One of the classic foods for Shabbat is a kugel, and as a vegan, I was thrilled to concoct this cheesy, gooey, rich not at all healthy as vegan foods go- kugel! It's something great for a group, and if you call it "mac and cheese" casserole, chances are kids will love it as well! Kugel is a popular casserole in Eastern European Jewish homes, and comes in many varieties. This vegan version of a dairy kugel is cheesy and rich. It tastes a bit like macaroni and cheese—in fact, this is quite similar, but with a touch of sour cream for that classic and slightly tart kugel taste. Serve as a side dish or eat as a main course.
- 1 (16 ounce) package pasta, such as farfalle, shells, or large macaroni
- 1/2 onion, diced (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups nondairy milk (almond milk works well)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or white or brown rice flour
- 1 (8 ounce) package shredded vegan cheese, preferably mozzarella or cheddar
- 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 3 tablespoons vegan sour cream
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. When al dente, drain and place in a large bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the onion, if desired, with the cooked pasta.
- Heat 1 cup of the nondairy milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- In a cup, whisk the flour into the remaining 1/4 cup of milk until dissolved. Add it slowly to the heated milk, whisking as you go. Add the shredded vegan cheese and stir constantly until the cheese dissolves and the sauce is bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add the margarine and vegan sour cream to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour over the pasta mixture and mix well.
- Place in a 9 × 13inch casserole dish and cover with the bread crumbs. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes, until heated through.
- Uncover and broil until browned on top, about 5 minutes.
I love making this salad when I have a lot of people over. It looks pretty and colorful and there is no need to "pick out what you don't like;" you simply select what you do and enjoy! The dressing can be made more elaborate if need be, but we like it simple in our house. The reason I love this simple recipe is: you can prep it beforehand, it stays great, it’s cheap, and it’s very yummy! The vinaigrette is simple but very flavorful, as I have found many Moroccan Jewish recipes to be. The recipe serves 4-6, but I like to double it and eat the leftover salad throughout the week.
For the salad:
- 1 thinly sliced cucumber
- 2 cold boiled potatoes, sliced
- 3 bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced: i use one green, one red, one orange for color :)
- 2 2/3 cups pitted olives (any variety you like)
- 3 scallions, sliced thin
For the vinaigrette:
- 35 chopped garlic cloves
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon, or 1 Tbsp or so lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- salt to taste
- Lay all of the veggies and potatoes out on a nice platter (think ovalshaped platter). Scatter the olives all
- around and the scallions on top.
- In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
- Pour vinaigrette over the veggies, olives, and scallions.
Golden Couscous with Olives and Fresh Herbs
This couscous recipe is a favorite of mine for Shabbat because the ingredients are so simple but the flavor is so sophisticated. This is also a great recipe because it's fast and can be adapted depending on what you have on hand; any vegetable tastes good in this dish!
Mayim likes to make this dish for festive meals, such as on Shabbat, when special dishes are paraded. The dish calls for the larger Israeli couscous, and it has a rich flavor and a beautiful gold color, thanks to the tumeric. You can add other vegetables to make it more substantial, or leave is as is for a side dish. Substitute quinoa for the couscous for more protein and a slightly lighter version.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) vegan margarine
- 6 cups onion, chopped
- 3⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 1⁄4 cups lowsalt vegan chickenflavored stock
- 1 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
- 1⁄2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the margarine in a large heavybottomed pot over mediumlow heat. add the onion and stir to coat. Cover and saute until the onion is very tender but not browned, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in the ginger and turmeric. Add the stock, olives, basil, mint and lemon juice and bring to simmer. Stir in the couscous. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let stand until all liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
American actress, Mayim Bialik is best known for her roles in the film Beaches and on the hit television shows Blossom and The Big Bang Theory. Bialik is an avid student of all things Jewish, studies text weekly, and speaks all over the country for a variety of Jewish organisations. She has also spoken throughout the United States for dozens of colleges and universities.