One of the things we love about Thanksgiving is that it is truly a holiday for everyone. People from all backgrounds enjoy the day and even get to bring their unique flavors and traditions to the celebration.
These days it seems everyone has a vegan or vegetarian guest at their table. So how about offering them some creative vegan dishes that even meat eaters will enjoy? We have come up with three vegan (which means they are also non-dairy) Jewish inspired Thanksgiving dishes that we hope you’ll enjoy. And since we grew up in Spain in a Sephardic household, our Jewish flavors are anything but average.
Our pumpkin kibbeh (see recipe below) has a luscious mushroom and lentil filling, which is a vegan twist on the traditional Middle Eastern meat filled bulgur wheat pie. Add pumpkin to the dough to make this kibbeh super moist, flavorful and totally Thanksgiving-worthy. Or try our tahini mashed potatoes and dukkah-spiced green beans. After all, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all about the turkey.
Tahini Mashed Potatoes
Forget the cream or non-dairy substitute to make creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes. Tahini will achieve the same smooth texture while adding a unique, nutty flavor. Unusual and absolutely delicious!
2 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered ( about 9-10 medium potatoes)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
3/4 cup ice water
1/2 – 1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped, fresh parsley (optional) or 2-3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover them about 1 1/2 inches
Bring water to a boil and add 1 tsp salt. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for about 30 minutes, until potatoes are soft (we recommend checking after 20 minutes).
In the meantime, prepare the tahini sauce. Place tahini in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 tsp salt and ice water, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking very well after each addition (the tahini will thicken after the first addition, but it will loosen up when you add more water).
When the potatoes are soft and still warm, mash them slightly. Add tahini, 1/2 tsp salt (optional, to taste) and whisk until creamy.
Whisk in parsley and/or sesame seeds.
Green Beans with Tomatoes and Dukkah
There isn’t Thanksgiving without green beans. Just forget about the mushy casserole and try this instead! Roasting the green beans gives them a nice chewiness that pairs well with the juicy roasted tomatoes. As a finishing touch we added the Egyptian, nut seed and spice mixture dukkah. Click here for our homemade dukkah recipe though you can also buy dukkah in specialty spice shops or online.
1 24 oz bag frozen french green beans (you can also use fresh)
30 grape tomatoes, cut in half length wise
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, divided
2-3 Tbsp dukkah (or to taste)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper
Place green beans on one baking sheet. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and mix until well coated.
Place cut tomatoes on the other baking sheet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Mix until well coated.
Place both trays in the oven (green beans on the top rack and tomatoes underneath).
Bake at 375F, tomatoes for 30 minutes and green beans for 40 minutes
Combine both in a large serving platter and sprinkle dukkah right before serving.
For the kibbeh dough:
1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baharat (you can replace baharat for allspice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup all purpose flour
For the filling:
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 24 oz pack baby bella mushrooms, chopped very fine (we recommend using a food processor)
1 medium onion, chopped very fine (we recommend using a food processor)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baharat (you can replace baharat for allspice)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup black beluga lentils, thoroughly rinsed (you can also use brown or french lentils)
For assembling the kibbeh:
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
Pine nuts for garnish
To make the kibbeh dough: In a large bowl, combine bulgur wheat and boiling water. Cover it with a plate and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Add salt, baharat, cinnamon and pumpkin and mix well.
Add flour and mix well to form a dough (the dough will be wet).
To make the filling: In a small bowl, whisk olive oil and tomato paste until well incorporated. Transfer to a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until it becomes dark red, stirring often (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn).
Add onions and mushrooms to the skillet and mix until well coated. Add salt, baharat and cinnamon.
Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are fairly dry.
In the meantime, cook lentils in a small pot with 4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to boil and cook over medium for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, but have a slight bite to them (Please note that the cooking time for the lentils will depend on the type of lentils used. We recommend checking after 20 minutes).
Combine lentils and mushroom mixture in a bowl. Mix well and set aside to cool
To assemble the kibbeh: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp vegetable oil at the bottom of a 11x7x3 rectangular baking dish and spread evenly using your fingers.
Press a little less that half the kibbeh dough on the bottom of the baking dish. Prick the kibbeh all over with a fork, Spread the filling evenly on top.
Divide the remaining dough into 10-12 balls. Gently flatten each one with your hands and place them on top of the filling, until it’s completely covered.
Score the top dough to make a diamond pattern and garnish each diamond with a pine nut. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on top and bake at 375 F for 45 minutes.
Pronounced: seh-FAR-dik, Origin: Hebrew, describing Jews descending from the Jews of Spain.