Food & Drink Magazine

Matzah Fest!

By Yonni @vegandthecity
Jewish holidays are all about food.  Ok sure, they are really about recalling our history, and enjoying past traditions and creating lasting memories, but with the exception of Yom Kippur, it’s done over food.  (And even then we have break fast!)  While we have some really amazing traditional foods, I’ve got to be honest.  They are SO not vegan.  Passover is, in some ways, the hardest of the holidays for vegans to enjoy, but I did a lot of research and I’ve found ways to enjoy it.  And I don’t know about you, but a piece of matzah with vegetable-oil-based margarine and salt is as good as it gets…
For those of you looking for something more substantial, check out these recipes I found for you.  If there is no author listed, it is only that I don’t know who it was – I cannot take any personal credit!
First, I found some tips for vegan matzah balls from a woman named Sophia Sola.  Use any regular recipe, but replace the eggs with potato starch, which is kosher-for-Passover.  Use 1 TBSP of starch for every two eggs called for by your original recipe.  To add additional flavor, I always add fresh chopped dill, but parsley works great too.  To cook, simmer the matzah balls in vegetable broth on low heat for about 45 minutes (because if you  boil them they might fall apart.)
Moroccan Beet Green Salad Recipe (Serves 3) Greens from 3 beets, including stems
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Separate beet stems from leaves and chop both.
Sauté beet stems with oil and water in large frying pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
Add chopped leaves and remaining ingredients, except lemon juice, and sauté 5 minutes longer.
Add lemon juice and sauté 1 minute more.
Serve warm or chilled.
Potato-Mushroom Kugel Recipe (Serves 8-10) 6 medium-size potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large portobello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Set the oven at 400 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
In a large saucepan of salted water, cook the potatoes for 15 minutes or until they are tender.
Arrange the portobello mushrooms in a roasting pan and roast them for 20 minutes.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and transfer them to a bowl.  Mash them with a potato masher, beating in the margarine.
Cut the portobello mushrooms into strips. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.
In a skillet, heat the oil and cook the onion for 5 minutes.  Add the button mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until they release their liquid, and then drain the liquid from the pan.
Add the button mushroom mixture and salt and pepper to the mashed potatoes.
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and decorate the top with the portobello strips.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the mixture is very hot.
Winter Squash Recipe with Apricot Stuffing Recipe (Serves 6)
3 small acorn, butternut or other winter squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups matzo flour (or meal), or 4 whole matzo, finely crumbled
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the squash, cut side down, in a shallow baking pan.  Add enough water to cover about 1-inch of the squash halves. Use a pastry brush or cloth to lightly coat the exposed squash skin with olive oil.
Bake the squash for about 20 minutes, or until about half cooked.
Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, matzo, onion, celery and garlic in a medium saucepan and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until very soft. (The mixture will stick to the pan, so stir frequently.)  Add the stock, apricots and cashews and allow to cook for 12 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in parsley and pepper.
Remove the squash from the oven, turn upright and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Fill each squash with stuffing and arrange on a baking sheet.  Use remaining olive oil to lightly coat any exposed squash meat.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until the squash is soft and easily pierced by a fork.
Sweet Potato Kugel (Serves 6)
This vegan kugel recipe by Jolinda Hacket is also cholesterol-free and lower in fat than a traditional kugel with eggs.
6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
3 apples, peeled and grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup matzo meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup water
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Use a food processor to grate the sweet potatoes and apples. Combine all ingredients together.
Gently press into a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly crisp on top

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