A Veggie seder (fit for all)
While it may seem to bubbe and zeide that their grandchildren are always dropping something from their diet, the case for eating less meat is a strong one. Fear not, as some of the top vegan cooks share some of their best recipes with us…
Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
The simple soup served at traditional Passover seders is very much like this one, other than the fact that it’s made with chicken broth. Sometimes it has even fewer veggies in it. The Passover soup course functions primarily as a delivery system for matzo balls. This soup uses ingredients that are probably already in your fridge and pantry, so let it warm you up while it’s still chilly.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 32-ounce carton vegetable broth
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and finely diced
- 6 to 8 medium carrots, sliced
- Handful of celery leaves
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and celery and sauté over medium heat until golden.
Add the broth, potato, carrots, celery leaves, seasoning blend, and two cups of water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the dill, then season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand for several hours off the heat to develop flavour. This can also be made a day in advance.
Just before serving, bring to a simmer. Adjust the consistency with more water if need be, and taste to adjust seasonings. Add warmed matzo balls to individual servings of soup.
Vegan Matzo Balls
(makes about 24)
- 1 cup quinoa flakes (see note, below)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup matzo meal (or see gluten-free variation)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (such as safflower)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- A few grindings of black pepper
- Pinch each of onion and garlic powder
In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for two or three minutes.
Stir in the matzo meal mix along with the remaining ingredients, and mix until well blended.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Just before baking, preheat the oven to 140ºC.
With clean, dry hands, roll the matzo meal mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don’t pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, carefully turning the matzo balls after 10 minutes, until firm to the touch; don’t let them brown.
If making ahead, let the matzo balls cool completely, then cover until needed. Warm them briefly in a medium oven and distribute them among the soup bowls, allowing three or four balls per serving.
Note: Some rabbis allow quinoa at Pesach, so check with yours and look for a brand that is certified kosher for Passover.
Variation: To make these gluten-free, substitute 1 1/4 cups quinoa flakes for the matzo meal. Don’t add them to the original quantity of quinoa flakes; this is a separate measure to use dry. A bit more is needed than the quantity of matzo meal for the purpose, as the quinoa flakes are less dense. Of course, without matzo meal, these are no longer literally matzo balls, but they’re still good!
Quiche with sweet potato crust
Our quiche with sweet potato crust is gluten-free with all of the rich, custardy goodness of traditional quiche without the cholesterol of butter, cheese, and cream. We start it off with a delicious foundation of sliced cooked sweet potato, caramelised and browned on the top edges, that looks and tastes every bit as sweet and delicious as traditional pie pastry. Try using a variety of vegetables in your quiche to create different flavour profiles, like steamed asparagus and dill, broccoli and onions, spinach and mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and basil or caramelised onions and mushroom. The crust can also be made with regular potatoes.
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled sliced thin (with a mandolin slicer, or by hand)
- 1 tbsp plus 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ¼ tsp salt
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium size courgettes, diced small (about 3 ¼ cups diced)
- ¾ tsp salt, divided
- ¼ tsp black pepper, divided
- 2 cups freshly shredded carrots
- 5 large eggs
- 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
To prepare the crust: Heat oven
to 200ºC/400ºF/GM6. Spread one tablespoon of the olive oil on
a round 9.5″ baking pie dish.
Place the sweet potatoes slices in circles, overlapping (see image above), and season each layer with
a teaspoon of the oil and ⅛ teaspoon of the salt. Cut some of the sweet potatoes slices in half and place them so they go up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes and remove the baking dish from the oven, leaving it on.
While the crust is baking in the oven, prepare the filling.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the courgettes, ½ teaspoon of the salt and ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper and cook over medium-high for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the shredded carrots, mix well and set aside and let it cool slightly.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper.
Spread the courgette and carrot mixture onto the sweet potato crust.
Pour the beaten eggs on top and spread them evenly using a spatula. Gently arrange the tomatoes on top. Bake at 200ºC for 30 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
Serve warm as a side, for lunch with a salad or for breakfast.
By Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox, creators of www.mayihavethatrecipe.com and cookbook authors of
Tahini and Turmeric (Da Capo Lifelong Books, £20)
Super easy (boozy!) three ingredient Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Prep time: 30 mins; Cook time: 1 min
- 12 oz vegan dark chocolate, chopped into very small pieces
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, stirred well 3 tablespoons Manischewitz wine
Place the chocolate pieces in a large glass bowl. Heat the coconut milk in
a small saucepan just until it starts to bubble and simmer.
Pour coconut milk over chocolate and whisk just until combined. Then add the wine and stir.
Refrigerate uncovered for at least two hours or overnight to harden.
Use a teaspoon to scoop teaspoon-sized balls, mould with your hands a little and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. This part gets a little messy! Refrigerate another one to two hours or overnight to set.
Enjoy the balls as they are, or roll in a coating of your choice.
Store in the refrigerator, but let them come to room temperature for 10 minutes before enjoying.
Notes: You also need three to 24 hours for the chocolate to set.
Amy Kritzer, founder of the www.whatjewwannaeat.com blog, and author of Sweet Noshings: New Twists on Traditional Jewish Baking (Rock Point, 2016)
Compote – Cooked Dried Fruits Dessert
A dessert that’s actually good for you? Yes – and it’s also pretty, delicious, and vegan! The first step in making the compote is to buy dried fruits
that are organic and contain no added sugar. This is rule number one for
a successful, healthy compote. Since it’s naturally sweet, it’s not overly sweet. Plus, it’s perfectly balanced with spice from the cinnamon, anise, and lemon. The fibre in the fruit helps ease digestion after a heavy meal. And it’s so easy that even a beginner can make it.
- 1 cup dried pitted plums, no sugar added
- 1 cup dried apricots, no sugar added
- ½ cup raisins, no sugar added
- 1 apple, peeled and cubed
- 1 pear, peeled and cubed
- 5-6 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- ½ lemon, peeled and cubed
In a covered pot add all the ingredients, bring to a boil without the lid. Lower to simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for about an hour. Let it cool down, then keep in the fridge. Serve chilled.
By Estee Raviv, creator of From Estee’s Kitchen, www.esteeskitchen.com, and author of Oy Vey Vegan: Vegan Cuisine with a Mediterranean flair (The R-Group LLC, 2018)