Thursday, September 2, 2010

High Holidays, Vegetarian-Style

The Jewish high holidays are coming up, and we're so excited because my absolutely adorable, almost 2-month-old niece is making her first out-of-town trip to spend Yom Kippur with us.  Oh, and her parents are coming too -- 'cuz apparently there's some law that infants can't drive themselves to see their aunt and uncle?

I kid. I kid.  We are pretty thrilled to see her parents too.

In fact, we'll have a number of family and close friends here for the holidays.  But here's my dilemma: we're filling our house with -- oy gevalt -- vegetarians (ok, some pescatarians as well), and I'm going to have to figure out how to update traditional brisket- and chicken-heavy high holiday menus to keep everyone fed and happy.

I have several go-to vegetarian recipes, including the gorgeous panzanella above, a delicious vegetable tian, and my favorite potato pave.  There are also high holiday recipes that are parve (meat- and dairy-free), like noodle kugel.  And for the pescatarians, I have a number of fish entrees I can prepare.  

Sure, as usual with Jews, you can toss a dozen bagels and some cream cheese and lox our way, and we'll be thrilled.  But it'd be nice to get through the holidays without gaining ten pounds from carb-loading.

What I could really use are some additional vegetarian-friendly recipes that are more substantial, less like sides.  I'm wondering if any of you brilliant cooks and eaters out there can offer some suggestions?  We'd be most appreciative!

UPDATE: The New York Times comes to my rescue!  See this.


Kristin ~ Bien Living Design September 2, 2010 at 8:30 AM  

I just posted a vegetarian recipe on my blog yesterday! But, it's for a sandwich. Do you like Indian food? If so, let me know & I'll send you my favorite recipe! Very hearty & filling & tasty.

Woman with a Whisk September 2, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

There are a ton of Jewish foods that are great for vegetarians, including tsimmes (my mom doesn't add meat to hers), kasha varnishkes, and matzo ball soup (with veggie broth). Fava bean dip, hummus, baba ganoush are all veggie-based Middle Eastern dips that you could serve with cheese and crackers at the beginning of the meal (honey and blue cheese is fantastic, and fitting for the holiday!). Pickled veggies are also good for noshing to start or as a side dish. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, I might experiment with a veggie "gefilte fish" or "chopped liver."

I'm a meat lover and I would totally love to come to this Rosh Hashanah dinner!

lavenderpug September 2, 2010 at 11:05 AM  

one of my vegetarian friends has had me over for jewish holidays, and there were the kinds of dishes that you mentioned, as well as egg salad, moroccan-spiced carrots, and a cucumber-red onion-dill salad in vinaigrette. have fun hosting, it's going to be so much fun!

BigAppleNosh September 2, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

Not big on cooking (or vegetables), so can't offer much in terms of vegetarian suggestions, but beans, tofu and mushrooms are hearty replacements!

Anonymous,  September 2, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

I love this cookbook Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World and will be happy to lend it to you! Margaret

sandy September 2, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

there's a great cookbook:

you can easily find this book at the local library or browse the book at b&n.

and I like ideas from

Mrs. Hot Cocoa September 3, 2010 at 12:05 AM  

Thanks so much everyone for your recommendations!

@ Kristin: That tofu sammie on your blog looked amazing. I love Indian, but I think for the high holidays I want to do something more classically Jewish. I'd definitely be up for an Indian recipe another occasion though. It's something I love to eat but have been so afraid to cook.

@ Woman with a Whisk: I LOVE all your recommendations. And tsimmes. Of course. Totally forgot. I gotta find a way to do it with carrots and no dried fruit, though - I have a weird fear of prunes. Incidentally, I've missed your posts lately! Where have you been?

@ Margaret and Sandy: Thanks for the cookbook recs!

Woman with a Whisk September 3, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

@Mrs. HC: To be honest, I don't care for prunes either, so I'd love to how you do tsimmes! As for blogging, I discovered that I love cooking even more when I don't blog about it. =) I'm a full-time writer, so the line between work and fun were beginning to blend a bit too much for me. I suppose I should write a note up there explaining that to my readers?

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