Sunday, September 13, 2009



Holiday time is filled with tradition and family gatherings, coupled with the desire to share those treasured memories with your children. A big part of the Jewish holidays are the seudahs, the festive meals that are served twice for each day of Yom Tov. There are time honored dishes in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions that have been passed down for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Some foods are symbolic, such as apples and honey, or carrot tzimmes, whose golden color and coin shape represent prosperity in the new year. Then there are those foods our grandmothers and mothers made and are just traditional and comforting. When we cannot prepare those foods for our children because of allergies or disease, there is a small sense of loss. It is not simply a matter of swapping roasted potatoes for noodle kugel, but rather a break in the chain---a disconnection from our tradition.

I haven't made kugels much in the past few years due to Rosie's egg allergy. I have made attempts, but found that the potato kugels didn't amount to much more than mashed potatoes baked in a 9x13 inch pan! That is why I was thrilled to find a recipe for vegan noodle kugel in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Vegan Table. Swapping out gluten free noodles for the "eggless" egg noodles in the recipe presents a taste of tradition that everyone can enjoy.

For more eggless, dairy free traditional dishes check out Vegan Began by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Bernard.

Although kugels are often a "do ahead and freeze" type of dish, this recipe is best made the day of, or the day before you are planning on serving it due to the nature of gluten free noodles. I like to add sliced apples to my noodle kugel, and find it especially festive this time of year.

Noodle Kugel
adapted from The Vegan Table, p. 175

8 ounces gluten free egg noodles (or linguine broken in 3rds)
1/2 cup pareve margarine (such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks), melted
3/4 cup nondairy sour cream (i.e., Tofutti brand)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
12 ounces firm tofu, crumbled
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I found this amount of sugar too sweet...reduce by 1/2 if you prefer)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium apple, thinly sliced (optional)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (more to taste)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 or 9x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (the smaller the pan, the higher your kugel will be).

Prepare noodles according to package directions, until al dente (a bit firm). Drain and rinse.

In a large mixing bowl, combine melted margarine, sour cream, applesauce, crumbled tofu, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in cooked noodles, apples, raisins and vanilla.

Spread noodle mixture evenly in prepared pan. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm.

Yield: 12 servings

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