The nine days started today (and meal ideas)

For the 9 days leading up to the fast of Tisha B’Av, we restrict certain things. One of these is food: we don’t eat meat (or drink wine) except for on Shabbat (or a few other circumstances, like a siyum.) (Note: Sefardim may observe these restrictions just in the week leading up to Tisha B’Av, which means starting the Saturday night of the week that Tisha B’Av falls in).

Rosh Chodesh Av, and thus the start of these restrictions, was today.

This can leave some of us family chefs stumped: what’s for dinner? Especially since pasta can only be done so often (…unless you’re my kids. They could eat it every day.) Some ideas:

  • Indonesian Peanut Saute (with or without tofu – I made this one with tofu, and it was great!)
  • Stir fried veggies and rice (again, with or without tofu)
  • Black bean burgers and fixings (homemade are easy!)
  • Falafel and fixings
  • Salads: spinach, feta, craisin, and pecan with raspberry vinagrette is one of my favorite (especially served with garlic bread!), or cabbage salads, romaine with hard boiled eggs, etc…
  • Fish fillets: blackened, brown sugar coated, or just baked
  • Fish sticks and fries (or “chicken” nuggets): kid pleasing!
  • Quinoa “tacos” (use cooked quinoa instead of ground beef)
  • Quinoa patties (can make with cheese and veggies or “taco” seasonings, or topped like little pizzas
  • Quiche: just plain cheese or mushroom, veggie, etc…
  • Breakfast for dinner (waffles, pancakes, omelettes, french toast casserole…)
  • Meatless Mexican (use beans instead of meat in tacos, burritos, etc.)
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  • Cold veggie soups, like gazpacho, with crusty bread
  • Cornbread bake 
  • Sushi: with fish or just vegetables – or sushi salad
  • Pasta dishes: lasagna, baked ziti, stuffed shells, macaroni and cheese, pasta with an easy garlic peanut sauce

I have a found these Loma Linda fake “meats” to be great substitutes. They are kosher OK-D, despite claiming to be 100% vegan (maybe dairy equipment?).

We use the “chicken” in Indian food (butter chicken with real butter!), the “beef”  in tacos, and my kids beg for the “hot dogs” plain (well, with ketchup) like regular hot dogs. I’ve also cut them up and added them to pasta or pierogies. We’ve also tried the “meatballs,” which we liked in soup but not as much just plain or in a sauce. There are also “skallops,” “swiss stake,” chili, and a lot more – just go to Amazon and type in Loma Linda – or follow this link! We’ve also found individual cans for sale in some stores.

So today’s mission, should you choose to accept it, is to plan out your meatless menu for the next 9 days. :) What’s for dinner?

What’s on your meal plan this week? What do you love to eat that’s dairy or pareve?

About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.

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