Mushroom Paté — Passover Dip

oyster mushrooms watercolor
Watercolor of oyster mushrooms purchased from the mushroom stand at the Highland Park Farmers Market



  • 1 lb. mushrooms
    (I used a bag of oyster mushrooms from the Highland Park Farmers Market — marked as 1 lb.)
  • 1 large onion
  • Olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • Spices or dried herbs (I used dried thyme)

This mushroom paté (or mushroom dip or mushroom spread) can be made in a short time. Chop then sauté the onion in olive oil (add salt at the cooking point so it will absorbed well and not be so salty if added later). Add the mushrooms, chopped into pieces. Put the onions, mushrooms, and walnuts in the food processor, then add dried herbs. Turn on the food processor until the mixture is smooth or slightly chunky. Klara Levine, who gave me this recipe, suggested it should be the consistency of haroset.

I wrote a previous version of the mushroom paté recipe here. Enjoy Pesach to all those who celebrate – and to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy spring.

Sculpted Fish with Tehina Recipe

sculpted fish with tehina
This sculpted fish with tehina recipe is adapted from a recipe for fish with sesame spread (Samak bi’Tehineh) in Aromas of Aleppo by Poopa Dweck. It is both healthy and easy (and I can’t say that about many of the recipes in the book – the more complicated ones are fun to read, but I doubt I will try them). Poopa uses oil to bake her fish, which is traditional in the Syrian Jewish community. I used water to bake mine. Guess what – use a good piece of fish and it will still taste delicious baked or cooked with water (and truthfully, I like it better than heating oil for cooking, anyway). Her recipe also called for larger amounts, and since I was 1) just trying out the recipe and 2) aiming to please mostly my husband and myself, I used a smaller amount of fish and other ingredients.


  • 3 or 4 pieces of flounder fillet
  • pan for baking the fish (and for displaying the fish – or transfer to a pretty oblong platter)
  • water to cover the bottom of the pan
  • lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. tehina
  • 1 black olive – cut to one slice for the eye of the fish
  • 1 strip of red pepper for the mouth
  • several slices of cucumber for the fish scales

Place fish in baking pan. Cover with water (not a lot – maybe half an inch?). Cover the pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until tender. You can also add lemon juice to the water for flavor before baking. When the fish is tender, take it out and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Mash the fish with a fork and add the tablespoon of tehina. Sculpt the fish into the shape of the fish: add olive for eye, red pepper for mouth and cucumbers for scales. Serve and gobble it up. Multiply amounts for larger crowds.

Shepherd Pie – Vegan Version

mushroom shepherd pie
mushrooms on top of sheperd pie - bottom is turnips, middle is kasha and vegetables

It seems that a traditional shepherd’s pie is chopped meat, potatoes and vegetables piled in layers in a casserole dish. I re-found a delightful vegan version of this recipe in my Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. I served this vegan version to my company on Chanukah; it was well-received. However, I didn’t care much for all the potatoes in the dish. So I re-wrote the recipe using mashed turnips instead of mashed potatoes, and here is the result. You can try it on your own with either turnips or potatoes, whichever you think you may prefer. My friend Klara suggested you could also substitute sweet potatoes.

Ingredients for Potatoes/Turnips Layer (bottom layer)

  • 4 large turnips, cooked and mashed with the garlic cloves (or 3 cups mashed potatoes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp. salt

Ingredients for Vegetables Layer (middle layer)

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (or other vegetable oil or coconut oil)
  • 1 cup cooked cauliflower (or cooked broccoli or cooked brussel sprouts, chopped into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced red or green peppers (optional)
  • 1/2 cup kasha, cooked
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine or sherry
  • 2 tsp. oregano or marjoram or thyme (and/or fresh parsley)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Mushrooms Layer (top layer)

  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch or potato starch (original recipe said corn; I always have potato starch available from Pesach, so I used that)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock (or stock from potatoes, if you used those instead of turnips)
  • ground black pepper to taste

Cooking and Assembling the Shepherd Pie

Bottom Layer: Cook the turnips covered in water. Add garlic cloves. Add salt toward the end. Mash the turnips at the end.

