Beyond Apples ‘n’ Honey: Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes:

This is how we greet one another on Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is my personal favorite Jewish High Holiday. Why? Because it’s Jewish New Year! It’s all about getting a fresh start to do better next year! It’s a joyous time that calls for celebration! Part of the custom is to eat sweet foods to symbolize a sweet New Year. Apples and honey are common and gourds are also consumed because they are harvest foods that are in season. So why not celebrate the New Year on a healthier note and enjoy your favorite traditional dishes with a more conscious twist? Here are some delicious recipes you can share with your family while you are ringing in the year 5772! Enjoy and may you all have a sweet New Year!

Sweet and Savory Tzimmes (serves 4) Tzimmes, or tsimmes is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish stew made with root veggies and sweet fruits such as raisins or dates. It can also be made with meat, but we won’t be including it here, obviously. 😉

  1. 2 yams (peeled and cut into cubes)

  2. 1 butternut squash (peeled and cut into cubes

  3. 2 large carrots (peeled and cut into chunks or disks)

  4. 1 large onion (cut into chunks)

  5. 10 Medjool dates (pitted and chopped)

  6. 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  7. 2 tbsp. coconut oil

  8. 1/4 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)

Heat oil in large stock pot. Add in onions and carrots and cook for about 10 min. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook on medium for 25-30 min.

Vegan Kasha Varnishkes (serves 4) This has always been one of my fave dishes and it’s typically pretty healthy, but we are subbing the white flour bow-tie pasta with either a whole grain, quinoa or gluten free pasta.

  1. 1 cup dry whole buckwheat groats (kasha)

  2. 2 cups water or veggie broth

  3. 2 tbsp. coconut oil

  4. 1 medium onion

  5. 5 oz fresh mushrooms

  6. 2 tbsp. tamari

  7. 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

  8. 1 cup uncooked eggless bowtie pasta (farfalle), preferably quinoa pasta (you can use another shape if they do not have farfalle).

Heat large dry skillet until hot. Begin to boil water in a saucepan. Rinse kasha in fine mesh strainer. Dump wet kasha into pre-heated skillet (it should hiss). Toast kasha, stirring until dry. Slowly pour toasted kasha into boiling water. Immediately turn down heart and simmer kasha uncovered until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let dry somewhat. While kasha is simmering, place oil in now empty skillet and heat. Place onions and mushrooms into pre-heated oil. Stir fry until done to your liking, add tamari and balsamic vinegar along the way. Prepare pasta according to directions. Pour kasha into skillet and stir with veggies. Add pasta and mix in. Serve while hot.

Chopped LIVEr  This recipe I got from an amazing chef from Temple Israel here in Miami, Chef Jimmy this past Pesach and it’s so tasty!! It got rave reviews when I shared it! Hopefully you will have the same result! 🙂

  1. 1/2 lb brown lentils

  2. 1 large onion, diced

  3. Olive oil

  4. 1 cup chopped walnuts

  5. Sea salt

Put lentils in a pot, cover with water and simmer for 45 minutes keeping lentils moist but not with extra water. All water should be absorbed by 45 minutes, but if needed, add water during cooking so it doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, dice onion and sautee until golden and tender. When lentils are done, put lentils, onions and walnuts in a food processor and puree until slightly coarse. Salt to taste and chill at least 2 hours. Serve on matzah or lettuce leaves.

Noodle Kugel (serves 4-6)  “Kugel” is Yiddish for “ball”, and I have no idea why, since this is more like a casserole! This is a common holiday dish that is traditionally made with egg noodles, apples, cinnamon, raisins, and cottage cheese. We will obviously be omitting the egg noodles and the cottage cheese.

  1. 1 12-oz package wide vegan noodles (you can use bow-tie (farfalle) or broken lasagna)

  2. 1 15-oz package silken tofu

  3. 3/4 cup Sucanat

  4. 15 oz. raisins (if you like them…my mom always made it half and half to please everyone 🙂

  5. 3-4 tart apples, cut into small cubes (Granny Smith works nice)

  6. 1/4 cup applesauce

  7. Cinnamon to taste and for dusting

  8. Cardamom powder to taste

  9. Ginger powder to taste

  10. Vanilla to taste

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Blend the tofu with the vegan sugar, vanilla, and spices until smooth. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until everything is well coated with the tofu batter. Pour everything into a lasagne pan or other pan with high sides. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the top is pretty dry and nicely browned. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Figs Stuffed with Halvah, Nuts, & Honey   (serves 6)  This decadent recipe comes from The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking by Phyllis Glazer and this will be my first attempt!

  1. 12 unblemished figs

Wine Sauce

  1. 1 bottle dry red wine

  2. 4 pitted dates

  3. tsp. dried rose petals or lavender flowers (optional)

  4. 2 tbsp. honey

  5. 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds

  6. 1 cinnamon stick

  7. 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper or peppercorns


  1. 1/4 cup tahini

  2. 1-2 tbsp. honey

  3. 1/2 cup ground almonds, more if needed

  4. a few drops rose water


  1. 1/2 cup mixed, unsalted toasted whole nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts)

  2. 1/2 cup honey

Rinse figs and snip off ends. Place in medium saucepan with the wine, dates, dried roses, honey, coriander, cinnamon, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 15 minutes, or until figs are tender but not too soft. Remove figs and place on a work surface. Strain and reserve the sauce, discarding spices.

Return the sauce to the pot and cook on medium-low heat until reduced by half. In the meantime, use the forefinger to open the stem of each fig, pressing the middle equally around the sides to create a rimmed “basket” shape.

To make the halvah, stir the tahini, honey, rose water together in a small bowl until well blended. Add in the ground almonds until the mixture is too thick to stir and knead into a soft dough, adding more ground nuts if the mixture is too sticky. Set aside.

Make the stuffing by mixing the nuts and honey.

Place a thin layer of halvah at the bottom of each fig and top with a tbsp. of the honey-nut stuffing. At this point, figs may be placed in a container, surrounded by the sauce, covered, and stored for several hours or overnight in the fridge. Bring figs to room temp before serving.

To serve, remove the figs from the sauce if storing. Heat the sauce and pour a few tablespoons of it in the bottom of each of 6 heated plates. Place 2 figs on each plate and pour a little of the hot sauce over each.

L’ Shana Tova!

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