Vegetarian One-Pot Shabbat Dinner

So, apparently, it is very easy to make a delicious vegetarian one-pot (or pan?) Shabbat dinner.

It, actually, reminded me of a passage in the Tanach (is this inevitable now?) when Daniel ha-navi said to the person in charge of his and his friends’ health and appearance for the king of Babylon:

יב  נַס-נָא אֶת-עֲבָדֶיךָ, יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה; וְיִתְּנוּ-לָנוּ מִן-הַזֵּרֹעִים, וְנֹאכְלָה–וּמַיִם וְנִשְׁתֶּה. 12 ‘Try thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
יג  וְיֵרָאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ, מַרְאֵינוּ, וּמַרְאֵה הַיְלָדִים, הָאֹכְלִים אֵת פַּת-בַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ; וְכַאֲשֶׁר תִּרְאֵה, עֲשֵׂה עִם-עֲבָדֶיךָ. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the youths that eat of the king’s food; and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.’
יד  וַיִּשְׁמַע לָהֶם, לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה; וַיְנַסֵּם, יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה. 14 So he hearkened unto them in this matter, and tried them ten days.
טו  וּמִקְצָת, יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה, נִרְאָה מַרְאֵיהֶם טוֹב, וּבְרִיאֵי בָּשָׂר:  מִן-כָּל-הַיְלָדִים–הָאֹכְלִים, אֵת פַּת-בַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh, than all the youths that did eat of the king’s food.

So Daniel and his friends were perfectly all right to survive on vegetables and water. I am not pretending that we are to compare ourselves with the prophet of Gd, but we can take some positive methods from our ancestors. Can we not?

Vegetables are mentioned in the Torah many times. When the Jews left Egypt and could not bring themselves to eat the heavenly bread of manna, they actually complained about the lack of them:

ה  זָכַרְנוּ, אֶת-הַדָּגָה, אֲשֶׁר-נֹאכַל בְּמִצְרַיִם, חִנָּם; אֵת הַקִּשֻּׁאִים, וְאֵת הָאֲבַטִּחִים, וְאֶת-הֶחָצִיר וְאֶת-הַבְּצָלִים, וְאֶת-הַשּׁוּמִים. 5 We remember the fish, which we were wont to eat in Egypt for nought; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.

Onions, interestingly enough, were treasured both as food as for their therapeutic value since about 3000 BCE. They were used to treat kidney or bladder problems as well as to act as antiseptic and pain reliever. Sometimes, it seems to me that we are sort of going back to our humanity roots in trying to use old foods for new – old purposes. Particularly, when we no longer trust the conventional, overly commercialized medicine.

So, back to the dinner. I took:

  • two Idaho potatoes
  • one Italian eggplant
  • two green baby zucchinis
  • one tiny yellow squash
  • one good size onion
  • one carrot
  • one pack of baby bella mushrooms

I have cut the vegetables into very thin rounds and covered them into this mixture:

  • about two tablespoons of mustard
  • a drop of balsamic vinegar
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • a pinch of dried basil
  • about a tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise (and don’t tell me that my friend, Dr. Nehama Milson just invented vegan mayonnaise herself, I am not there yet)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil – about 3/4 of a cup

Once the vegetables were covered in this mixture, I first put my potatoes and eggplants into the glass baking dish. I put it into preheated oven on 425 F. After about 10 minutes, I added the rest of the veggies and baked for another 40 or so minutes. Took out right before Shabbat, so no picture – my apologies. But it was really delicious!

Try it yourself. See if you like it as much as I do. And experiment with ingredients that you love. Good luck and enjoy!

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