Tu BiShvat Vegan Challah with Dried Fruit

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.

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.

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.

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.

Flavorful fluffy mashed potatoes wrapped in a flaky golden brown crust. Authentic Brooklyn Knishes that warm the heart and soul.

The chickpea custard gave the dough just the right amount of enrichment, so the crumb was soft and tender, with a sweet almost cakey, but not overpowering flavor. For the glaze, I mixed a bit of soymilk with a touch of silan (date syrup), which helped give the loaves a bit of sheen and that same rich color that traditional loaves have. The recipe will either make one large round loaf, or one large braid (which I prefer to bake in a loaf pan to retain more height). You can sprinkle the top with traditional toppings like poppy or sesame seeds, or you can have a bit of fun and try za’atar or paprika!

The past few Passovers I just skipped it but this year I wanted to make a vegan version of Gefilte fisha version without the cruelty and death, without the cold tastelessness and slime. And I wanted it to look like the original and taste like fish (but better).

This is the recipe I came up with. It’s made with chickpeas and sautéed vegetables. The fish flavor comes from the seasoningkelp and dulce flakes (if you don’t have both you can just use whichever you have), Old Bay, and lemon. They look just like Gefilte fish, the texture is spot on and they taste like a much yummier version of the original “treat.” I’m so glad my Vegan Gefilte “Fish” will grace my seder table this year. Happy Passover and Enjoy!