Creative Meals for the Nine Days

Creative Meals for the Nine Days

by Yehudit Garmaise

No need to worry about what’s for dinner now that the Nine Days have begun. 

While meat lovers can use premade substitutes to make vegetarian burgers, meatballs, and tacos, cooks with a bit more time can use fresh ingredients to create a variety of beautiful, tasty, and filling meals.

For instance, lentils, beans, and combinations of different vegetables such as seasoned eggplant, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and minced nuts can be chopped, sauteed, and combined to make meat-like burgers and meatballs.

Check out the following recipes for some filling dinner ideas to get you through until Shabbos.

Vegetarian Brisket

1 c. lentils

2 ½ c. vegetable stock or water

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

6 oz. tomato sauce

1 c. finely chopped pecans

1 c. oats

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c. barbeque sauce

4 T. ketchup

Need: 9 x 5 inch loaf pan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Rinse lentils, and soak them for an hour.

2. Drain and rinse lentils, and put them in a pot with the vegetable stock. 

3. Bring to boil, and then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Saute onions, carrots, and celery for approximately five minutes: so the vegetables retain their color and do not get too soft.

5. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

6. Take the lentils off the heat, add the tomato sauce, stir to combine, and use a fork to mash.

7. Add the lentils to the sauteed vegetable mix, and gently stir to combine.

8. Add the chopped pecans and oats and mix, and put the mixture into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, greased with olive oil.

9. Combine barbeque sauce and ketchup, and spread over the top of your lentil loaf. Save any extra sauce for serving.

10. Bake lentil brisket at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.

11. Let cool while serving, and make mashed potatoes by boiling peeled, chopped potatoes for 17 minutes, and then mashing with some , a half cup of the cooking water, and adding salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Poke Bowls

Poke bowls are a beautiful, healthy, delicious, and easy Hawaiian interpretation of a cross between sushi and a main course.

In Hawaiian, “poke,” means “to slice,” which chefs do to marinated, cooked salmon, before laying the fish on top of cooked rice and vegetables.

Family members can customize their own poke bowls when you put out bowls filled with choices of toppings, such as chopped avocado, mango, cilantro, carrots, cucumber, red pepper, purple cabbage, and green onion.

To serve 4, you will need:  

1 c. brown or white rice     

5 eggs to hard-boil 

For the marinade for salmon:

4 t. soy sauce

 4 t. rice vinegar

4 t. sesame oil

¼ t. chili oil (if you like spicy)

¾ pound salmon, cut into small cubes

For the toppings:

1 to 2 chopped avocado

1 red bell pepper, sliced, or more to taste

2 t. chopped green onion, or to taste

1 to 2 chopped mango

1 bag shredded carrots

1 chopped and peeled cucumber 

1 chopped red pepper

1 small bag shredded purple cabbage

Hard-boiled eggs

Bag frozen vegetables to drizzle with olive oil, season, and cook for 20 min. at 400 degrees to serve on the side. 

1. Rinse 1 c. rice and boil it with 2 c. water and 1 t. olive oil. Simmer for 20 minutes. 

2. Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili oil in a bowl to make the marinade for salmon. Marinate the salmon for an hour, and then cook it at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. 

3. Chop vegetables and fruit and put each in its own bowl with a spoon, so family members can choose their own toppings. 

 Easy Tostada Pie

You will need:

 a lasagna dish or round pie plate

             2 bottles of pasta marinara sauce or salsa with cilantro

             1 package of corn tortillas

             1 can each of black beans, kidney beans, and vegetarian refried beans.

             1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese and one bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

             Chopped tomato, onions, avocado

             Store-bought guacamole

             Near East Spanish rice, buy the box and cook 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Pour one bottle of marinara or salsa over the bottom of the plate.

3. Make a layer of corn tortillas.

4. Open the refried beans and spread over the tortillas.

5. Add a layer of cheddar cheese.

6. Add another layer of corn tortillas.

7. Pour the second bottle of marinara or salsa over the tortilla.

8. Open and rinse the black and red beans in a colander.

9. Layer them on.

10. Add the second bag of cheese.

11. Cover with tin foil, and cook for 30 minutes.

While it is cooking, chop avocados, onions, and tomatoes and combine to put on top of the casserole after you remove it from the oven. 

Slice the pie into individual servings, and serve with green salad, Spanish rice, and a bowl of store-bought guacamole.


Check out last year’s Nine Days’ recipes here.

What are you making over the Nine Days? Let us know at [email protected]

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