Go veggie for Shabbat dinner

TO celebrate National Vegetarian Week, the Jewish Vegetarian Society has supplied this take on a traditional Shabbat dinner.

* Visit the Jewish Vegetarian Society website for plenty more veggie recipes.

Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ Soup

A FEW simple tweaks transform this much-loved recipe into a vegan delight. This recipe is from Vegan The Cookbook by Jean-Christian Jury (Phaidon, £29.95)


For the matzo balls:

  • 500g silken tofu
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g matzo meal
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 6.5 cups vegetable stock (broth)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish


To make the matzo ball dough using a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the tofu and olive oil.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the matzo meal, nutritional yeast, baking powder, onion powder, garlic powder and celery seeds. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well. Put the dough into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 - 6 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the dill and stock and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer.

Using your hands or a soup spoon, shape the dough into 2-inch (5cm) balls. Carefully drop the dumplings into the soup, trying not to break them. Cover the pot and cook the soup at a low simmer for 40 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, season the soup to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.

‘Chicken’ in Chilli & Black Bean Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 250g seitan, tofu or meat-free ‘chicken’ cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • A generous sprinkle white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2½ tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans (douchi)
  • ½ small green pepper, deseeded and cut into largish pieces
  • ½ small red pepper, deseeded and cut into largish pieces
  • 2 red finger-length chillis, deseeded and cut into thin rounds
  • 1 small onion, cut into largish pieces (or a handful of spring onions, chopped into large pieces)
  • Salt, to taste


Marinate the ‘chicken’ with the rice wine and cornflour. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Prepare the black beans: soak them for 15 minutes, rinse and drain, then squash with the back of a spoon to form a rough paste.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the ‘chicken’ and stir-fry until the pieces turn golden (approx 2-3 minutes). Dish out and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until they turn light brown. Stir in the fermented black beans, peppers, onion and red chilli. Stir fry for about 1-2 minutes.

Return the ‘chicken’ to the wok, stir and blend well with the other ingredients, about 1 minute.

Add the sauce and stir until the ‘chicken’ is cooked through — approx 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Transfer to a serving dish then dish up into bowls on top of steamed rice.

Lemon Tofu Cheesecake

THIS plant-based cheesecake is a good way to celebrate Shavuot using fewer of our planet’s precious resources.


  • 200g vegan digestive biscuits
  • 75g vegan margarine
  • 50ml soya milk
  • 350g silken tofu
  • 200g vegan cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot
  • 150g fresh raspberries or strawberries or a drizzle of apricot sauce with lemon decoration, optional


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Put the biscuits into a polythene bag, secure lightly then crush with a rolling pin. Make sure there are no large lumps left.

Melt the margarine then put this along with the crushed biscuits into a bowl. Mix to combine.

Spread in a greased flat tin (preferably a 20cm flan tin with a removable base) and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Blend all of the topping ingredients thoroughly (soya milk, silken tofu tofu, vegan cream cheese, golden syrup, vanilla essence, lemon rind and arrowroot), using a hand blender or mixer, until smooth.

Remove the crumb mixture from the oven and pour the filling over the base. Bake in the oven at the same temperature for 20 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

Serving option 1: Top with fresh berries and chill before serving.

Serving option 2: Slice and plate up, then top each individual piece with a twist of lemon and a drizzle of apricot sauce. (For the apricot sauce place 50 g brown sugar, 100 g tinned apricots — chopped — and the juice from the apricots into a pan.

Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over the cheesecake slices.

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