Rosh Hashanah Menu Planning and the Vegetarian Child

This year, Rosh Hashanah falls on Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, seguing right into the Sabbath.  That means four main meals of the holiday, and two meals for the Sabbath. My teenage daughter and I finally came up with a menu plan for Rosh Hashanah.

My daughter doesn’t eat any kind of meat or fish, but does eat chicken soup, or vegetables cooked in the meat or fish gravy. She is less particular than some others in the family.

I don’t want to go meatless for the entire holiday, but I do want to make sure she has things to enjoy at every meal.

And she will make the vegetarian stuffed cabbage and share the rest of the cooking as well, as will the other children. I’ll have four or five children home, and possibly a small number of guests.

When I plan I like to make several lists at once:

With so many meals, though, I adjust things according to how much gets eaten. I haven’t planned every single item. We eat simply and the side dishes will depend on how much energy I have, how cooperative the kids are, and what I feel I need to use up at the moment.

While it’s traditional to serve sweet dishes, no one in our family enjoys sweet main dishes so we stick to mostly lemon and garlic like we do all year round.

All meals include challah. simple cooked vegetables unless others are noted, and salads. I know I’ll be making Beets Marinated with Ginger and Garlic, and Carrot-Apple Salad.

Wednesday night:

  • Simanim—the special foods to symbolize the new year. Mainly apple dipped in honey, beets, cabbage, carrots.
  • Vegetarian stuffed cabbage—like this recipe for Stuffed Cabbage only with chopped mushrooms instead of ground meat.
  • Salmon
  • Rice or potatoes

Thursday lunch:

Thursday night:

People are not usually hungry for this meal, which is served late. If what I have listed turns out not to be enough I will gladly heat up special requests.

  • Simanim (see above)
  • “New” fruit just coming into season—another Rosh Hashanah tradition. Usually pomegranates or dates, both of which are also holiday foods.
  • Leftover salmon as appetizer
  • Chicken soup again

Friday lunch:

Friday dinner:

Saturday lunch:

  • Slow cooker meal with turkey or beef.

For the last two meals, my daughter will eat the side dishes and salads, and other vegetarian leftovers.

Cooking schedule:

  • Monday: Shop
  • Tuesday: bake challah, rogalech (rolled yeast cookies with challah dough), and honey cake, pick up pre-ordered vegetables and prep them (see my Cooking Spreadsheet).
  • Wednesday: Cabbage, lasagna, salmon, salads, the potatoes or rice, chicken soup
  • Friday: Cook chicken and fill slow cooker for lunch on Saturday.

Whew! That sounds like a lot of work. What are you planning? How do youaccommodate special diets?

For more ideas:

Rosh Hashanah Survival Guide

Rosh Hashanah Tips and Recipes

Rosh Hashanah at Real Foods Digest

Kosher Cooking Carnival at Cooking Outside the Box.

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  1. For most of my dishes, I have to make them twice. My MIL is allergic to onions & almost every savory dish that I make includes onions.

    Have you shared your cholent recipe? crock-pot dishes? We are headed into winter & I am going to once again try to serve somthing warm. (The shabbat setting on my oven only works “so” well.)

  2. Ms. Krieger says

    I planned and cooked in advance extensively this year and ended up having plenty of delicious leftovers. My family’s favorite dish (made on Shabbat dinner and entirely prepped and cooked on yom tov Friday, but it could be prepped in advance and frozen, then popped in the oven if necessary) was the Iraqi false mahshi Joan Nathan wrote about in the NYTimes for Rosh Hashana 2008. I found the recipe while I was cleaning off my mother’s refrigerator 🙂

    It was a layered rice pilaf with beets, chard greens, onions and beef with a sweet and sour sauce (I made with lemon juice and brown sugar – you could also use tamarind). Came out beautifully, with some of the rice dyed red by the beets and other parts still white, the green chard leaves and the chewy beef. It would also be tasty without the beef, but would need to be accompanied by a bean dish or dairy for protein (to fill up hungry vegetarian teenagers.)

    It was so delicious and impressive. I served it with a baked squash (in season around here now, can be baked in the same oven as the pilaf) some soup made by adding broth to leftover fish and veggies from Wednesday night. And of course challah and apples with honey.


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