Join the trend

Try your hand at some tasty vegan cooking.

By NERIA BARR
February 23, 2016 16:51
Vegan paella

Vegan paella. (photo credit: SARIT GOFFEN)

Vegan recipes don’t have to be difficult to make or boring to eat. Adding a few of them to your everyday dishes will make your family dinners a little more healthful, and you’ll know what to do next time one of your dinner guests turns out to be vegan.

Apparently, veganism is becoming more and more popular in Israel. To answer the growing demand, chef Yaniv Partosh opened The Vegan Experience, a first-of-its-kind center that offers workshops and lectures about veganism. More than 40 chefs and experts give the lectures and workshops at the center, located in a beautiful old house in Jaffa, and anyone interested is invited to attend.

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Partosh offered us a few seasonal recipes that you can introduce to your family, even if you’re not vegan. Chances are your family will love them.

VEGAN PAELLA

Makes 5 servings

✔ 2 cups red rice
✔ 3 cups frozen green beans, cooked briefly and drained
✔ 300 gr. tofu
✔ Handful wakama seaweed
✔ 1 red onion, sliced (cut in half, then slice thinly)
✔ Small basket of champignon mushrooms, chopped
✔ Soy sauce
✔ Olive oil
✔ Salt
✔ Pepper
✔ Ground nutmeg

To prepare the rice: In a medium-size pot, cook 2 cups of red rice with 3 cups water, 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat to minimum and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the rice is done. Let cool.

To prepare the tofu
: Cut the tofu into cubes and soak in a marinade made from soy sauce and a handful of wakama seaweed.

To prepare the vegetables: In a large skillet or wok, sauté the red onion strips with 1 Tbsp. olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté together for 5 more minutes. Drain the marinated tofu cubes, save the marinade and add to the skillet.
Mix and add the green beans. Stir-fry everything together. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

To arrange the dish: Preheat oven to 180°. Place the red rice in a large oven-proof dish. Add the vegetables and tofu, mix and drizzle the tofu marinade on top. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

BEAN, PEPPER AND CHARD SOUP
Makes 10 servings

✔ 750 gr. mixed colors dry beans (red, black and white), soaked overnight
✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ 1 bunch chard, chopped
✔ 4 cloves garlic, minced
✔ 3 Tbsp. sugar-free tomato paste
✔ 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
✔ 2 each of red and yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
✔ 1 bunch cilantro
✔ 1 Tbsp. ground coriander seeds
✔ 1 Tbsp. cumin
✔ 2 Tbsp. sweet or hot paprika
✔ Salt
✔ Black pepper
✔ Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, chard and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and the tomato paste.

Add seasoning and beans and enough water to cover them. Stir, cover and cook until beans are done. Check from time to time to see if you need to add a little water.

When the beans are cooked, taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

GREEN VEGETABLE AND SPROUTED LENTIL STEW

Makes for 4 servings

✔ 3 ribs celery, chopped
✔ ½ celeriac root, peeled and cubed
✔ 1 onion, chopped
✔ 2 fennel bulbs, washed and thinly sliced
✔ 6 artichoke hearts, sliced
✔ 2 cups peas (frozen, thawed, rinsed and drained)
✔ 1 cup green lentils, sprouted or precooked
✔ Olive oil
✔ Seasoning: coriander, cumin, turmeric and salt
✔ Juice of 2 lemons
✔ ½ bunch cilantro, chopped

In a wide skillet, sauté the onions in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until transparent.

Add celeriac cubes and chopped celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the fennel, peas and artichoke hearts. Toss and add ¼ cup water and seasoning: ½ tsp. turmeric, ½ tsp. cumin, a pinch of coriander seeds and 1 Tbsp. salt. Cook for 15 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and the lentils have soaked up the flavors. Add lemon juice and cilantro.

Note: If you don’t like cilantro, replace it with chopped parsley. This recipe is also very good without the artichoke hearts.

RED BEAN AND HERB STEW/SALAD
Makes 4 servings

Serve this dish as a warm stew with rice or cold as a salad.

✔ 2 cups red beans, soaked overnight
✔ 1 Tbsp. each sweet paprika and cumin
✔ Olive oil
✔ 2 red bell peppers
✔ 4 cloves garlic, sliced
✔ Juice of 2 lemons
✔ ½ a bunch each: dill, mint, cilantro, parsley
✔ 1 tsp. salt

Place the soaked red beans in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Season with cumin and paprika and cook until beans are soft. Drain and let cool.

Chop the red peppers into small cubes. Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sauté the peppers and the garlic slices for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the cooked beans and salt. Taste and add more cumin and paprika if needed. Add the lemon juice, stir and serve.

SWEET POTATO, CHICKPEA AND WALNUT STEW
Makes 4 servings

✔ 2 large sweet potatoes
✔ 2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight (or use frozen – defrosted and rinsed)
✔ 1 red onion, sliced into thin strips
✔ 3 Tbsp. silan
✔ Black pepper
✔ 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
✔ ½ cup walnuts, shelled
✔ ½ cup green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 180°.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 3-cm. cubes. Mix silan, soy sauce and a little black pepper in a small bowl and pour over the sweet potatoes.

With your hands, toss to coat all the sweet potatoes with the dressing.

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, cook the soaked chickpeas until soft. If using frozen chickpeas, place in boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Turn the oven to high.

In a large bowl, mix together cooked chickpeas and sweet potatoes, onion slices and walnuts.

Season the mixture with 1 Tbsp. of silan and black pepper.

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Garnish with green onions. 

Recipes and photos courtesy of The Vegan Experience, 78 Ben-Zvi Road, Tel Aviv. Owner Yaniv Partosh; culinary director Hila Vidavsky


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