As we spiritually prepare for Tisha B’Av—some of us are concerned how to gastronomically prepare for The Nine Days. Don’t worry, you can satiate your palate without meat.
We’ve reached out to some popular kosher bloggers to share some meatless menu options.
Make sure to visit the blogs for more step-by-step photos and anecdotes for each recipe.
Eggplants Stuffed with Herbs and Rice (Pareve or Dairy)
- 10-12 mini eggplants (about 2.2 lbs.)
- 1 cup rice
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons parsley
- 2 Tablespoons chives
- 2 Tablespoons dill
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin and black pepper
For the Sauce:
- Olive oil for frying
- 1 cup yogurt (vegan/pareve alternative: tehina)
- 1+ cup assorted chopped herbs (I used 1 cup parsley, ¼ cup cilantro and ¼ cup chives)
- Salt to taste (or none at all)
- Heat the oven to the maximum temperature (450ºF) either before or after you hollow the eggplants, which will take about 15 minutes.
- Hollow out the eggplants: Slice off the tops, and carve the flesh out of the eggplants, leaving at least ¼-inch of wall intact. You can hollow the eggplant with a small knife, a pointy vegetable peeler or a curved blade made for the purpose. Set aside the flesh; it will go into the sauce.
- Chop the herbs for the stuffing, and mix them with the rice, salt, spices and olive oil.
- Arrange the eggplants in a baking dish, hollow end facing up. Spoon the filling into the hollowed eggplants.
- Pour hot water into each eggplant, up to the top. Pour another inch of hot water into the bottom of the dish. Cover and put into the oven to bake.
- The eggplants are done once they are soft, and the rice looks fluffy and pokes out of the openings. This should take 45 minutes to one hour.
Meanwhile, Prepare the Sauce:
- Put the eggplant flesh into a frying pan with some olive oil, and fry.
- Once it starts to stick, pour some water into the pan and cover. Cook until the eggplant flesh is soft enough to fall apart.
(My water boiled off and the eggplant got brown and crusty on the bottom of the pan, so I added water to deglaze it.)
- Mix ½ cup cooked eggplant with 1 cup yogurt (or tehina) and chopped herbs to taste.
(You can use any mix of the herbs that went into the stuffing, I used ¼ cup each cilantro and chives, and about 1 cup parsley). You can add salt if you want, but I didn’t find it necessary.
Serve the sauce alongside the eggplants.
The following items need to be checked: cilantro, parsley, chives and dill.
Savory Green Bean-Fennel Stew (Pareve)
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 fennel head
- Oil for frying
- 1 lb. green beans
- 2 lbs. chopped tomatoes or ½ cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ cup chopped tarragon
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- Thinly chop the onion and fennel, and crush the garlic. Put the onion and garlic in a pot with a small amount of oil on a medium flame, and cook for a few minutes until the onion begins to brown.
- Add the fennel and green beans, and cook a bit more.
- Add the tomatoes or the tomato paste to the pot, along with the salt, pepper, ginger and cardamom.
- Top with enough hot water to just cover the vegetables, and bring to a low simmer. Cook until the green beans are soft.
- Once cooked, stir in the fresh chopped herbs.
To make the rice pictured in the photo:
- 1 onion
- About ½ cup short vermicelli
- 1 cup precooked chickpeas
- 2 cups Jasmine rice
- Fry the onion in some oil in a pot.
- Add the vermicelli, and let the vermicelli fry as well, until lightly browned.
- Add the chickpeas, rice and 3 cups water. Add salt to taste. Cover, bring to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, until the rice is soft.
- Shut the flame, and leave covered for another 10 minutes or so. Fluff and serve.
The following items need to be checked: the parsley and tarragon (since it is fresh).
For eight squash halves:
- 4 chestnut squashes
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- ½ cup black wild rice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon parsley
- 1 Tablespoon chives
- Salt to taste – about ½ teaspoon
- Preheat the oven or broiler to its maximum heat setting.
