The Veg­e­tar­i­an Shab­bat Cookbook

Rober­ta Kale­chof­sky and Rober­ta Schiff
  • Review
By – September 22, 2011
More peo­ple than ever are explor­ing veg­an and veg­e­tar­i­an cuisines. For­mer­ly obscure ingre­di­ents for this type of cook­ing are now read­i­ly avail­able, and veg­e­tar­i­an options on restau­rant menus are fast becom­ing the norm.

The authors of The Veg­e­tar­i­an Shab­bat Cook­book believe that cel­e­brat­ing Shab­bat with veg­e­tar­i­an food con­tin­ues the rev­o­lu­tion­ary spir­it in which the Shab­bat was first con­ceived of as a gift of free­dom for human beings. It becomes a gift for all the crea­tures which God blessed.” Their beau­ti­ful book includes recipes for egg­less chal­lahs, veg­e­tar­i­an cholents, veg­etable loaves, a deli­cious and easy to pre­pare white bean stew with caramelized onions, var­i­ous stuffed cab­bages, dips and spreads, savory top­pings, Shab­bat and every­day soups, and dish­es reflect­ing Asian, Span­ish, Indi­an, Moroc­can, Ital­ian, Kore­an, Indone­sian, and Mex­i­can influ­ences, among oth­ers. Nor are desserts over­looked, with recipes for a selec­tion of cooked fruits, cakes, crum­bles, cook­ies, pud­dings, pies, and tarts. The authors pro­vide metic­u­lous expla­na­tions and descrip­tions of terms and ingre­di­ents involved in this health­ful way of cook­ing and eat­ing, such as sei­tan (a high pro­tein food which can take on the fla­vor of meat), var­i­ous sweet­en­ers, flour sub­sti­tutes, beans, grains, spices and herbs, etc. Thus the book is appro­pri­ate for vet­er­an veg­e­tar­i­ans as well as those just begin­ning to explore meat­less eat­ing. 

The authors’ indi­rect mes­sage is that we are all involved in Tikkun Olam, repair­ing a bro­ken world, as we pre­pare and enjoy these gourmet foods. Those who glean the mes­sage in the book and cook in this way will find them­selves sat­is­fied both phys­i­cal­ly and spir­i­tu­al­ly. Index.

Recipe: Gold­en Glow Shab­bat Soup

Serves 8

This is a great veg­e­tar­i­an sub­sti­tute for the chick­en soup that every­one expects for a Shab­bat din­ner. Serve with toast­ed bar­ley for more taste or with chopped pars­ley for color.

1 pound pack­age yel­low split peas (2 cups dry)
1 cup grat­ed parsnips
1 cup grat­ed car­rots
Salt to taste
3 bay leaves

1. Cook yel­low split peas accord­ing to direc­tions on package.

2. Halfway through cook­ing time, add parsnips, car­rots, salt and bay leaves.

3. Sim­mer with par­tial­ly cov­ered lid. Remove bay leaves before serving.

4. For a gold­en col­or and smoother taste, purée.

Reprint­ed with per­mis­sion from The Veg­e­tar­i­an Shab­bat Cook­book by Rober­ta Kalechofsky

Danièle Gor­lin Lass­ner (wife, moth­er, grand­moth­er) retired after 35 years at Ramaz where she served as Dean of Admis­sions, For­eign Lan­guage Depart­ment chair and teacher of French and Span­ish. She owns hun­dreds of cook­books. She has trans­lat­ed sev­er­al chil­dren’s books from French into Eng­lish. She has recent­ly trans­lat­ed “ A Mem­oir of Sanc­ti­ty “ by May­er Moskowitz (Mazo Pub­lish­ers, Jerusalem, Israel) from Hebrew into Eng­lish. No mat­ter the lan­guage, food is a con­stant.”

Discussion Questions