The Jewish holidays are food-fests.  Ok - clearly they hold far more significance than the menu itself, but food is a pretty big key to the celebrations.  The problem for vegans is that, while most bagels and noodles are vegan-friendly, the cream cheese, lox, brisket, chopped liver and decadent desserts are not!  What's a vegan to do?

Here are a few Rosh Hashanah-minded recipes to suit the needs of us vegans, but will also make most palates happy as they're not all about vegetables or all about tofu.  Especially when it comes to sweeter dishes and desserts, if people don't know it's vegan, they'd never guess - so maybe keep these ingredients under wraps and see for yourself!  I hope you enjoy...

Sweet Sweet Potatoes
4 large or 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled until fork tender
2 TBSP vegan margarine
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup turbinado, date or brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Mash the cooked sweet potatoes with the margarine until smooth. Add the soy milk, orange juice, vanilla, sugar, maple syrup, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour into prepared casserole dish.

1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup turbinado, date or brown sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (you could try oats for a crunchier bite)
3/4 cups chopped pecans
2 TBSP maple syrup

Mix the topping ingredients together until well-combined. Sprinkle over the sweet potato and bake for 45 minutes or until hot throughout. Makes about 10 servings.  **If you don't want to fuss with the topping, just sprinkle the potatoes with mini marshmallows before baking instead ~ works every time!

Apple Crisp
4 lbs granny smith apples
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP arrowroot powder or cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 c water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup raisins or currents

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 glass dish.
Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Place apples and raisins in the baking dish, add sugars and spices and combine well. Pour arrowroot liquid over everything and gently hand toss.

1 cup oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoon vegan margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare the topping, combine all dry ingredients. Add margarine and mix well with a fork (or your fingers.)  Crumble topping over the apples. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. 
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup vegan margarine
8 ounces Tofutti cream cheese
1 TBSP vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine the vegan margarine and Tofutti cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed, mixing until well combined.  Slowly add the flour mixture and vanilla, mixing until forming a soft dough. **This dough is a little moister than a typical cookie dough.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, shape it into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven 325 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.  

2/3 cup organic white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raspberry preserves
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins, chopped
2 TBSP soy milk

In a small mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until well mixed. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into four pieces.  Roll out one quarter at a time into a large rectangle about 1/8” thick. Spread ¼ cup of the preserves on each of the rectangles, leaving a slight border around the edges, followed by ¼ of the chopped walnuts, ¼ of the raisins, and 3 TBSP of the sugar-spice mixture.  With the long side of the rectangle facing you, roll each of the quarters into a tight log, folding in the sides, and place each on the prepared sheet, seam-side down. Using a pastry brush, brush each log with the soy milk. Sprinkle ¼ of the remaining sugar-spice mixture onto each of the logs.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until flaky and golden brown. Transfer logs to wire cooling racks, allowing them to cool for about 20 minutes before cutting into 1” slices. Serve at room temperature.  

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