Middle Layer: While turnips are cooking, sauté the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes. Cook the kasha until tender. If vegetables (cauliflower, brussel sprouts and/or broccoli) are not yet cooked (I used leftover vegetables), steam until tender. Mix the onions with the kasha, cauliflower, carrots, and other ingredients for the middle layer.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread the turnips in a lightly oiled baking dish. Layer the vegetables with kasha on top. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Top Layer: combine mushrooms, wine, soy sauce, herbs and stock in a saucepan and cook until mushrooms soften and release their juices, about ten minutes. Add the corn or potato starch and let it continue to cook, stirring until it thickens. Add pepper to taste.

Put mushroom layer on top of the baked bottom two layers. Garnish with scallions or parsley if desired. You can also cut the pie into pieces and put the mushroom “gravy” on top of each one, but I generally like my guests to take if they want, so it works better to have the whole dish in the middle of the table as a choice.

This shepherd pie can be a nice accompaniment to a meat or fish meal, or it can be a main dish alone if you have a guest who is vegan. Or maybe you just found out you are lactose intolerant and crave a casserole. As Ilana-Davita remarked that my last recipe on hummus might be more suitable to a summer post, here’s a tasty dish befitting a cold January evening.

shepherd pie layer - carrots, broccoli, onions, kasha
shepherd pie before the mushrooms are added on top: carrots, broccoli, onions, kasha

Corn Bread and KCC

corn bread
I made this corn bread for Thanksgiving. I wanted a recipe with no dairy, and many of the conventional corn bread recipes had dairy in them. I decided at the last minute (OK, the last hour) that I had enough time to make the corn bread. So I opened a Moosewood cookbook (I think it was New Recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant – the first one not by Mollie Katzen) and converted the recipe. You will have to wait for the actual recipe – I needed to re-test it, because in my rush I didn’t measure and record ingredients. This corn bread without dairy came out moist and tasty – my previous attempts were rather dry. And here is the corn bread recipe.

Conversation from yesterday:

Me: I’m going to make the corn bread again in a week or two.
Middle Son: Why?
Me: So I can post it on my blog.
Middle Son: Why can’t you post it now?
Me: Because I need to measure the amounts.
Middle Son: Can’t you just post it and let them figure out the amounts?

Fortunately, Middle Son is not in charge of posting recipe amounts to this blog.

If you would like some recipes now, I suggest you visit Batya’s newest Kosher Cooking Carnival.

Mock Chopped Liver with Lentils

mock chopped liver with lentils, onions, walnuts - vegan recipe
On Friday I made this version of a lentil paté that really does look like chopped liver, so I am calling this recipe “mock chopped liver.” I previously posted a recipe that I called vegetarian chopped liver – that one suggests eggs, and this one needs no egg, so it is suitable for vegans.

Ingredients for Mock Chopped Liver

  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • salt to taste
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • optional: ginger

Cook lentils until soft (add a bit of salt while cooking). Soak walnuts for about one half hour. Sauté onions for about one half hour – the lengthy sautéing helps to caramelize the onions, bringing more flavor to the recipe (if you stop after 15 minutes, it will still taste good). Blend lentils, walnuts and onions in the food processor with spices.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Mary’s Lentil-Walnut Spread, Lentil Walnut Pate and my friend Klara.

I added this post to Ruth’s Real Food 101.

Curried Chickpeas

curried chickpeas
Curried Chickpeas with Red Onion and Flat Parsley

Last week was the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It is traditional to eat dairy foods; however, my body doesn’t care much for dairy. As I had a craving for a curry, I took a recipe for curried chickpeas from The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas and substituted coconut oil for the butter. I didn’t use all the spices listed in the original recipe, and I added the red onions. You can mix and match ingredients as desired.


