Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guest Post by Julia - Adventures in Vegan Jewish Cooking

Jewish food is totally weird and amazingly delicious. Unfortunately almost none of it is vegan. I was raised semi-Jewish (we celebrated holidays but never went to temple), and these foods are near and dear to my heart. Since going vegan about 7 months ago, I've been thinking about trying to make some of my favorite things -- I can't live the rest of my life without matzo ball soup! Unemployment leaves a person with a lot of time on their hands, and I spent the past two days cooking up a vegan Jewish feast!

I made matzo ball soup, latkes (potato pancakes) and homemade apple sauce. The soup recipe is courtesy of Isa at the ppk, and the recipe can be found at: If you have the time, I really recommend making your own soup broth instead of using pre-made broth. Definitely make it the day (or days) before. The broth recipe on the PPK website is pretty good. But her matzo ball recipe is awesome, and I swear it would fool any Jewish old ladies. Fresh dill is a must!

It’s pretty easy to find a vegan recipe for the latkes. Basically it's just grated potato and onion with salt, pepper, and some flour (or matzo meal if you wanna be fancy). Add some applesauce to help them stick together a bit. The recipe I used came from the Candle Cafe cookbook.
Applesauce is absolutely essential if you are serving latkes, and it's so easy to make from scratch! Granny smiths are a good choice, or a blend of a few different apples. Just de-core and cook for about an hour with water, lemon, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I like to leave the skins on, but you can also peel them.

This meal totally rocked, if I do say so myself. And Passover is just around the corner!

As for pairing, I'm not really an expert at this, but I would think a Chardonnay would go well with the rich soup flavors. Just don’t pair it with Manischewitz.