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Healthy Passover Recipes? Yes!

[Notes to my peeps: You'll notice my once-weekly blog distribution has changed from Thursdays to Mondays. However, I'm sending out next week's blog today, on a Thursday, so that you can incorporate these healthy recipe ideas into your Passover meal plan. Also, scroll to the bottom of this page for some great Israel/Passover inspiration (and non-vegan recipes) from The Israel Forever Foundation.]

Healthy Passover Recipes? Yes!

I thought Passover could be difficult being a vegetarian. That was a walk in the park compared to this, my first Pesach as a vegan. I see a lot of quinoa salads in my near future!

Although I will make a few interesting quinoa salads,I’m looking at the week as a great opportunity to incorporate healthy habits that I should follow the rest of the year (maybe I’ll do a little better though…):

1. Stay away from processed vegan foods (like the fake sour cream, cream cheese, and meats)

2. Be adventurous with vegetables!

3. Discover new vegan recipes that work well for family and holiday gatherings.

In addition, I’m excited to try Mayim Bialik’s Passover egg replacer recipe. I’ve been scouring the earth for one! 1 egg = 2 tbsp water + 1 tbsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder

I found this recipe for vegan cream cheese and this one for vegan sour cream, both from Leanne Vogel over at www.healthfulpursuit.com.

I was excited to discover that my favorite Susie Fishbein Pesach cookbook actually contains a decent number of vegan recipes. I already love my Nava Atlas Vegan Holiday cookbook (she includes American, Christian and Jewish holidays). Then, of course, there’s the internet!

Here are a few of the resources I’m using for recipes. I’m sure I’ll come up with some of my own recipes during Passover week, which I will dutifully record for next year! In the meantime, I’m using others as a jumping off point.

 

 

Please let me know if you make any of these or if you have other fun vegan/healthy recipes I should try.

For additional recipes and Israel/Passover inspiration, click on the links below!

From The Israel Forever Foundation

Israel at Your Seder: Celebrating our Journey to Freedom is an original Passover program written by Dr. Elana Heideman which is available for those looking to incorporate the Israel Connection at their Seder.

2 Recipes: Vegan Hamantaschen and a Bonus Dessert!

Vegan Purim Success!

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As I start thinking about my first Passover as a vegan (and not just vegetarian), I’m happy to report a successful first vegan Purim. I can’t eat most of the candy (good for me!) and had to make my own to get vegan hamantaschen (I hear there is one brand that is vegan. However, every one I’ve found in the store has food coloring). Now I have to stop eating them!

I made my own vegan hamantaschen, with my own delicious twist: caramelized banana and chocolate. I found the recipe through Food 52, although the author credits it as a copy of a recipe from The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook with her addition of maple sugar. I did not try it with the maple sugar.

I also discovered another use for this dough. Your guests will love you! Keep reading to find out my yummy idea for company.

[See my comments about the recipe in brackets below]

Vegan Hamantaschen Recipe

Makes 24

  • 2/3 cups vegetable shortening or butter substitute [I used Earth Balance coconut shortening for baking]
  • 1/2 cup white or raw sugar [Oh, s#*t. I just realized I misread this and put in 1 cup of sugar! No wonder it was so sweet, like chocolate chip cookie dough. My daughter was shocked when we put this in. She said, "We never make anything with this much sugar!" I told her "It's just for Purim, don't get used to it." No wonder it will be perfect for my second dessert idea....]
  • 1/2 cup well-mashed banana [I used one banana and didn't measure it.]
  • big pinches salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • jam, Nutella, fruit butter or traditional filling [I used the caramelized banana and chocolate.]
  • 2 tablespoons water
To make the caramelized banana and chocolate filling: Slice 1 banana thinly and cook it for 20 minutes at 300 on parchment paper. I placed one in the middle of each circle of dough and topped it with a few non-dairy chocolate chips.
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I also made a few without banana for my daughter
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and with raspberry jam for my husband.
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That’s one thing that’s great about hamantaschen. It’s easy to customize for everyone.
I also treated myself to a chocolate, walnut and coconut trial. It’s not that it didn’t taste good. It did. However, I think the walnut didn’t work for me because it’s crunchy. It’s better to have a soft filling in contrast with a soft dough with crunchy corners.
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  1. beat together shortening and sugars
  2. add in banana, water and vanilla, beat well. don’t worry if the mixture separates out here–it looks ugly but it works!
  3. beat in the salt and flour to make a smooth dough
  4. form a ball, cover and chill for at least 2 hours
  5. on a floured surface roll out to less than 1/8 inch thick. cut 3-inch circles in the dough. it’s good to work in batches as the dough softens quickly. you can gather scraps and re-roll them, but put them in the freezer or refrigerator while you deal with your circles.
  6. dot a scant teaspoon of jam or filling in the middle of each circle.
  7. to make the traditional triangle shape: fold one side of the circle, then fold the next third so there is some overlap, then fold the last third. the jam center should still be visible. note: to keep them from opening up, instead of folding up and pinching sides together “up-side” to “up-side”, use some of one edge (what used to be facing up) to fold OVER the other edge (what used to be on the bottom), then pinch.
  8. place a few inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets (in case of runny jam) and bake at 375F for 12 or so minutes, until you can see some browning. let cool before enjoying–the jam will firm up nicely.

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And finally, my other use for this dough...
Especially because I realize now that I made a mistake and used twice as much sugar as I should have, I thought the dough tasted exactly like the raw cookie dough I ate as a child. My daughter gets very excited about my vegan baking batters and doughs because, without raw eggs, she is free to eat it safely (not that kids don’t eat it anyway)!
(Safely) Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
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Take the above dough (probably with my mistaken doubling of the sugar!), and mix it with chocolate chips. Form into small balls, place on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve dessert, take them out of the freezer, place on your serving plate and place cute toothpicks in each one, allowing your guests to take them with ease. I promise, they will not believe you the dough is egg-free!
Chag Purim Sameach!

My first blog for The Nosher, My Jewish Learning

My first blog for The Nosher, My Jewish Learning

See below for my first blog for My Jewish Learning’s The Nosher Blog.

Maple Squash Pudding

When I first tasted the delicious, and later ubiquitous, butternut squash kugel, I thought I was eating something healthy. However, there is a reason it tasted like cake: It was cake.

My Shabbat host readily admitted that that kugel was full of flour, sugar and oil. That was many years ago. Since then, some version of a squash kugel (whether made from sweet potatoes, butternut squash or pumpkin), has graced most Shabbat tables at which I have had the pleasure of eating, including my own. I never could bring myself to make the classic cake-like recipe.

Instead, for years I used a Hungry Girl recipe that called for egg beaters and artificial sweetener. As I no longer eat animal products or artificial sweeteners, I had to come up with my own healthy alternative.

maple squash kugel 2

I don’t think you’ll find an easier recipe that can be made so quickly and for a crowd…

maple squash kugel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full article and recipe.

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