Pascale's Kitchen: Quick vegetarian & vegan dishes

I decided to proclaim that this Shabbat will be a celebration of healthy vegetarian food that’s easy to prepare.

Healthy vegetarian food can be easy to prepare (photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
Healthy vegetarian food can be easy to prepare
(photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
In these troubling times, most of us are home day and night, and even I feel like I need a break from the kitchen. But there are kids and other family members to feed, and there’s no time like the present to prepare our loved ones’ favorite dishes.
And all of us are unfortunately eating a bit too much junk food lately since we’re home all day, so I decided to proclaim that this Shabbat will be a celebration of healthy vegetarian food that’s easy to prepare.
Learn more about Pascale's Kitchen here>>
Below, you will find a recipe for quinoa-stuffed peppers, which might sound like a complicated endeavor, but I assure you it’s not at all. The recipe below is easy and straightforward. If you prefer, you can use rice with pine nuts or buckwheat instead of quinoa, and mix in onions, herbs or any type of seeds you wish. Another option is to use light-green squash or turnips instead of red peppers. The vegetables and grains cook long and slowly in an aromatic tomato sauce.
Next, I’ve included a recipe for crispy and spicy roast potatoes, which can be served in fun cone-shaped paper holders. The third recipe is for mushrooms cooked with thyme, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which combine perfectly to make this dish delicious.
Last, but not least, I am offering one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes, which comes out super moist every time, as long as you don’t overbake it. There’s no time like the present to enjoy good food with your family.
Quinoa-stuffed peppers
Makes 4-6 servings.
4 red peppers
1 cup of quinoa (or bulgur that was soaked in water for 30 minutes)
1 ¼ cups water
6 Tbsp. basil, mint and parsley, chopped finely
1 scallion, chopped finely
¾ cup pine nuts, roasted
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sauce:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 red onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. cumin
1 can (800 g) crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup water
½ Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Serving suggestion:
2 dried dates or apricots, chopped
2 Tbsp. light raisins
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
1 entire sprig of mint
Cut off the top of the peppers and cut out the seeds and pith. Rinse and dry them. Rinse the quinoa. (If you’re using regular or red bulgur instead, soak it in water for 30 minutes beforehand.) Add the quinoa to the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over a low flame for 10 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. Let it cool.
Transfer quinoa to a bowl and add the basil, mint, parsley, scallion, pine nuts and spices. Mix and taste. Adjust seasoning.
Spoon the quinoa mixture into the peppers and press down, but leave some space on the top and on the sides.
To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions. Add the garlic and sauté for a few more seconds.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over a low flame for 10 minutes.
Pour 1/3 of the sauce into a large pot. Arrange the stuffed peppers on top of the sauce so that they prop each other up. Pour another 1/3 of the sauce all around. Bring to a boil and then lower the flame and cook for another 35 minutes.
Add the rest of the sauce and garnish with dried fruits and the sprig of mint. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 90 minutes.
Status: Vegetarian.
Quinoa-stuff peppers (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)Quinoa-stuff peppers (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)
Mushrooms with thyme and balsamic vinegar
Makes 6-8 servings.
2-3 baskets of mushrooms.
Salt and pepper, to taste
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
2-3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
Rinse and dry the mushrooms. Arrange them on an oven tray and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, teriyaki sauce and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180º for 20-25 minutes until they’ve softened.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Time: 40 minutes.
Status: Vegan.
Mushrooms with thyme and balsamic vinegar (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)Mushrooms with thyme and balsamic vinegar (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)
Spicy potatoes
Makes 4 servings.
3-4 potatoes, with the peel intact, rinsed
1 Tbsp. harissa
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. coriander
½ tsp. lemon zest
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup olive oil
Rinse the potatoes, but don’t peel them. Add the potatoes and water to a pot and cook over a medium flame for 10 minutes and then rinse immediately with cold water. Cut the potatoes into quarters or eighths. Place them in a large bowl with all the ingredients and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Transfer the potatoes to a pan and cook in a 200º oven for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180º and cook for another 15 minutes until they’re nicely browned.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Time: 60 minutes.
Status: Vegan.
Spicy potatoes (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)Spicy potatoes (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)
Chocolate cake for Shabbat
Use a 22cm or 24cm diameter or brioche greased pan.
150 gr. melted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 container (250 ml.) sweet whipping cream
1 container sour cream
1 Tbsp. brandy or chocolate liqueur
1 tsp. rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder or Shokolit powder, sifted
Icing:
1 container (250 ml.) sweet whipping cream
200 gr. bittersweet chocolate, broken into squares
Decoration:
½ cup almond slivers
Add the melted butter, sugar, eggs, sweet cream, sour cream, brandy, rum and vanilla to a bowl and mix well by hand. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. Fold in until mixed.
Pour into a pan and flatten. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 170º for 40 minutes or until the cake is firm and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out with crumbs stuck to it.
To prepare the icing, pour the cream into a small pot and bring to a boil over a low flame. Add the chocolate squares to a separate bowl and then pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate. Mix until smooth. Pour the icing over the cake and the sides. Add the almond slivers.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 90 minutes.
Status: Dairy.
Chocoalte cake (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)Chocoalte cake (Photo Credit: Pascale Perez-Rubin/Anatoly Michaelo)
Translated by Hannah Hochner