The first nine days of the month of Av on the Jewish calendar are a time of mourning and reflection as we commemorate the destruction of the Holy Temples. During this time (July 13–21), we observe certain customs, most notably refraining from eating meat and poultry.

With the Nine Days just around the corner, Pereg Natural Foods teamed up with a kosher cheese expert, The Cheese Guy, to create some delicious, meat-free comfort foods for the whole family to enjoy.

It was a match made in vegetarian heaven. Pereg proudly bears kosher-pareve certification on its entire collection of exotic spices from around the world and all-natural products made from ancient grains. Brent Delman, a.k.a. “The Cheese Guy,” partners with small dairy farms to produce more than 35 varieties of handcrafted, all-natural, and OU kosher-certified artisanal cheese.

Meatless doesn’t have to be blah. Add these recipes to your Nine Days menu and don’t be surprised if they become part of your repertoire of year-round favorites.

Spinach-and-Goat-Cheese Quiche

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2 cups Pereg natural almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon Pereg kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, more for greasing pan
  • 1 large egg whisked
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

Quiche

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon Pereg kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pereg red-pepper flakes
  • ½ cup The Cheese Guy fresh & creamy goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt. Then add remaining crust ingredients and mix into a shaggy ball.
  3. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

Filling

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and heat oil. Add shallots and sauté for 5–7 minutes until translucent. Then add spinach and sauté just until slightly wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and red-pepper flakes. Stir in the cooled spinach mixture and goat cheese.
  3. Pour the mixture in the crust and bake at 375°F for 35 minutes or until the quiche is firm and just barely jiggles. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quinoa Pasta Mac-and-Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package Pereg gourmet quinoa Curvo Rigate
  • 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour (or brown rice flour)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus more to butter the pan
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • salt
  • 2 cups milk (2% or whole milk)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 oz. The Cheese Guy raw milk sharp cheddar cheese (shred the cheese for about 3½ cups)
  • 1 cup The Cheese Guy shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Pereg panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Bring 4–6 quarts of water with ½ tablespoon salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Add pasta and return to a rapid boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, dry mustard, and nutmeg. In a large stockpot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Then add onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until onions are translucent, 5–7 minutes.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the onions and cook for a few minutes until the fat is absorbed and you form a roux. Then add in the milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5–10 minutes until sauce is thick and smooth.
  4. Add in black pepper, cheddar cheese (reserve ½ cup for the topping), and Parmesan cheese and combine. Season with salt to taste. Stir in pasta and mix until combined. Spread the pasta in a 9- x 9-inch casserole dish.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle mixture and remaining cheddar cheese over the pasta. Bake for 15–20 minutes (uncovered) until cheese is bubbly and the top is lightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.

Kañiwa Cheese Burger

Kañiwa, a cousin of quinoa, is a tiny nutrient-rich grain that cooks up to a crunchy texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup raw Pereg Natural Foods Kañiwa
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, smashed, with the skins removed
  • ½ cup Pereg Natural Foods fine panko
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup white onion, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Cheese to taste (The Cheese Guy recommends a creamy, easy-melting gouda or Havarti)

Directions:

  1. Combine kañiwa and water in a medium saucepan and bring water to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until tender, and the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool. You should have 1 cup cooked.
  2. Combine kañiwa with smashed chickpeas, panko, egg, garlic, onion, and spices. Form into two big patties or four smaller patties.
  3. Fry 4–5 minutes per side in coconut oil over medium heat until outside is brown and inside is heated through. Melt cheese over top and serve.

Follow The Cheese Guyon Facebook (Facebook.com/BrentTheCheeseGuy) or Instagram (Instagram.com/thecheeseguy).

Follow Pereg Natural Foods on Facebook (Facebook.com/peregnatural), Twitter @pereggourmet, and Instagram @peregnatural. 

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