Monday, April 14, 2014
I love Passover. I may have mentioned that it is my favorite Jewish holiday (see last Friday's post)! There are so many reasons to love it (and I love them all), but I enjoy planning the seder meal most because it gives me a chance to be creative, try out new recipes, and delight my guests with new tastes. The seder is a traditional meal that tells the story of and celebrates the Jews' freedom from the Egyptians. There are traditional dishes such as haroset (an apple/walnut "dip" that represents the mortar from the bricks that the Jews used to build the pyramids while enslaved), as well as matzah ball soup, (a "dumpling" soup made out of matzah, the unleavened bread that Jews carried as they escaped Egypt). This year's menu will include both of these traditional dishes and more, all prepared vegan. In the past, I have included a non vegan main dish, but have finally made the transition to all veeg for my guests this year.
I will be serving buffet style with the following dishes:
Vegan Matzah Ball Soup: I have tried many a vegan matzah ball recipe with mixed results. Here's hoping that the recipe from Mayim's Vegan Table is a success.
Quinoa Patties: I am making these (something new this year), using matzah meal, Ener-G egg replacer (instead of eggs) and vegan cheese (Daiya is my preferred brand).
Polenta Cakes With Wild Mushrooms, Figs and Hazelnuts: This recipe from new cookbook Pure Vegan looks amazing. I think it will make a beautiful entree dish, along with the quinoa patties.
Kale Salad with Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes: This is my new favorite salad, inspired by the one I tasted at The Source Cafe in Hermosa Beach. It sings spring and adds some beautiful greens to the buffet.
Mediterranean Salad with Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette: I am so excited to try this recipe from The Candle 79 Cookbook. This book is gorgeous! Arugula and fingerling potatoes bring a new twist to the traditional ingredients of tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Tossed with a kalamata olive vinaaigrette - um...I might eat the whole thing myself.
Potato Kugel: Passover wouldn't be Passover without a kugel or two. Click here for my favorite vegan recipe.
Passover Rolls: I use Ener-G egg replacer in this recipe that my mom introduced me to several years ago.
As for the seder plate, I veganize that too! Here's what I use:
Charoset: I use my cousin Janet's family recipe, sweetened with agave.
Karpas: Flat leaf parsley
Chazeret: A piece of romaine lettuce (though, I might use arugula this year as I will have it handy for the salad above).
Zeroa: Traditionally a shank bone, I use a roasted beet instead.
Beitzah: This is traditionally a hard boiled egg. I am going to use an avocado pit this year.
And last but not least, dessert...
I am dying to try the Chocolate, Fruit, and Nut Clusters from Mayim's Vegan Table, and will have to try this Salted Chocolate Tart. Chocolate Matzah Bark is always a mainstay. I am going to try this Almond Coconut version too this year.
Happy Pesah! Wishing you a delicious and fun seder!
Friday, April 11, 2014
The week long celebration of the Jews' Exodus from Egypt begins on Monday. Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday. I revel in the production of the seder, (a special meal that tells the story of the Jews), which includes songs, masks, and wine tasting at my home. I delight in hand picking fun, whimsical items to represent each of the plagues in the "Bag of Plagues" I create for each child at my table. And I relish in pouring through cookbooks and blogs to create a tantalizing menu for my guests.
In the spirit of the holiday, I have rounded up all of my previous Passover posts. From menu ideas and recipes, to activities to make your seder more fun, I have it all below.
Check out my menu from last year's seder, including recipes with My Passover Menu.
Need some ideas for your seder? Kick things up a notch with 10 Ideas For Your Passover Seder.
Get the recipe for Passover Pizza, one of my kids' favorite meals during the week of Passover.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Meet my new favorite kale salad. Isn't she lovely? I discovered her last week while eating at The Source Cafe in Hermosa Beach. I loved the salad so much that I had to recreate it later in the week when I was craving it again. Here's my try at duplicating it. I think I came pretty close!
Kale Salad with Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes
4 cups of organic, chopped kale
2 cups of grape tomatoes
1 fennel bulb
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Juice of two lemons
Olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes on a jelly roll pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Combine to coat the tomatoes.
2. Slice the fennel bulb in half and place face down on a jelly roll pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Combine to coat the fennel.
3. Place both pans in the oven and roast for approximately 30-40 minutes, until tomatoes burst and fennel is golden brown on the edges.
4. In a bowl, squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the kale, along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Massage kale with hands to coat with the lemon juice and olive oil.
5. When vegetables are done roasting, scrape tomatoes and their juices on top of the kale. Finely chop the fennel and add to the kale. Stir in the chickpeas and almonds.
6. Add more lemon juice, salt, or pepper, as desired.