Holidays in Judaism are heavy on the symbolism. Those symbols are usually foods. At Rosh Hashanna this is all things sweet, new harvest foods. Great sounds easy. Then you learn that it is almost all heavy in either dairy or eggs. Thankfully nothing traditional features nuts, (there are some who say they should be avoided by everyone at this meal) so we are safe from repeating the haroset at Passover that I was terrified my unwitting child would get into when I wasn’t looking.
Since I am essentially alone this year for the holy-days as a convert, with no Jewish partner, no Jewish parents, and no single Jewish friends without plans I had to figure out for myself what this holiday means for us. As a parent of 4 yr old twins, with food particularities I am not exactly easy to tack on to someone else’s fun. So we are joining the Rabbi on Thursday but for the first evening and the Shabbat that immediately follows the holiday we are just us. I was originally going to half ass this by just giving my kids a nice fresh from the tree apple and some honey and challah tomorrow but I need to widen my social network again since it’s amazing how being a couple vs a single changes your socialization habits and well a break up of a would be marriage is hard so wanting to be social is a challenge at times. So what better time than the holidays. Plus I have to feed my kids anyway so why not make a festive meal.
I thought of a noodle kugel, but to make that vegan was way too much work for my first holiday meal on my own. So I decided to go simple, maple BBQ tofu, two sweet salads:carrot-raisin salad, and beet and apple and a rice I found on joyofkosher that attracted my attention. I broke out the beast (old cuisinart from the 50s it is as heavy as one of my children) to grate the carrots and it worked like a charm and I was excited to finally use the yellow beets getting disgruntled in the back of my fridge to make a beet and apple salad. With fresh apples from my Lufa farms basket this week. (Haven’t made it to the orchard ourselves yet.) for those on a gluten free diet that means this meal works for you with almost no adaptation (just gotta find or make a gf marinade)
I only have work in progress photos since I will be doing my best to respect the holiday and stay offline, certainly not work and although I do not consider this blog work in the strictest sense of the term (I make no money for this for example!) it is ultimately still work and one of the many things we do not do on the holy days.
Learn more about the holiday and find out why I chose these dishes. I also did not cook with all the symbolic foods simply because it is impractical for such a small group of people and because there is more than one meal to be had!
What I learned: it’s not so hard to have a meaningful meal that is vegan, allergy friendly on a holiday that is definitely not if you do not try to replicate the traditional dishes but rather start new traditions, variations on the theme.
I am feeding someone with a latex allergy that extends to certain more exotic foods, my dairy intolerant and walnut allergic daughter, and my (mostly) vegan family. I have to say on this one, I bought challah made with eggs, I just didn’t have time or energy to make my own this week, and the honey debate, well we eat honey, we can debate that at another time. For Rosh Hashanna, our apples and challah will be dipped in honey. Or sugar for the boy who hates honey. So it is gluten-free, vegan-option, dairy-free, vegetarian, and nut-free. Sorry soy was a must here is made this whole meal centred around the tofu!
I decided not to tackle honey cake this year but I am including for you the recipe I was planing on making, if you make it and it turns out, please do let me know!
I made the honey cake! Egg-free and Dairy free, but yes with real honey.
And without further ado, the recipes.
Carrot and currant salad (modification of a recipe from work)
18 smallish carrots peeled and grated (about 3-4 cups)
3/4 cup currants
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
3 tbsp Dijon
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
6 tbsp olive oil (or to taste. Most will like this better with 9 tbsp)
Mix carrots and currants and toss with dressing.
Beet and apple salad (modification of a recipe from work)
12-18 fresh beets (nice with a mix of yellow and red)
3 apples (I used Paula reds)
1/3 cup lemon juice (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
Boil beets about 1 hour or roast them in oven about 45 min. Allow to cool. Peel and cube into bite sized pieces. Slice or chop apples and mix apples, beets and dressing
Yellow rice (modified from joy of kosher)
1 3/4 cup organic brown and wild rice mix
3/4 cup quinoa
1 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp olive oil
4 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1 tbsp salt
Mix all in a large pot and cook following instructions and time for the rice mix (this can vary)
Maple BBQ tofu (all me! But totally from a jar)
1 jar clubhouse la grille maple smokehouse marinade
1 brick extra firm tofu
Cut brick into thick “steaks” (about 12 slices) – or cut horizontally into 4 larger pieces for a “meatier” presentation. Cover pieces in marinade. use your hands, its like finger painting, very therapeutic and let rest while oven heats to 350. Bake about 30 min or until cooked through and marinade has crusted into tofu. You can also barbecue or Alternatively pan fry the coated slices with a mild flavoured oil.
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup apple-cinnamon sauce
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cocoa
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup strong coffee (1 c hot water w spoonful of coffee granules)
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With electric mixer, or a whisk, beat all ingredients together for about 3 minutes. (Batter will be runny.) Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for 40 minutes. (may take a little longer or less) Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick into middle of cake. If it comes out dry it is done. ENJOY!!
I made it into mini muffins, 350 for 30 min was perfect