertility and new creation, with a flower or roasted nuts. Some even use a miniature white egg-sized eggplant, whose stem has been removed.
  • Jewish vegans replace the “shankbone,” meant to symbolize the sacrificial lamb, and point out that even the Talmud explicitly allows for roasted beets to be used in its stead.

Noodle Kugel ( This one needs to be amended for Kosher for Passover purposes)

Sometimes translated as “pudding” or “casserole,” kugel is traditional Jewish fare, served as a side dish or dessert. There is savory and sweet kugel – and a huge variation within each – but even the “sweet,” such as this one here, is served during a meal. Note, however, that the recipe below is not kosher for Passover. To make it kosher, replace graham cracker crumbs with matzoh cake meal and use a rice or quinoa-based pasta. Some Jewish people do not eat rice or quinoa during Passover, so be sure to double check before you bring this dish to a Passover meal.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces eggless egg noodles (kosher for Passover; see below)
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, such as Earth Balance, melted
  • 3/4 cup nondairy sour cream
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 12 ounces firm tofu, crumbled (not silken)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13- or 9×9-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles in boiling water until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sour cream, applesauce, crumbled tofu, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the cooked noodles and raisins. Spread graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of the prepared dish. Pour the noodle mixture over the crumbs. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes. Yield: 12 servings

Compassionate Cooks Tips: *Though a lot of pasta is vegan, not all of it is kosher, so for the purposes of serving this at Passover, just look for a kosher brand, such as DeBoles-brand Eggless Ribbon-style Pasta, made with Jerusalem artichoke flour. Check out www.deboles.com for a list of products and a store locator.

*Compassionate Cooks Tips If you cannot find graham cracker crumbs, you can buy graham crackers and just crumble them into a meal.

Editors note: Tofu isn’t kosher for passover for Ashkenazi Jews.. if you fall under that catagory, this recipe for Eggplant Casserole by Mayim Bialik is entirely kosher for pesach, and vegan.

Charoset

Also called Charoses or Haroset is an integral part of every Passover Seder. An Eastern European recipe mixing apples, almonds, spices, and red wine, Charoset can also include a variety of other ingredients native to their area, including bananas, apricots, coconut, oranges, dates, exotic nuts, and a wide variety of spices.

Ingredients

  • 6 apples, chopped (peeling optional)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • Freshly grated zest of one large orange
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  •  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  Pinch ground ginger

Mix together all of the ingredients. For a coarse chunky mixture, simply refrigerate until ready to serve. For a smoother more “mortar-like” mixture, blend very well by hand, or pulse in a food processor or blender. Chill until ready to serve, or serve at room temperature. Yield: 6-8 servings. Compassionate Cooks Tip Don’t refrigerate for more than 2 hours before serving, or the Charoset will become too wet. Did You Know The color and texture of Charoset are meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt. The word comes from the Hebrew word cheres — חרס — which means “clay.”

Passover Pizzas

This is a variation of my English Muffin Pizzas, made appropriate for Passover. A perfect fusion of Jewish and Italian cuisine, it’s a breeze for kids to make.

Ingredients

  • 12 slices matzoh
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  • Toppings such as vegetarian (kosher for passover) pepperoni, fresh tomato slices, red onion, mushrooms, or bell peppers
  • 1 10-ounce package nondairy Mozzarella cheese, grated (if you can’t find a vegan kosher for passover cheese – consider making your own)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place matzoh slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Spread a few tablespoons of pizza sauce over each matzoh, followed by any toppings you might be using. Distribute the cheese evenly on top. Sprinkle with oregano. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until cheese is melted. If you watch it very closely, you can also bake the pizzas under the broiler, which will take about 2 to 3 minutes for the cheese to melt. Yield: 12 servings

Matzoh Ball Soup

Thanks to my buddy Danielle Puller, who helped me perfect this essential Passover recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds (equivalent of 3 “flax eggs”)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup matzoh meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  •  Homemade Vegetable Stock
  •  1 carrot finely shredded, for garnish
  •  1 tablespoon chopped dill, for garnish

Whip the flax seeds and water in a food processor for 2 to 3 minutes, until it turns very thick – a creamy, almost yogurt-like consistency. Sauté the onion in the olive oil, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Combine the flax eggs, sautéed onion, matzoh meal, salt, and parsley in a bowl. Cover, and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours or even overnight. When ready to assemble, fill a large soup pot with the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Remove the matzoh batter from the fridge, and form into tight walnut-size balls (about 1 inch round). Be sure they are tightly packed balls. Dip your hands into water to make each ball to help you form them. You should be able to make 10 or 12 balls. Once the broth has boiled, reduce the heat to a rapid simmer, and carefully drop in the balls. Cover, and cook for 30 minutes. (They’re ready to eat after 15 minutes, but you can cook them longer to absorb more flavor.) When ready to serve, ladle the stock evenly into 5 or 6 bowls. Place 2 matzoh balls in each soup. Just before serving, sprinkle some chopped dill and shredded carrot into each bowl. Yield: 5-6 soup servings, 2 matzoh balls per serving. Did You Know? Keeping Kosher for Passover is a whole different ballgame than keeping Kosher the rest of the year. There is some debate as to whether tofu (or any legume!) is Kosher for Passover (it’s an Ashkenazi versus Sephardic thing), so I was thrilled to veganize this staple without the use of legumes/tofu. Compassionate Cooks Tips The matzoh balls may have a bit of a nutty flavor and flecks of flax. To keep the color more neutral, look for golden (instead of brown) flax seeds. Bottom line is that the balls are delicious, nutritious, and cruelty-free!

