The Latest from BZBI

A Vegan Meal Courtesy of Last Year’s Quizzo “Friend”-raiser

February 20, 2019

Debbie Zelnick and David Miller bid on a silent auction item at last year’s Quizzo night.  They were determined to win “Rebbitzin will cook a vegan/vegetarian dinner in your home.” It took a while to coordinate calendars but it finally happened on Sunday evening, January 27th. The totally vegan menu started with Rabbi Abe’s Miso Soup (delicious!) followed by beet and orange salad;  wild rice with kale, raisins, and chickpeas; roasted kobacha squash and sweet potatoes with tahini (also really good). For dessert, Rebecca baked a chocolate cake, which was served with a berry salad. Hard to believe it was totally vegan!

The food was amazing, and we’re including Rebecca’s recipes if you are interested in trying to make them. The quizzo night and Rebecca’s silent auction contribution provided a wonderful opportunity to support both the synagogue, and our sense of community.

Rebecca’s Vegan Dinner

Abe’s Miso Soup


1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, nameko, oyster) -OR- 2oz assorted dried mushrooms* – sliced
4-6 cloves garlic – minced
1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger – peeled and cut into thin strips
4 quarts water
1/3 cup tamari sauce
2/3-3/4 cup white miso (can replace up to 1/3 cup with red miso for richer flavor)

*To prepare dried mushrooms: soak mushrooms in room-temperature water for 30 minutes. Use 2 cups of water per ounce of mushrooms. After soaking, remove mushrooms from water. DO NOT DISCARD WATER. Rinse mushrooms thoroughly and slice if necessary. Set mushrooms aside. Strain mushroom water through paper towels into a new bowl. Set aside.

Optional ingredients:

Scallions – thinly sliced
Baby Bok Choi – white and green parts, thinly sliced
Super firm sprouted tofu – cut into 1cm cubes
Noodles (ramen, udon, soba)
Nori flakes or other dried seaweed


Put 1 tablespoon of each oil in a large soup pot.

Add mushrooms and sauté over a high flame until soft and slightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Add additional oil if necessary.

Add ginger, garlic, and scallions (if using) and sauté another 2 minutes.

Add tamari sauce and stir vigorously until tamari reduces to a glaze. (It helps to measure tamari in advance so that you can pour it all in at once.)

As soon as mushrooms are glazed, immediately add water. If you used dried mushrooms, add the mushroom water and reduce other water accordingly.

Bring to a boil and stir in miso until miso is fully dissolved. Simmer at least 30 minutes (the longer the better).

To serve:

If desired, put noodles, bok choi, tofu, and/or seaweed in a deep bowl. Pour hot soup over other items.

Roasted Kobacha Squash and Sweet Potatoes with Tahini

1 or 2 kobacha squash

4 small sweet potatoes

Roast squash and sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper

Drizzle high quality tahini (I like Soom) and date or maple syrup over roasted veggies

Sprinkle Sumac and Za’tar all over

Finish with chopped parsley

Beet and Orange Salad

4 small beets

4 juicy oranges. 2 peeled and sliced in rings.

Wrap each raw beet with skin intact in foil. Place beet on roasting sheet in case they leak. Place in oven @ 375-400 for about 45 minutes or until you can easily insert tooth pick.

Once beets cool open foil packs and peel beets. The skin will come off very easily.

Arrange beet and orange slices on platter. Generously squeeze two or three oranges over beets, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with Salt and pepper. Finish with chopped fresh mint.

Wild Rice with Kale, Craisins, and Chickpeas


1 cup Wild Rice cooked with bay leaf
1 bunch lacinto kale, stemmed and chopped
2 red onions, chopped
1 or 2 handfuls of craisins
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh parsley


Cook wild rice according to package instructions using 1/2 water, 1/2 vegetable broth with 1 bay leaf.

Saute red onion with salt to taste, until translucent. Add chopped kale and fresh herbs.

Mix cooked rice with sauted veggies, 1 can chickpeas or soaked and cooked dried chickpeas, and craisins.

Mix in lots of fresh parsley, fresh ground black pepper, more salt (if desired)

Vegan Chocolate Cake – from Veganomicon cookbook


1 3/4 cups freshly brewed coffee
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. canola oil
1/3 C. applesauce
1/4 C. cornstarch
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 C. white or whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 325. Grease bunt pan.

Bring coffee to a simmer in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once it simmers turn down heat and stir in coca powder until it dissolves. Put aside and let come to room temperature.

In mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, applesauce, and cornstarch. Mix in extracts. Once chocolate has cooled, fold in applesauce.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold into wet ingredients, beating until relatively smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Invert onto plate.

Serve with fresh berries.