- Put the wild rice in a pot with 1 cup water, cover, and simmer on a low flame for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, chop the squashes in half, slicing from the stem end to the tip. Clean out the seeds.
- Put ¼ teaspoon of brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon water into each half, and place in the oven, cut side up. Let bake until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven once done.
- Chop the walnuts, and finely chop the herbs. When the rice is done cooking, mix with the olive oil, the walnuts, the herbs and the salt.
- Fill each squash half with the rice — I fit about two Tablespoons into each one.
The following items need to be checked: parsley and chives
Liz Steinberg is a journalist living in Tel Aviv with her husband and two children. She has been maintaining a personal blog about food in Israel—Café Liz—since 2008, and is currently food section editor at Haaretz English Edition.
Sriracha Salmon (Pareve)
- 1 lb. of salmon
- 2 Tablespoons of Sriracha sauce
- 3 Tablespoons of teriyaki sauce
- ¼ teaspoon of crushed garlic
- ¾ cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of cooked edamame
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a mixing bowl, add Sriracha, teriyaki sauce, crushed garlic, and 3 pinches of salt. Mix well.
- Place salmon in a baking dish. Pour Sriracha mixture over salmon. Make sure that the salmon is completely covered on all sides.
- Place salmon in the oven for 30 minutes. (All ovens cook differently so check your salmon periodically after the 20 minute mark as it may not take as long to cook).
- Take a quinoa package–mixture of your choice. I personally use the brand Roland. They have a variety of quinoa mixes, so I chose the roasted garlic mix. All you need is boiled water!
- Once your quinoa is cooked, add your edamame.
- Take the salmon out of the oven when cooked through and place over some quinoa.
Cream of Mushroom Rigatoni (Dairy)
- 1 (16 oz.) box of rigatoni pasta
- 1 (8 oz.) container of sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 (15 oz.) can of peas
- Pepper to taste
- Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- Place mushrooms in a frying pan with ½ cup of water.
- Steam mushrooms on a medium heat until water evaporates. If you feel that the water is taking too long to evaporate, you can pour some out.
- Once the water has evaporated, add a ½ Tablespoon of butter to the mushrooms and mix on a medium-low heat.
- Add the other ½ Tablespoon of butter and stir until mushrooms are sautéed. Set aside.
- In a small pot, pour heavy cream and cook on a medium-high heat. Add the sautéed mushrooms, peas and pepper to taste. Stir until the cream begins to bubble.
- Cook the box of rigatoni pasta.
- Add the cream of mushroom sauce to pasta. Mix well.
- Top off with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Parmesan cheese requires waiting, however, if the cheese it not noticeable when the product is cooked no waiting is required. See this helpful page for information about cheeses.
Veggie Quesadillas (Dairy)
- 10 tortillas
- 4 bell peppers (orange, yellow, green, red)
- 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 red onion
- ¾ cup of olive oil
- Thinly slice bell peppers and red onion.
- On a medium-low heat, coat frying pan with olive oil. Sauté peppers and onion until they soften. It’s important for the vegetables to remain on a low heat in order for them to cook without burning.
- Once vegetables are sautéed, set aside.
- Lightly coat each side of the tortilla with olive oil, and place in the frying pan on low heat. Evenly spread cheese on the tortilla and allow to melt.
- Once the cheese begins to melt, add two spoonfuls of vegetables on top of the cheese. Fold the tortillas in half and allow remove from pan when each side is turns a light brown.
- This is best served with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa!
Depending on the type of cheddar cheese used it might require waiting — see here.
Seven Bites encompasses the concept of cooking with Kosher food while using minimal ingredients. Lindsay Wess and Sara Yitzhaky want to share with our audience that creativity in the kitchen doesn’t have to be complicated. From appetizers to desserts, we offer tips and tricks to help get you through some of the most difficult dishes, while only using seven ingredients. Cooking should be fun and effortless. We love sharing ways to make your dishes taste and look great while keeping it simple. If you hated being in the kitchen before, hopefully Seven Bites can show you how simple and stress free cooking can be.
