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A Weeknight Vegan Menu

polenta layered casserole

With Tisha B'av approaching we begin our mourning with 9 days of meatless meals.  For many people fish becomes the go to and that is why we provided this collection of 38 Fish Recipes, but for some of us either for budget or interest it can be a great time for experimentation and trying new things when the meat heavy eaters of the family can't complain.

We eat vegetarian in my house most days already, but it didn't happen overnight.  Many people are used to eating a main protein and don't feel it is dinner if you don't have chicken, beef or fish.  I believe we have to change that mindset and at least consider meat free dinners a few nights a week.  Here is a vegan menu, that means it doesn't even have eggs or dairy, you will have to trust me and try out.  I made sure to make it hearty and satisfying and equally delicious.

Sautéed Fennel With Almonds

If you like to offer a starter, make this Sauteed Fennel with Almonds, good hot or cold.

homemade polenta with mushrooms

Polenta is a great way to introduce a meat free dinner.  The main image featured is my Layered Polenta Casserole - it is is a good one because it can be made ahead and is also great for a Shabbat meal any time.  I made it with and without cheese, so if you are not vegan you can feel free to use some.  It is hearty and whole grain and very versatile.  They do sell tubes of pre-made polenta, but I really prefer the homemade kind and it only takes a few more minutes.

The one above here is Polenta with Mushrooms.  This one can also be enhanced with some aged cheese, but is not necessary, especially if you cook the mushrooms well.  You can cut the polenta into circles or squares, you can pan fry or even bake them for a bit of a crispy outside.  So good.

chickpeas and chard

Serve the polenta with my favorite veggie side, Chickpeas and Chard, if you like spicy add some Harissa or Charif.

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Just cause you go vegan doesn't mean you have to give up dessert.  Non-dairy chocolate makes amazing chocolate truffles with only two ingredients!!

Try out all/or part of the vegan menu and let me know what you think, if you can't be convinced to make a fully vegan meal, go ahead and use any of these as a side dish.