Matzoh Chocolate Brittle

This is a decadent (and addictive) dessert for all ages and anytime of the year, but I concocted it with Passover in mind.

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 Matzoh crackers
  • 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, such as Earth Balance
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 to 1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier. Line the cookie sheet with the matzoh crackers, filling in the gaps with broken matzoh and overlapping, if necessary. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar until it is barely a simmer. Turn off heat. (Alternatively, you can melt the butter in the microwave, and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved.) Pour the butter mixture over the matzohs, spreading it out with a rubber spatula to completely cover all the matzoh crackers. Don’t worry if it drips to the underside of the crackers. It just means more toffee goodness on the bottom! Bake for 7 minutes.  Remove from oven, and turn off heat. Distribute the chips evenly over the matzoh crackers. Return to the hot oven for just a minute or two to accelerate the melting of the chips. Using a rubber spatula, spread the chocolate all over the crackers, covering them completely. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of an hour. When the chocolate has hardened, break the chocolate-covered crackers into pieces, and serve as brittle. Yield: 48 pieces, or servings

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Annie & Dan Shannon (“Meet The Shannons”) brings it on down to veganville by saying something exceptionally compassionate;

Although I’m half Jewish – I admit I am not terribly religious so during Passover we don’t always follow the rules of Chametz that closely. We avoid leavened bread but don’t check to make sure our recipes are under 20 minutes if they include wheat. We avoid corn syrup when possible year round but use Braggs (a soy based product) in recipes instead of beef because to us a holiday about the freeing of slaves – well making a good tasting recipe that convinces more people to go vegan helps free more modern day slaves like those poor cows than if we stuck to the rules. We are trying to include more ‘Vegan at Passover’ recipes though now that we are getting more and more traffic because we do strive to have something for everyone.

Here are her favorites;

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Kathy Palatsky (“Lunchbox Bunch”) shares a Christian’s take on Jewy for the holidays;

“When I first started sifting through Passover menus online I realized that there is not a whole lot of room for vegan cuisine in the traditional recipes. However, the big fat loophole is that the number one staple of Passover – Matzo – is vegan! So you can certainly get creative with Matzo (as I did with my assortment of chocolate pb treats)…and yes, you can totally veganize Matzo Ball Soup by using veg-based stock instead of chicken. And Kugel could be made vegan as well – add sweet potatoes for texture instead of eggs. Another totally vegan-approved recipe – that is indeed traditional – is called Charoset. It is a sticky fruit and nut mixture accented with cinnamon, red wine and more. I gave this recipe a whirl and loved it!”

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Chef Rossi (“The Raging Skillet“) is a former hassidic gal who is now a Chef and owner of a vegan-friendly catering company here in NYC.  Here are her favorites;

Harriet’s Charoset

Growing up I always wondered why we couldn’t eat Charoset all year long. A mixture of cheap super sweet kosher grape wine, apples, cinnamon and nuts I mean really what could be wrong with that? Okay granted I was always looking for a reason to get wine into my system but that’s another story! Now that I’m all grown up, I love serving Charoset as a great dip any time of year.  I have tried different versions of this, with coconut with grape juice, with other kinds of nuts, with pears, with raisins, with dates, with figs. All great darlings, but I always come back to the way my mother made charoset. Throw two handfuls of chopped red apple, one handful of chopped walnuts, a pinch of ground cinnamon and two shots of Manishevitz or Kedem grape wine and mush well until it all seems kinda pasty.  Now this is part of the Passover cedar of course, but why not changed things up and serve as a crudité dip with celery sticks, works very nicely. It’s gorgeous with cucumber too. Here is the most shocking thing I can say today. Charoset makes a killer ice cream topping! I am not kidding. Fill your bowl with vanilla ice cream and top with Harriet’s Charoset then write to me and tell me that you want to marry me!!

Matzo Lasagna

Even though we were Jewish my family was obsessed with Italian food. We missed our pizza and pasta so much during Passover that mom went into the kitchen one day and created Matzo lasagna. Hey this was years before gluten free Passover friendly pasta was around. So anything  lasagna was a distant dream. Turns out when you get matzo wet and bake it, it turns kinda noodlish. It’s an interesting texture and we dive-bombed it like mad! Mom always made our lasagna with Kosher for Passover cottage cheese, but I have found the substituting some vegetables and vegan mozzarella works fine. In a Lasagna pan pour your fave Italian tomato sauce on the bottom, store bought if you feel lazy and lay out a sheet of matzo, sprinkle with a few drizzles of water. You don’t want your matzo drenched but you want it kinda wet . Cover matzo with thawed frozen spinach. Over the spinach sprinkle a handful of vegan kosher for Passover cheese. Put another matzo on top, top with your tomato sauce and a heaping handful of sautéed chopped or sliced onions and sautéed sliced mushrooms almost any kind will do. Then put another matzo and drizzle with more sauce and a heaping handful of vegan cheese again. You can stop here for a 3-layer matzo lasagna or go for a 4th layer. Other items that are nice in this for Passover; grilled eggplant slices, grilled zucchini slices, sautéed diced carrots and chopped and sautéed broccoli. I like to top with fresh chopped parsley and basil at serving time. Foil over the top of your pan and bake at 350 for about a half hour or until the crust looks like it’s starting to get brownish. As a teen-ager I can tell you we adored eating this left-over, cold from the fridge the next day! But then I ate a lot of wackadoodle things as a teen.

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Enjoy your HOLYdays, and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do.  We know how hard it is to not get too wild after all that wine and leaning.

 

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. Darlinda says:

    What would I do without JEW?

  2. [...] And from Girlie Girl Army & The Vegan Table: [...]




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