Shamayim Challenge

For information about Kitchen Kids: Cooking with Bubbie with PJ Library @ the Y, click here. 

The Y’s Norman E. Alexander Center for Jewish Life is excited to share with you the Shamayim Challenge for people of all ages!

As we celebrate Jewish holidays and traditions throughout the year, we will explore vegan — plant-based — cooking with delicious recipes and discuss compassion for animals from a Jewish perspective, as well as plant-based alternatives to avoid food allergies. Converting traditional Jewish recipes to a plant-based version can be better for personal health and is better for the planet, while still being delicious and fulfilling. We look forward to having you join us for our delicious hearty plant-based cooking lessons and celebrations.

Each session will introduce a theme with a new dish. Recipes will be shared in advance.

This program is generously sponsored by Shamayim Jewish Animal Advocacy and VegFund

For more information and questions about the curriculum and recipes, please contact Cyndi Rand, Jewish educator and creator of Bubbie’s Kitchen, at

Details and Recipes


Tuesday, May 11, 7:00 PM - ZOOM MEETING-REGISTER HERE:

Special raffle prize for the evening sponsored by MRS GOLDBERG'S UNREAL DELI !

Shani's Shavuot Herbs Salad
Bunch of:
Green onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts/ almonds/ pine nuts/ sunflower seeds

 For dressing:

1 lemon

2 tbs Olive oil


Silan/ maple syrup/ Honey

Supplies Needed: 1 large bowl, 1 large spoon, 1 cutting board, and knife

Pasta with Broccolini, Mushrooms, and Garlic

1 head of garlic (*BEFORE CLASS: please wrap in foil and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven, approx 45 mins, set aside)

1 box of pasta (whichever you prefer.. )

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 shallots

2-3 TB extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Supplies Needed: 1 cutting board, 1 knife, 1 large pot, 1 saute pan, 1 spatula, 1 colander, plates, forks, serving spoon

Easy Vegan Cheesecake (

1  8 inch pie crust

16 ounces of vegan cream cheese

1/2 - 3/4 cup of sugar

2 TB cornstarch (can use tapioca, arrowroot etc)

3 TB plant-based milk

1 TB lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

Berries to place on top (feel free to choose your own toppings!)

Supplies Needed: 1 mixer (stand or hand), 1 spatula, oven

Friday, June 11, 6:00 PM 
End of Year Shabbat Gala — Plant-Based Potluck Dinner

Dvar Torah by Norman E. Alexander Center for Jewish Life Director Rabbi Ari Perten.
Adults will prepare main dishes, teens will prepare salads, and children will prepare desserts. Additional details to come.

Recipes from Previous Events

Rosh Chodesh Sprout Salad with Passover Vegetables
1 carton sprouts (lentil, broccoli, garbanzo, mung)
1 cup baby spinach
1 small head radicchio
1 cup assorted greens
2 scallions
1 large pepper
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 carton cherry tomatoes
1 bunch parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large lemon
1 orange
1 lime
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Salt, pepper
Supplies: 1 large bowl, 1 cutting board, 1 knife, bowls, and forks

Tahdig — Persian Rice
2 cups uncooked rice (basmati, jasmine, or white rice of your choice)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
Supplies needed: 1 pot with lid, 1 large spoon, 1 large serving dish, serving bowls and forks

Zeytoon Parvadeh  — Persian Pomegranate, Walnut, and Olive Dip
1 lb green olives
1 cup of walnuts*
4 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons molasses or pomegranate paste
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Enjoy on pita, crackers, or  flatbread. 
*Note: We will be toasting the walnuts on the stove before mixing the ingredients together.
Supplies needed: 1 pan, 1 wooden spoon, 1 cutting board, 1 knife, 1 medium-sized bowl, serving bowls and forks

Warming Winter Spiced Tea
Adapted from
Makes two servings
2 cups of boiled water
2-3 herbal tea bags (try a rose-scented tea)
1 piece of candied ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons rose water
Supplies needed: 1 pitcher, 2 mugs, 2 spoons, 1 cutting board, 1 knife

Hanukkah — Delicious Oven-Baked Potato Latkes, Homemade Fruit Sauce, and Fried Artichokes

Oven-Baked Potato Latkes
4 large Russet potatoes (alternatively, you may also use frozen pre-grated potatoes)
1/2 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 - 1/2 cup matzo meal
*2 tablespoons ground flax meal, combined with 6 tablespoons water (mix in a small bowl and set in fridge for 10 mins at start of recipe)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Supplies: Grater or food processor, large bowl, sheet pan, and parchment paper

