Sweet Potatoes
(iStock)

Try some of these vegetarian and vegan dishes for your special break-the-fast meal.

This year’s early High Holidays mean I’ll be eating (and serving) cider mill donuts and drinking fresh cider from any of the myriad cider mills in our area. I’ll keep those donuts in the bag and heat them in the oven for a few minutes at 200F. I may also pick up a few caramel apples to slice and serve as well. 

Annabel Cohen
Annabel Cohen

This is also technically “harvest time,” so I’m thinking of new vegetarian and vegan dishes. Try some of these for your special break-the-fast meal. 

Wild Rice and Orzo Salad with Basil 

This is more of a side dish than a salad, so serve it with dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1½ Tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon (or more to taste) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • ½ pound (1 cup) long grain wild rice
  • ½ pound (1 cup) dried orzo pasta
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (arils) optional
  • ¼ cup thin sliced fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey, melted (I do this in the microwave)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Directions

Cook the wild rice and the orzo according to package instructions to al dente (don’t make them mushy). Transfer both to large bowls and set aside.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the rice and orzo. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the dressing.

Allow to cool to room temperature before adding remaining ingredients. 

Toss well and serve at room temperature, or cover and chill until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Leeks

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes, skin-on and diced into equal, bite-size chunks (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup leek “rings” (white parts only)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt (you can add more later)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper (you can add more later)
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions, garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 4250. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment.

Toss all ingredients (except scallions) in a medium bowl.

 Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet in as much of a single layer as possible and bake for 30-minutes, or until the edges are golden and the potatoes are just tender. Remove from the oven (the potatoes will continue to cook as they cool). Adjust seasonings, garnish and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Ricotta and Apple Kugel

Ingredients

  • ½ ounces wide egg noodles
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 5 Tbsp. melted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into very thin wedges
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray and 9×13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish well with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 

Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl Add melted butter and toss well to coat the noodles. Add remaining ingredients and use a rubber spatula to mix well. 

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, and bake for 1 hour, uncovered (if the kugel begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil and continue cooking until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12-15 servings.

Cupcakes with coconut and honey
iStock

Spinach and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 3 cups 1-inch cubes, peeled butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (or about 8 handfuls)
  • 1 cup thin sliced bok choy (white and green parts)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup very thin sliced bermuda or red onion, optional
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 4250. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment.

Toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Cook for 15-minutes. Remove from oven to cool. (The potatoes will continue to cook as they cool.)

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well.

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the squash and dressing and toss well. Serve immediately. Alternately, you can arrange the salad on 8 individual plates and drizzle the dressing over before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Olive Oil Honey Cake Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. grated orange or lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 Tbsp. rum
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup honey, melted
  • 1 cup strong prepared coffee, cold

Directions

Preheat oven to 3250. Grease or spray a 12-well muffin tin (regular size) well with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper cupcake liners. Set aside. 

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, ginger and salt in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside. 

In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs until thick and pale. Add the oil, rum, sugar and honey and beat well. Add flour mixture and beat well. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin tin and bake for 40- minutes or until set and golden (and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean). Cool for 15-minutes. Makes 12 or more servings. 

Vegan Chocolate Cookie Brittle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted Butter or (for vegan) kosher-parve/vegan margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 10 -12 ounces good quality vegan semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 3500.  Line a rimmed baking sheet (18”x13”) with parchment paper.     

Using an electric stand or hand mixer, cream the margarine with the sugar. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Slowly add the flour and mix until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Press the dough into a thin, even layer in the prepared pan.  I like to cover the dough with a sheet of parchment or wax paper and use a small rolling pin or heavy can to quickly and evenly spread the dough.  (Dough can only be pressed as thin as the thickness of the chips).

Bake about 25 minutes or until golden.

Either cut into uniform pieces while still warm (I like to use a pizza cutter), or cool completely and break into pieces with your hand to create uneven shards of cookie brittle. Store by itself (don’t put with other cookies), in an air-tight container for up to two weeks. Makes 12 or more servings.

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