Vegan Jewish New Year Recipes (Vegetarian-friendly!)
For Jews around the world, early fall is the beginning of a new year, marking Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Here are recipes and menus for the vegan and vegetarian table. Rosh Hashana is more than a New Year’s celebration. The holiday’s ancient roots are as a harvest festival, and enjoyment of the abundant produce of early autumn remains central to the celebration. The foods served emphasize this holiday’s optimistic spirit. And so, naturally sweet foods are favored at the dinner table. This lovely photo of Just-as-Sweet-as-Honey Cake is by Susan Voisin of FatFree Vegan Kitchen—one of the many glorious shots she did for Vegan Holiday Kitchen.
It’s hardest to imagine a Rosh Hashana celebration without challah bread. For vegans, the challenge becomes making this moist bread without its characteristic ingredient—eggs. Presented in the menu below is the result of much experimentation of a guest contributor to VegKitchen. Then, there’s the ritual of spreading chunks of this tender bread with honey, as well as dipping apple slices in honey, which, for the strictest of vegans can be simply replaced with agave nectar.
The choice of produce used for a Jewish New Year meal will differ somewhat depending on whether the meal has an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) or Sephardic (Mediterranean and Middle Eastern) theme. Ashkenazi dishes feature apples, sweet potatoes, beets and other foods native to Eastern Europe; Sephardic dishes feature such foods as apricots, dates, pumpkins. and turnips. Both traditions make liberal use of leeks, squash, carrots, and other produce that is plentiful in early fall; these vegetables symbolize abundance and prosperity. Choose from this mix-and-match menu to create an abundant, festive meal for your family and friends.
Soups (Note—since this holiday usually falls anywhere from mid- to late-September, the weather can be either still warm or getting nippy depending on where you live. A soup course is optional, but if you’d like to serve it, go for the cold soup if you’re in a warm zone, or either of the two hot soups if the weather has turned cooler.)
- Beet, Cucumber, and Orange Salad
- Zucchini with Mint
- Refreshingly Fruited Red Cabbage Salad
- Sweet and White Potato Salad with Mixed Greens
Vegetable Side Dishes
- Wine-Braised Leeks with Red Peppers and Shiitakes
- Sautéed Carrots with Dried Fruits
- Garlic-Roasted Carrots
- Summer Squash Sauté
Traditional Jewish New Year Recipes and Main Dishes
- Egg-Free (Vegan) Challah
- Sweet Potato Tzimmes
- Vegan Noodle Kugel
- Seven-Vegetable Couscous
- Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew
- Buckwheat Groats (Kasha) with Vermicelli and Fall Vegetables
- Sephardic Stewed White Beans
Desserts and sweets