Vegan Shavuot: It’s not an oxymoron!
While Shavuot is closely associated with all things dairy – especially cheese – it's actually an agricultural holiday of crops. That doesn't take away from the pleasure that comes with indulging in white stuff. From blondies and Malabi to sambusak and burekas, we've curated some of the most delicious recipes to celebrate the holiday. And guess what? We might be in the Land of Milk and Honey, but all of the below recipes are vegan. Vegan Sambusakby David Ovadia, founder of HaOrgani5 servings"Shavuot is a perfect opportunity to enjoy this pastry. We especially love making it with the super-fleshy New Zealand spinach and fresh organic onions we stock at HaOrgani." •1 organic onion•2 cups spelt flour•Two garlic cloves•1½ cup New Zealand spinach Wash and dry spinach. Separate leaves from stems and cut into small squares. Finely chop onion and garlic. Fry the onions until golden, add the chopped garlic and spinach leaves and then add salt and pepper to taste. Fry everything together until liquids have evaporated and remove from burner. In a bowl, mix the flour and add water until the result is comfortable to work with. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough and divide into pieces to form your sambusak. Place filling in the center of each piece and fold in half over the filling. Seal the edges by pinching gently with your fingers to create a half-moon shape. Fry till golden. Vegan Burekasby vegan chef Noam Carmon2 servingsThese burekas are the perfect Shavuot snack, especially when served with pickles, olives, harissa and/or crushed fresh tomatoes. Vegan puff pastry300 gr. vegan feta cheese2 spring onions, finely chopped10 chives, finely choppedJuice from a whole lemon1/2 tsp. salt2 Tbsp. plant-based milk1 tsp. sesame seeds1 tsp. poppy seeds In bowl mix feta cheese, spring onions, chives, salt and lemon juice with a fork to a creamy texture. Spread flour on work surface and roll out puff pastry. Divide into 8 pieces. Put a spoon of cheese filling on the left end of each piece and start rolling the pastry over the filling to the right side. Place pastries on tray with baking sheet and brush each pastry with plant-based milk. Sprinkle seeds and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven on 200°. Vegan Burekas (Photo Credit: Noam Carmon) Chickpea Blondiesby Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, founders of The Nutrition Twins16 servings "Chickpeas are packed with protein, fiber, iron, potassium and antioxidants. Besides being nutritious they're also inexpensive and versatile, making them a great holiday option." 425-gr. can chickpeas1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter1/3 cup honey2 tsp. vanilla1/2 tsp. salt1/4 tsp. baking powder1/4 tsp. baking soda1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp. reserved for topTbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling Preheat oven to 200°. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor with all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes. Blend until completely mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly on a baking pan and top with reserved chocolate chips. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. Chickpea Blondies (Photo Credit: The Nutrition Twins) Almond Ricotta Ravioliby Nadia Ellis, vegan Italian chef2 servings"I love this recipe because it always makes non-vegans believe that vegan cheese can be amazing!" 220 gr. white flourOlive oil150 gr. ground almonds60 gr. lemon juiceSaltWater Put the flour in a large bowl and add 100 gr. water and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Start mixing with a fork and when the dough begins to form, continue kneading with your hands until the dough is firm and smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put in fridge for 20 minutes. For the ricotta, blend almonds, lemon juice, 100 gr. water, 35 gr. olive oil, and 7 gr. salt for about a minute. Put it in the freezer to rest for about 10 minutes. Take the dough out of the fridge and start rolling it out. Now divide the dough in two part: one will be the bottom of the ravioli and the other the top. Take the ricotta out of the freezer. It should now be firm enough for you to take one spoonful at a time and place it on the dough that you are using as the base. Cover the base and the fillings with the other half of the dough. Cut the ravioli. Bring water to boil, add 1.5 Tbsp. kosher salt to cook your ravioli and enjoy with your favorite sauce. Almod Ricotta Ravioli (Photo Credit: Nadia Ellis) Cheat Sheet: Vegan CheeseEven if cheese isn't part of Shavuot in a biblical sense, it's inextricably linked to the holiday. Whether it's for health, ethical or beauty reasons (dairy is linked to acne), opting for vegan cheese has never been easier. Vegan Supplies and Vtopia Market are two e-commerce sites that offer a variety or you can purchase directly from local purveyors. Standouts include The Nuts Chef, where you'll find doppelgangers for everything from Camembert to mozzarella, as well as Micol, known for its cashew-based Parmesan and hard Gouda. Those looking for low-fat vegan options – not easy given that most vegan cheese is nut-based – can checkout Mashu Mashu. Specifically for Shavuot vegan go-to Otentivee is shipping, nationwide, gift-able packages loaded with a long list of vegan cheese delights like cashew cheese, macaroni quiche and cheesecake (NIS 370; kosher). Coconut Cream Malabiby Inbal Baum, founder of Delicious Israel4 servings"This fragrant, creamy Malabi is easy to make and the blancmange-style base takes on whatever flavors and syrups you use to decorate, so go wild with fruit or add texture with crunchy nuts." 2 cups coconut milk1/2 cup sugar2 ½ Tbsp. cornstarch3 Tbsp. water1 Tbsp. rose water1/4 tsp. ground cardamomToppings: crushed nuts, desiccated coconut and pomegranate molasses (thinned with water) In a small saucepan combine the coconut milk, cardamom and sugar. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and water until well combined. While continuously stirring, add the cornstarch slowly to the saucepan. Over medium heat continue stirring until the pudding thickens. Mix in rose water and pour into 4 small bowls. Allow to cool before refrigerating. When ready to serve, add toppings. Chocolate Puddingby Jill Donenfeld, cofounder of The Culinistas4-6 servings"Avocados bring a creamy, rich texture to vegan recipes making it perfect for pudding." 1 cup pecan halves, roasted1 cup agave nectar, divided1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided2 ripe avocados, peeled, pits removed1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon Preheat the oven to 200°. In a bowl, mix pecans, 1/4 cup agave, cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. While still hot, transfer the pecans into a mixing bowl and toss with 1⁄2 cup cocoa. Set aside and let cool completely. In a blender add avocado, remaining cocoa powder, agave and olive oil. Blend to a pudding-thick consistency. Adjust consistency with a few tablespoons of cold water if the pudding is too thick. Chocolagte avocado pudding (Photo Credit: Sylvie Rosokoff) Vegan Pancakesby Barak Hay Horesh, chef at Meshek Zuriel4-5 servingsThese pancakes are great for Shavuot morning with coffee, maple syrup and fresh fruit. 1 cup soy milk1/4 cup coconut oil1/4 cup apple puree2-3 Tbsp. sugar1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)2 cups flour2 tsp. baking powderPinch of saltMix soy milk, apple puree, oil, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Heat a nonstick pan and fry pancakes on each side until golden brown. Vegan pancakes (Photo Credit: Boaz Lavi) var cont = ` Help Provide Emergency ReliefProvide elderly widows and Holocaust survivors with food during the coronavirus pandemic