  • 1 Tbsp. organic coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp. chopped ginger root
  • Optional 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp. ground cloves (I didn’t add this, but it sounds like a nice flavor)
  • Optional: 2-3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 can of chick peas (or soak dried chick peas overnight and cook before using in the recipe)
  • Garnish: Parsley or cilantro
  • Optional: chopped red onion
  • Optional: lemon juice
  • Optional: chopped tomatoes – maybe I’ll add chopped tomatoes when they are season (August) – that’s the only time I eat them

In a saucepan or a wok, warm the coconut oil and the spices. After a few minutes, add the garlic, ginger and chickpeas and coat well. Cook for about 10 minutes. The original recipe suggested crushing a few of the chickpeas. Top with parsley or coriander and optional lemon juice, chopped onions and/or chopped tomatoes. You can serve immediately or reheat the next day. Delicious on rice.

I also made the same recipe with cubed zucchini – I may post that recipe next week.

Raspberry Banana Smoothie

raspberry smoothie


  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. oat milk or almond milk or rice milk

Put banana, raspberries and oat milk in the blender or food processor and blend. You can double or triple the recipe if you have friends visiting.

grape juice and seltzer
When you have finished most of your smoothie, don’t panic. Add some grape juice and seltzer, and enjoy a new version of this treat.

You can also use blackberries and/or blueberries, but then you can’t really use the photographs for Ruby Tuesday:
Ruby Tuesday
I was inspired by the Green Smoothie of Reluctant Vegetarian, but when I suggested the addition of kale to the smoothie, my daughter balked.

Vegetarian Chopped Liver

farm chickens
Chickens at Howell Living History Farm in Mercer County, New Jersey

Thanks to this post that includes vegetarian chopped liver on Cooking Manager, I was inspired to once again try making a mock chopped liver. I think this one is a winner, folks!


  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 tsp. olive oil (experiment with amounts of oil – add a little at a time – you may need less)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 hard boiled eggs

Bake the zucchinis and the onion in a stoneware dish in the oven for about 1 hour. You can do this the day before, or anytime you are baking other items in the oven. Take the baked vegetables out of the oven to cool. Chop the walnuts in the food processor. Add all the other ingredients except the hard-boiled eggs. You can see what this dish would be like without the eggs, in case you would prefer to have an eggless version of vegetarian chopped liver. I found it too watery, but when I added the hard-boiled eggs, oh, my, it obtained the creaminess of chopped liver. Also, the next day in the refrigerator it turns browner, so it looks more like chopped liver, too.

Alternative: use grilled zucchini and onions (I don’t have a pareve grill)

Have you made mock chopped liver? Any suggestions?

See also: Vegan chopped liver spread with lentils, walnuts and onions

Shiitake Mushroom Soup in Red Bowl

mushroom shiitake soup
Shiitake Mushroom Soup with Clear Broth in a Red-Trimmed Bowl

I was in mood for a mushroom soup with no grains, and so I came up with this recipe. To photograph it for a post, I put in a red china bowl. This prompted my daughter to eat it; she insisted on eating it in the red china bowl. You see, presentation does count!


  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
  • 8 oz. baby bell mushrooms
  • 1 leek
  • 1 zucchini (or substitute other greens, such as bits of kale or collards)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mirin (rice wine – or substitute 1 tsp. dry wine)
  • 1 tsp. miso
  • chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

How to Make the Soup

Saute the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Slit the leek in half; wash out any particles inside the leek. Cut in half and put in with the onion. Chop the zucchini and put it in with the onion. Add chopped mushrooms. Cover with water and add at least 1 cup more water. Cook until all is tender. Add sea salt and wine. Add miso at the end. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

More soup recipes

Soup Beautiful Soup


Soups from Some of My Favorite Bloggers

Macrobiotic Soups

Fish and Poultry Soups

In this fish and chicken soup category are my children’s favorite, my chicken soup, and my own favorite, Mimi’s Fish Soup:

I believe soup is one of the healthiest foods one can eat. And it is yummy, too!

As Lewis Carroll wrote:

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,
Beautiful, beauti–FUL SOUP!

— Lewis Carroll

According to this article, that poem was a parody of a poem called “Star of the Evening.” More of Lewis Carroll’s funny poetry on this page.