By Michael Croland
When considering a vegetarian diet, some Jews wonder if they’ll have to miss out on cherished Jewish culinary staples. Keep an eye out for recipes, and you’ll see that there are lots of vegetarian recipes for just about everything you can think of.
JewishVeg.com/Recipes is a wonderful resource. It features links to vegetarian recipes for traditional Jewish foods (vegetarian kishke or gefilte fish, anyone?). It is organized by section, so that when Purim is approaching, for example, you can find a recipe for vegan hamentaschen faster than you can boo Haman.
If you cook a lot for Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, I recommend Roberta Kalechofsky’s The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook. It has great vegetarian recipes for every Jewish occasion.
A lot of us grew up with certain Jewish foods that we know and love. Going vegetarian is a time to reconsider what dishes are in your regular repertoire, and I think it’s a good opportunity to embrace Jewish comfort foods that you might not eat too often.
For example, who doesn’t love charoset on Passover? I’ve come to enjoy this sweet fruit-and-nut mixture as my default breakfast centerpiece. The nuts offer protein, the chunks of fruit are healthier than a glass of fruit juice on the side is, and cinnamon is a nutritional powerhouse in its own right. There are more exciting variations out there, but my version is very easy to make: Just chop up some apples, throw in some walnut halves or pieces, add your desired amount of cinnamon, and pour in some grape juice!