Friday night dinner with my family is one of my favorite memories from growing up. As I grew older, and the shape of my family changed, so too did my Shabbat meals.
Living in Tel Aviv, I found a strong community of young people consistently participating in fun and spirited Shabbat meals. Though I’ve thrown together my fair share of last minute potlucks, one of my greatest pleasures is to plan out an intricate, entirely plant based menu, and invite over a large group of friends for dinner. I’ll cook everything myself, so long as they bring the wine. This menu consists of a mix of some of my most popular recipes from throughout the years, from a hearty kale Caesar salad, to complex Thai lemongrass rice balls.
The key to making satisfying vegan meals is not to focus on what you’re leaving out, but rather what you’re putting in. Focus on drawing out and highlighting the natural flavors of the ingredients you are using, and try different combinations of herbs and spices to complement your flavor profiles. For example, coconut and lime fit in great with Southeast Asian inspired dishes, as well as Caribbean flavors.
The following recipes are just some examples to get you started.
The rich flavors of garlic and rosemary are infused into toasted pecans to substitute for croutons in this zesty vegan kale Caesar salad. No mayo or dairy needed, as the base of the Caesar salad dressing is actually a cashew mixture.
These vegan Thai Lemongrass Rice Balls are a crunchy savory appetizer or main that are gradually cooked like risotto with authentic Thai flavors.
This is not your typical mushroom dish: Oyster mushrooms are infused with smoky Asian flavors then combined with a savory cooked Roasted Tomato Balsamic BBQ sauce. Perfect as a vegan main entree or part of an Asian fusion meal.
These delicious Rosemary Cashew Cheese Puffs are packed with a homemade cashew "cheese" and roasted asparagus, if desired. A real vegan treat that can be served as an appetizer or part of the main dish.
These Chai Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Filling and Cinnamon Buttercream taste so creamy and buttery, but they are actually vegan! Spiced with chai and pumpkin pie flavors, they are anything but boring.
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