Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of the biggest celebrations of the year for Jewish communities and is regarded as one of the holiest days in the faith. Not only is it the Jewish New Year, but it also marks the beginning of ten days of repentance for the sins we committed the past year and our vow to do better in the coming year.
Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to think about and make connections between what we hope for and what we eat. As we pray for a healthy year, we can make sure that we eat healthy foods. As we celebrate the creation of the world, we can do our best to help save the planet. As we repent for our sins and offer charity, we can make sure we are kind to all beings and help in any way we can.
On Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat foods that symbolize the good things we hope and pray for in the coming year. Certain foods are symbols and reminders of our hopes for a sweet and happy new year. To learn about the traditional foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah, see How to Have a Happy and Healthy Jewish New Year and see last year’s recipes in Happy Rosh Hashanah! Celebrate the New Year With These 18 Meatless and Dairy-Free Recipes. In celebration of the New Year, here are 15 vegan recipes to help you celebrate this joyous holiday.
1. Matzo Ball Vegetable Soup
Not all traditional and customary holiday dishes are symbolic; some are just delicious. Serve up a bowl of tradition with a vegan twist with this Matzo Ball Soup. There’s also a gluten-free option for the matzo balls, so everybody wins!
2. Potato Kugel Cups
A traditional kugel is a casserole made from egg noodles or casserole. These lightened-up, oil-free mini Kugel Cups are made by spiralizing potatoes and combining it with onion, garlic, paprika, and cornstarch to hold it all together. They’re easy to whip up, savory, and satisfying.
3. Cinnamon Apple Chunk Cake
On Rosh Hashanah, we eat apples and sweet foods in hopes for a sweet New Year. This Cinnamon Apple Chunk Cake is a delicious way to keep with tradition. It’s fragrant and spicy from cinnamon, sweet from coconut sugar, and studded with crunchy walnuts and chunks of apples. Yum!
4. Vegan Pineapple Honey
On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, we dip challah and apples into “honey” asking for a sweet year. Though Biblical texts mention honey, historians believe that it was really a fruit paste that was eaten as actual honey was hard to come by. That’s good since we don’t want to start the New Year by hurting bees. Instead, make this Vegan Pineapple Honey. Just two simple ingredients can combine into a sweet and gooey, thick syrup is a tasty vegan honey alternative that kids and adults all love.
5. Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Skhug
Pomegranates are rich in symbolism. It is said the fruit contains 613 seeds just as there are 613 mitzvot or commandments; we wish that our good deeds in the coming year will be as plentiful as the seeds of the pomegranate. The pomegranate is a symbol of fertility and the unlimited possibilities for the New Year. Pomegranates are the garnish on this Roasted Cauliflower is perfectly crisp and roasted on the outside and drizzled with creamy tahini and skhug, a spicy green Yemeni hot sauce.
6. Cauliflower Pot Roast
Pot roast is a traditional dish served on Jewish holidays and this Cauliflower Pot Roast will have everyone celebrating. Roasted cauliflower is one of the most delicious foods on the planet, and the presentation in this recipe makes it fancy enough to serve at any occasion. The accompanying gravy is packed with lentils, cashews, and nutritional yeast — and plenty of flavor.
7. Deep Dish Apple Torte With Walnut Crumble
Eating apples raw is delicious so you can only imagine how amazing this Deep Dish Apple Torte With Walnut Crumble tastes! Made with sliced gala apples, sticky dates, oats, shredded coconut, and plenty of cinnamon, this little pie will fill your house with the scents of fall and fill your tummy with happiness. Serve with some coconut whipped cream on the side for added decadence.
8. Vegan Challah
Besides dipping apples in something sweet, the next most well-known symbolic food of Rosh Hashanah is round challah. The bread, which is usually baked in a braided shape, is made in a round shape to represent the unending cycle of life and the prayer that another full year will be granted. Make this Vegan Challah or this Vegan and Gluten-Free Challah.
9. Vegetable Rose Tart With Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Filling
Beets, leeks, and dates are believed to remove spiritual roadblocks, including enemies before a sweet New Year is granted. Gourds are another symbolic food eaten to make our merits many. This Vegetable Rose Tart is so pretty and tasty! The oat and sunflower seed crust is deliciously crunchy, the cheesy sun-dried tomato filling is savory and creamy, and together with the fresh vegetable ribbons on top, it makes the perfect dish!
10. Warm Lentils With Beets and Hazelnuts
This nourishing Warm Lentil Salad combines the flavors and textures of hazelnuts, beets, tart pomegranate, and fresh mint in a meal that won’t leave you wanting. The ginger and apple cider vinegar dressing complements the earthy and savory flavors.
11. Baked ‘Fish’ Cakes With Lemon Herb Mayo
Some people believe that it is good to eat fish on the New Year because they are symbolic of fertility and abundance. Because fish never sleep, it is also thought that eating fish will keep up cognizant and aware. We can follow this tradition in a compassionate way by enjoying vegan seafood at dinner. These Baked ‘Fish’ Cakes With Lemon Herb Mayo are made with chickpeas and are simply delicious.
12. Saffron Barley With Black-Eyed Peas
Just like the Southern tradition, black-eyed peas are thought to bring good fortune in the Jewish New Year. Hearty and lush, this Saffron Barley With Black-Eyed Peas is a colorful and nutty entrée, flavored with delicate notes of saffron. Make sure to garnish with plenty of ground black pepper!
13. Israeli Couscous Risotto
Couscous is believed to bring many blessings as represented by the many tiny grains. This delicious Israeli Couscous Risotto is made with asparagus three ways — roasted, sautéed, and puréed. Creamy and bursting with spring flavor, this hearty dish really celebrates asparagus. Risotto is creamy and luxurious on its own, but adding the asparagus purée makes it even more luxurious.
14. Crispy Breaded Chickpea Cutlets in a Savory Mushroom Gravy
When you want a comforting entrée that is a familiar favorite, this Crispy Breaded Chickpea Cutlet in Savory Mushroom Gravy is the one to make. Plus the “breading” is gluten-free! Chickpeas have the perfect flavor and texture for this meal that’ll win over anybody. Serve this alongside some fresh greens or any vegetable of your choosing.
15. Spelt Chocolate and Cinnamon Babkas
These Spelt Chocolate and Cinnamon Babkas save you from having to only pick one – you can have both a subtly sweet cinnamon babka and a deeply rich dark chocolate babka. Spelt flour gives it a decidedly wholesome flavor. Brushing the finished loaves with maple syrup instead of simple syrup saves a bit of time, adds extra flavor, and accomplishes the same beautiful shine.
There is no better way to celebrate the New Year than with food that is healthy, compassionate, and incredibly delicious. It is not only possible but easy to keep traditions alive while updating them just a bit to fit with our newer beliefs. At One Green Planet, we wish you a very Happy New Year. “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim: May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
Lead image source: Cauliflower Pot Roast