Biblical Barley and Herb Salad

These days, most people consider barley—if they consider it at all—as something wintery, perhaps sharing space with mushrooms in a warming bowl of soup. Here, this ancient whole grain gets the tabbouleh treatment, and becomes a significant salad loaded with herbs (and love—see Proverbs). Nice as part of a biblical mezze (Middle Eastern tapas, if you will), served alongside a blob of hummus and flatbread or with roasted eggplant, it’s just right for spring. Tahini is an extremely luscious sesame paste, available in Middle Eastern groceries, natural food stores, and most supermarkets. Like natural (preservative-free) peanut butter, tahini tends to separate, with the oil floating to the top of the sesame goodness below. Stir well before using.

These muffins are a great not-too-sweet treat for your Tu BiShvat celebration as they contain all seven species mentioned in the Torah: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.

And no, there are no olives actually in the muffins. (The muffins do include olive oil. If you do not eat oil, you may substitute unsweetened applesauce and if you still want to have the seven species, you can blend a single olive into the fig and date mixture!).

This vegan braided challah is filled with dried fruit like dates, figs, apricots, toasted walnut and orange zest. It is perfect for Tu BiShvat, the new year of the trees in the Jewish tradition, when people eat from the fruit of Israel to remember the country’s abundance.

This vegan Golden Turmeric Cake is moist, just dense enough, and has the perfect sweetness level. It has a delicate crumb and a subtle lemon flavor with a lovely golden yellow color from the turmeric. This cake is featured in the Jewish Food Hero cookbook Feeding Women of the Talmud, Feeding Ourselves by Kenden Alfond, the Jewish Book Council 2022 Notable Notable Book.

This super fresh herb and bulgur Mediterranean salad is the perfect snack, side, or even meal when paired with hummus and pita bread! It can be made gluten-free by swapping the bulgur grain for a gluten-free option like quinoa.

This is a recipe that not only comforts you on a cold winter’s night, it makes you look forward to the snowiest, windiest, all-the-roads-shut-downiest night possible, just so you can make stew.

Vegan cholent might seem like a stretch, but why not? With seitan or other plant-based beefy protein standing in for the real thing used in the original classic Jewish recipe, it’s a warming, hearty dish that’s easy to adapt to plant-based.

This updated version of a Jewish classic can be considered an early predecessor to slow-cooker recipes. In its original form, it’s put in the oven before the Sabbath and cooked at a very low temperature for about 12 hours so that it can be eaten for the Sabbath midday or late afternoon meal.

It’s a rare Eastern European Jewish recipe highlighting beans, and makes a hefty portion. Vegan cholent is perfect for company or holiday meals (especially Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year); you can also freeze it in portions for future use.

For a smaller family, or for two, cut the recipe in half. And if you do want to try this in a slow cooker, see tips below.

If you’d like a bit of history, read about the original (that is, non-vegan) cholent recipe. Interesting note—there’s a Sephardic cousin to this recipe called hamin or dafina. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.

A lovely, easy and fun to make treat for Chanukah!
These doughnuts are best when served immediately, but they can be stored in airtight containers overnight.

Juicy, tender, and satisfying, this vegan brisket is a perfect dinner or holiday centerpiece. Slow roasted so it’s fork-tender, this seitan brisket will have vegans and non-vegans raving. An Instant Pot is NOT required for the first half of the cooking process–you can steam it on your stovetop, but an Instant Pot saves time.

Enter the latke recipe from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick Goudreau. Her recipe included ground flax as a binder, which freed the potato pancake from its floury, glutinous density. In fact, these latkes were exactly as I remembered them, light, crispy, and the perfect compliment to a dollop of applesauce. I am sharing her recipe in all its glory, so you too can have the perfect vegan latkes this year.