Egg Curry (Pareve)
- 1 to 2 hard-boiled eggs per person
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 1 onion
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 lime
- 1 head cauliflower
- Dice an onion, heat some olive oil for cooking. Once the oil is warm, sauté the onion with the cumin, coriander, red chili flakes and ginger. This will take 8-12 minutes.
- Dice your tomatoes and add them to the onions. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pot for five minutes to allow the tomatoes to cook.
- Once the tomatoes have cooked and there is liquid in the pot, add the florets from one head of cauliflower and allow them to cook. I like the cauliflower to keep some of its crunch so I don’t cook for too much longer at this point.
- Shell your hard boiled eggs and add them to the curry at least five to fifteen minutes before serving.
- Drizzle the juice from the lime over the curry and garnish with parsley or cilantro when serving.
- I recommend serving this curry on a bed of rice or with my gluten free naan bread
The follow item requires checking: cauliflower.
- Measure and mix equal parts (1 teaspoon each) of the following:
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Crushed red peppers
- Black Pepper
*If you are doubling the recipe for a larger batch, be careful not to over-salt the mix. I haven’t tested larger batches but my instinct is telling me 1 teaspoon of salt is plenty even if making a quadruple batch.
The following item requires checking: basil.
Once you have made your taco seasoning (above) you will need the following ingredients for vegetarian tacos. The meat is actually vegan.
- 1 package of vegan protein crumbles or veggie ground beef
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
- Coconut oil (optional – for cooking)
- Olive oil
- Start by dicing one red onion and three cloves of garlic. Put a teaspoon of coconut oil into a skillet on a medium-low heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and garlic to the skillet and sauté for three to five minutes, until soft.
- Once your onions are soft, sprinkle lightly with one Tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning. Mix and allow to cook for two to three minutes more. The aroma of the spices will come to life as they start to cook. Mix one more time so all the onions are covered, then add your veggie-meat.
- Many vegan-meat crumbles are pre-cooked so stir the ingredients so the seasoning, onions and meat Allow the meat to cook for seven to ten minutes then drizzle with a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for flavor.
- Serve right away, or store in an oven-safe dish. If re-heating, pre-heat the oven to 250ºF and set in the oven for up to fifteen minutes (that’s not a typo, you don’t want the oven too hot or the meat will continue to cook). Before you ask, I don’t know if you can microwave this – I hate microwaves – but if you must, reheat in 30 second increments to make sure you don’t dry out the taco meat.
Falafel-Flavored Quinoa Patties (Pareve)
- A couple of slices of (whole wheat) bread, or some leftover challah. (This will be used to make breadcrumbs, if you prefer not to make your own breadcrumbs substitute this with 1 cup of unseasoned breadcrumbs.)
- 3 cups of leftover quinoa
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons parsley
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons zaatar
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Half a large onion, chopped finely
- Oil for frying
- Put your bread in to a mini food processor and pulse until you have fine breadcrumbs. Before removing the breadcrumbs from the food processor, add the parsley, cumin, zaatar, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder and salt.
- Pulse a few more times to mix well. Remove the seasoned breadcrumbs from the food processor, set aside and finely chop your onion in the same bowl – no need to rinse it.
- Layer three cups of quinoa, the chopped onion and season breadcrumbs in a bowl big enough for you to mix the ingredients. Add four eggs, and mix.
- Pre-heat some cooking oil, and using a ¼ cup scoop, put your patties in the hot skillet. Cook for three to four minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and set on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- I did not serve these with anything at all, but they’d be delicious in fresh pita bread with chilled parsley tahini, or hummus, of course! For the Weightwatchers that read my blog, the ¼ cup sized patties are 2 points each before being fried. This dish could easily be adapted if you want to make smaller falafel sized balls, but do not fry them for as long, they will dry out.
The following items require checking: parsley and zatar.
Yosef Silver is a passionate food writer and wine lover sharing his unique perspective on kosher cooking at This American Bite. He is also Director of Marketing at KosherWine.com, and he loves it it when people say hello to him, @ysilver, on Twitter.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.