Apple Nachos for Tu BiShvat

This super easy plate of Apple Nachos is perfect for Tu BiShvat! You can add many of The Seven Sacred Foods (Shivat HaMinim) mentioned in Deuteronomy / Devarim chapter 8 in the Torah. It also makes a great snack any other time of year.

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.

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.

Vegan Gondi, Chickpea Dumpling Stew, is a Persian-Jewish Shabbat hors d’oeuvres. It is typically made with chicken, however, it has been veganized using ground cauliflower and chickpea flour. It can be served alone as a stew or along with basmati rice.

You need not wait for a holiday—or be Jewish—to enjoy carrot and sweet potato tzimmes. It’s a festive dish for any cool-weather occasion.

In Yiddish, “tzimmes” means a big fuss or commotion. Fortunately, this mélange of sweet vegetables and dried fruits is not much of a fuss to make, and is a traditional side dish for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Passover.

An article in Jewish Food Experience details the origins of tzimmes, stating, “A traditional side dish for Rosh Hashanah, the sweet compote of carrot circles, like golden coins, represents a wish for a sweet and prosperous year. The first-known use of the Yiddish name tzimmes is from 1892, and it is said to have originated from the German zuomuose, or ‘side dish.’”

Carrots are one of the most commonly used of symbolic foods in Eastern European meals. The Yiddish word for carrot also means to increase or multiply—a positive wish for prosperity and luck to bring to the table. In this classic Jewish dish, carrots are combined with sweet potatoes and prunes, adding bright color to the table and plate.

Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.

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.

This is easy, satisfying comfort food. Kasha is buckwheat or groats, and varnishkes is Yiddish and means (or some will argue it only implies) bow-tie pasta. It’s traditionally made with schmaltz, but this version is vegan and totally delicious.

This simple, fast, and easy chopped salad is the perfect side for any time of year. Also sometimes referred to as Israeli salad or Middle Eastern salad, it’s a classic that goes with any meal.

Matzo Brei is a classic Jewish frittata-like breakfast food often eaten at Passover. In this vegan version, soft, savory chickpea “eggs” flecked with mushrooms and rosemary contrast deliciously with shards of crispy, slightly charred matzah crackers. It’s comfort food through and through. Also a soy-free, nut-free recipe, can be gluten-free.