Seitan Porcini Stew

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.

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.

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 comfort classic requires minimal ingredients and effort and offers big rewards. The  mushrooms themselves offer deep, rich flavor, and all kinds of immunity-boosting benefits,  besides. It’s filling, nourishing, a perfect soup for the winter blahs.

Walnuts and mushrooms are used to get that nice meaty taste in these delicious, Passover-friendly “meatballs.”

Everyone loves Sloppy Joes! This version thinks it’s better than everyone because it contains no meat. And there’s no soy, either. Lentils are the perfect texture for vegetarian Sloppy Joes.

The reuben is a much-loved sandwich filled with pickle-y and fermented flavors. From it’s meat to the cabbage and the sauce. All those tangy, rich flavors are enough to make your mouth water, at least for the vegan version. The reuben sandwich is not vegan-friendly. It’s made with corned beef, swiss cheese, and mayo-based thousand island dressing (or sometimes Russian dressing). Never fear, we can get all that delicious flavor without any animal products! The most important thing you need for your vegan reuben sandwich is the meaty filling.

Seven vegetable couscous is a colorful dish traditional to the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), but you need not save it for special occasions only.

Rosh Hashanah is more than a New Year’s celebration. The holiday’s ancient roots are as a harvest festival, and enjoyment of the abundant produce of early autumn remains central to the celebration. The foods served emphasize the holiday’s optimistic spirit.

Though it’s a joyous time, Rosh Hashanah is also the first of the Ten Days of Awe, a period of spiritual reflection and repentance that culminates in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Symbolic foods for the holiday: As with almost every sacred and ancient celebration, food plays a central role and is filled with symbolism for Rosh Hashanah. When making challah bread, for example, the baker might pinch off a bit of dough and burn it in the oven as a symbolic sacrifice.

Seven is a lucky number in Jewish tradition. So a dish featuring seven vegetables, like this one, is a New Year favorite among Sephardic Jews.

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. This recipe is as easy as can be. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.

Chraime is a spicy Moroccan casserole traditionally made with fish and vegetables, and served as first course at Rosh Hashanah.