20 October 2015

Maggie's Vegan Kugel

It's funny how sometimes you just don't realize how impactful some element of your life actually is. For example, my wife didn't realize how much growing up in a predominantly Jewish community affected her world view, including the foods she eats. Although I've written about making foods that honor Shana's Jewish heritage, such as frisket and matzo ball soup, there was one food we lamented that I'd never be able to make: a sweet noodle kugel.

Shana used to love her Mommom's sweet kugel, which was built around egg noodles, cottage cheese, and apricot preserves. Not a lot there that is vegan-friendly. Although I've been thinking about kugel for years, I kept getting stuck on cottage cheese, as there's no vegan equivalent. But then, when looking around the internet for recipes for a Shabbot dinner we were invited to* with some of Earlham's Jewish students, I found a recipe for kugel that looked like it might work for my purposes! Using a combination of sour cream and mashed tofu, I was hoping for a cottage cheese like texture. After a couple of attempts, where every time Shana would get excited and nostalgic all at one, I finally stumbled upon a recipe that replicates Shana's Mommom's sweet kugel.

Maggie's Vegan Kugel
This recipe is adapted from the one by Nava Atlas, found here.
8 ounces (by weight) flat, ribbon-style noodles
8 ounces (by weight) firm tofu
1 c. vegan sour cream
1/4 c. agave nectar
1/4 c. Earth Balance (or other vegan butter), melted
2 T. white sugar
2 T. apricot preserves

Preheat your oven to 350.
1. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, cut the tofu into 4 smaller slabs and press the water out a bit. Put the tofu in a bowl and mash it with a fork until there are small chunks.
3. Add the sour cream and agave nectar to the tofu, stir.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients (cooked noodles, melted butter, sugar, preserves) and stir well to combine.
5. Place in a shallow casserole dish and bake for about 35 minutes. Then, switch to broil for just a couple of minutes to brown the top - watch carefully!
6. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

Helpful Hints
  • I used the same noodles for this that I used for my vegan chicken and noodles recipe (see the helpful hints). But any flat, ribbon-like noodle without eggs will work. 
  • There's no need to grease the pan for this dish. 
  • Many sweet kugles use raisins in them, but Shana was having absolutely none of that idea. But, if you would like to add some raisins, go for it! 
  • Every time we eat this, we make sure to have one or two veggies on the side. 
* For the record, I didn't bring kugel to that dinner. Instead, I made apple cake, as it was during Passover, when apple cake is a traditional dish. I also made my lentil soup, which was devoured.

The post "Maggie's Vegan Kugel" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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