Homemade Fruit Sauce
2 apples, washed
5 strawberries (optional)
1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Supplies: 1 large microwave safe bowl, plastic wrap, cutting board, 1 knife (kid-safe), and microwave

'Uptown' Carciofi-Alla-Giudia   (Artichokes, Jewish Style)*
2  14 ounce cans of whole artichoke hearts
1 cup flour
1 cup beer
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 bottle canola oil
1 large carrot (we will use in the oil to prevent scorching)
Supplies: 1 heavy-bottomed pan, 1 slotted spoon

Dipping Sauce
4 ripe avocados
2 lemons or 3 limes
2 cloves of garlic (can substitute garlic powder)
2 scallions
Supplies: Bowls/spoons to serve; lots of napkins!

*Very interesting history behind this recipe!

Fall Harvest — Autumn Harvest Salad Bowl and Spiced Cider
Autumn Harvest Salad Bowl 
1 bunch kale
1 lemon, halved
1 can chickpeas or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 bag shredded carrots
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 avocado
1/4 red onion 
1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
Supplies: cutting board, knife, large bowl, smaller bowls for serving, forks, kitchen towel, and napkins

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
1/2 - 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic) 
Supplies: measuring cup, measuring spoons, and fork or whisk

Spiced Cider
1 quart apple cider or apple juice
1 orange, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Apple Pie Breakfast “Betty”  
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown, coconut, maple or turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon neutral oil (avocado, canola, grapeseed, etc.)
1 large apple, washed (we will cut into smaller pieces and add to recipe together) 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
Supplies: large bowl, mixing spoons, 9”x9” pan, spray oil, measuring spoons, and aluminum foil

No Bake Pumpkin Dessert
9 whole Graham Crackers
2 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
4 tablespoons neutral, flavorless oil
1 box *instant* vanilla pudding mix (pareve, non-dairy)
2 cans full fat coconut milk (we will use the liquid for the dessert and the cream on top of cans for the topping)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Coconut cream (from the top of the coconut cream, as described above)
1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Supplies: 9”x9” pan, gallon-sized ziplock bag, spray oil, large mixing bowl, mixing spoon/spatula, and fridge

Plant-Based Ice Cream
3 bananas peeled, chopped, and frozen
1 16 oz bag frozen fruit 
4 pitted dates (optional)
1/2 cup vashews (soaked and drained) optional
1 cup plant-based milk
Supplies: Food processor or blender

Sheva Minim Fruit Salad
2 bananas
1 pear
1 bunch of grapes
1 kiwi
1 pomegranate
5 figs
5 dates
5 strawberries
10 blackberries
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried pineapple
1/4 silan (date syrup)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 lime
1 lemon
1 sprig of mint
Supplies:1 cutting board, 1 knife, 1 large bowl, smaller bowls for serving, and spoons

Blueberry Compote
1 bag frozen blueberries
2 tablespoon maple syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon cornstarch
Supplies need: A stove will be needed for this recipe.


Falafel  (fried or baked)
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 TB minced garlic
1 TB fresh parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
2 TB flour (we might need a bit more)
1 carrot, peeled (we will use the carrot while frying, to make sure the falafel does not burn)
vegetable oil (for frying)
Supplies Needed:  1 bowl, food processor (if you don't have one we will mash the chickpeas in the bowl), 1 frying pan, 1 large spoon or spatula (to mix ingredients), 1 slotted spatula or spoon (to remove falafel from the pan) and we will be using the stove. 
(Alternatively, these can also be baked).

Israeli Salad 
1-2 cucumbers, diced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1-2 scallions, diced (optional)
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1-2 TB olive oil
1-2 lemons
salt and pepper

Pita Bread
Israeli pickles

Israeli-Style Eggplant 
1 eggplant, washed, and cut into chunks
1 TB kosher salt
1 onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 TB ground coriander (optional)\
1 tsp cumin (optional)
1 tsp paprika
3 TB vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsely, chopped
1 lemon
Supplies Needed: 1 saute pan, 1 spatula,.. we will be using a stove (this can also be made, in stages, in a microwave)

Vegan Malabi (dessert) 
3 TB sugar
3 1/2 TB cornstarch
approx 1 cup almond millk
1 tsp rosewater (optional)
1 can coconut milk
 raspberry syrup/pomegranate seeds/shredded coconut/pistachio nuts (for topping)
Supplies Needed: 1 large container, 1pot, 1 spatula, 1 spoon, plastic wrap, stove
(Originally posted on


We greatly appreciate the generosity of Shamayim Jewish Animal Advocacy and VegFund for sponsoring the Y's Shamayim Challenge!