Let’s give ourselves over to fantasy for a moment. Imagine a Hanukkah party that’s simple, fresh, and beautiful.
The menu: easy to prepare.
The food: beautiful, delicious, healthy.
You: calm, centered, ready to connect with your family and friends.
Sounds pretty amazing, right?
It doesn’t have to be a fantasy. It’s completely possible to have the Hanukkah you want, with the food and feelings you want.
A few tips on how to get started:
Many people are timid with food that’s been earmarked as “healthy.” Let the beautiful food speak for itself—no “Fat-free latkas @my house, PM me if you’re interested” Facebook updates or “Hanukkah salad bar @my place” tweets.
Beauty is an important part of the food experience, making food and its consumption special. I always try to make healthy food look twice as beautiful.
Don’t limit salt or sugar in your plant-based Hanukah dishes. Let your guests enjoy themselves!
Whole-food, plant-based eating doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing lifestyle. You can start experimenting in small ways that feel doable and exciting, like swapping out a single ingredient in your favorite Hanukkah dish or preparing one plant-based recipe for your Hanukkah party.
Repeat after me: Simple, fresh, and beautiful. This Hanukkah is for us and is within our reach.
Sweet and Savory Mini Latkes
Recipe courtesy of Jewish Food Hero
These latkes are mini-sized and baked, making them cute and crispy. Serve with proposed applesauce and sour “cream” and chives recipes.
1 large sweet potato (or yam),
peeled and then coarsely grated
1 parsnip, peeled and coarsely grated
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons cooked sweet potato (or yam)
1 tablespoons low fat non-dairy milk or water
Cooking oil spray
Large mixing bowl
For tofu sour cream:
1 cup silken tofu
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Food processor or blender
6 cups apple, cored, peeled & diced 1 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup raw sugar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Potato masher (or food processor)
Boil a small sweet potato or yam and mash with fork and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
In a large mixing bowl, place grated raw sweet potato and parsnip. Add flour, baking soda, sea salt, and black pepper and three tablespoons of the mashed sweet potato. Stir to combine. Add the non-dairy milk or water.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray baking sheet lightly with cooking oil spray (so the latkes don’t stick). Scoop up a rounded tablespoon of the latke mixture and form it into a ball with your hands. Flatten slightly to create a little patty. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Repeat with remaining mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden on one side. Flip the latkes gently. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve warm, topped with either tofu sour “cream” and chives or applesauce
Yield: Approximately 16 mini latkes
Tofu sour cream:
Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender), blend until smooth. Stir in the chives.
Store in the refrigerator in a covered container until ready to use.
Yield: one cup
Place all ingredients in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the apples are very soft.
Mash apples with a potato masher for a chunky texture, or purée them to desired consistency in a food processor.
Yield: Serves 4-6
Kenden Alfond is the founder of Jewish Food Hero, which offers plant-based menus for the Jewish Holidays. Over the past 10 years, she has celebrated Hanukkah in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cambodia. She started her international career in India as an American Jewish World Service volunteer.