The Shabbat Table – Veggie Love!

Sweet Pea Soup (Pexels photo)

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! The Canadian government has just released the new Canada Food Guide, the first major update in 12 years to one of its most requested publications.

You don’t need to be a vegetarian or vegan to reap the rewards from eating more plant-packed foods. If you’re looking for tasty ways to nourish your family, check out Nourish by Nettie Cronish and Cara Rosenbloom (Whitecap). Cara’s Green Goddess Dip is great for dunking cut-up veggies—kids love it! Cara’s Thai Peanut Noodle Salad is another wonderful way to add protein, along with some yummy crunchiness to your salad bowl.

Get the recipes here:

Preparing healthy, satisfying, flavour-packed meals for Shabbat is always a challenge. Bottom line: eating healthy has to taste great, or we are not going to want to make the recipe again. Proteins such as roasts and poultry usually take centre stage on the Shabbat table, but it’s time to include meatless mains more often, meals that feature plant-based protein or incorporate a variety of colourful, fibre-packed vegetables and fruits which can be enjoyed on their own or added to easy-to-prepare recipes.

For a nutrient boost, add grated vegetables such as zucchini, onions, carrots, or mashed cooked or canned beans to replace a portion of the ground meat or poultry in recipes. Instead of grating the veggies, process them on the steel blade of your food processor. It’s a ‘grate’ way to sneak some nutrition onto your plate and boost everyone’s intake of veggies!

These family-friendly dishes offer additional ways to sneak more nutrition onto your plate. They’ll bring rave reviews from everyone gathered around your Shabbat table. Enjoy in good health!



Adapted from Norene’s Healthy Kitchen by Norene Gilletz

Surprise! Instead of using dried green peas, this scrumptious soup uses frozen sweet green peas and brain-boosting spinach. It’s perfect for the vegetarians—and everyone else—at your Shabbat table.


1–2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

4 cups baby spinach leaves, lightly packed

2 medium carrots, cut in chunks

1 medium potato, peeled and cut in chunks


2 lb/900 g pkg frozen sweet green peas (no need to thaw)

8 cups vegetable broth

3–4 cloves garlic

2 tsp curry powder (or 1 tsp ground cumin)

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup minced fresh basil


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5–7 minutes, until golden.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except basil to soup pot; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup while it’s still in the pot (or purée in batches in a blender or food processor). Stir in basil and adjust seasonings to taste.

Makes 6–8 servings. Reheats and/or freezes well.



 Adapted from The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz (ArtScroll)

Yields 10 servings

With five different roasted veggies, this colourful dish is great for a crowd. It’s a cross between a salad and a side dish that is vegan-friendly, protein-rich, and gluten-free.


Roasted Vegetables:

1 medium red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 zucchini, diced (do not peel)

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)

2 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



3 cups lightly salted water

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained



1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 to 3 Tbsp honey

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roasted Vegetables: In a large bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, zucchini, sweet potato, and garlic. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, until golden.
  3. Quinoa: Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add quinoa and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, covered. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
  4. Dressing: Combine ingredients for dressing in a glass jar; seal tightly and shake well.
  5. Assembly: In a serving bowl, combine cooked quinoa with roasted veggies and dressing. Mix well. Serve hot or at room temperature. Do not freeze.


Norene’s Notes:

  • One-Dish Meal: Top quinoa and roasted veggies with thinly sliced chicken breast, chunks of salmon, or even cubes of gefilte fish.
  • Roasted Veggies: The roasted vegetables can also be enjoyed on their own as a simple, healthy side dish. Instead of dicing the veggies, either cut them into 1-inch chunks or cut into strips. Instead of sweet potato, substitute butternut squash. You can add 2 cups of sliced mushrooms and 1 small Asian eggplant to the veggie mix—no need to peel the eggplant first.



Adapted from The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz (ArtScroll)

This colourful combo of leeks, red peppers, and mangos is a perfect way to jazz up your basic Friday night roast chicken. The tropical taste of mango adds a sweet flavour and a pop of bright color.



2 chickens (about 3 lb/1.4 kg each), cut into eighths

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp sweet paprika

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp dried basil

1/4 cup honey



2 Tbsp olive oil

3 large leeks, thinly sliced

2 red bell peppers, halved and thinly sliced

2 mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Trim and discard excess fat from chicken pieces. Arrange chicken, skin-side-up, in a single layer in prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and basil. Drizzle honey over chicken. Rub chicken on all sides to coat with spices and honey. (Can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated, covered.)
  3. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour and 20 minutes, until cooked through and juices run clear. Baste occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté leeks and red peppers for 7-8 minutes, until golden. Stir in mangoes. Season with salt and pepper; cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken to a large serving platter and pour on topping.


Norene’s Notes:

  • Tip: To clean leeks, trim off most of the green part of each leek. Make 4 lengthwise cuts almost to the root so that the leek resembles a broom. Swish leeks in a sink filled with cold water to remove any sand or grit. Dry well. Cut off and discard root end.