JCAN Conference Dinner Recipes

Kitchen crew

On March 24, the Jewish Climate Action Network ran a half-day conference, “The Time is Short, The Task is Great,” bringing together the Jewish community to explore surmounting challenges and mobilizing communities to act. Themes included: Sustainable Synagogues, Systemic Change Advocacy, Spirituality and Psychology, Food and Ecosystems, The Arts, Food Making, and Path for the Next 12 Years.

We were honored to coordinate a handful of workshops, as well as the vegan dinner. The majority of produce was sourced from The Neighborhood Farm in Wayland. Thanks to our chef educators Diana Goldman of Beantown Kitchen and Alex Khitrik of Inna’s Kitchen. Here are the recipes:

Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini

  • 200g lentils
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil , plus extra to finish
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained of juices
  • 25g cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ½ small red onion, peeled and sliced very thin

Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook for 15-20 minutes, until completely cooked, drain and set aside. 

Put the butter and oil in a large sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cumin, and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, 20g of cilantro and the cooked lentils.

Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then add the tahini, lemon juice, 70ml of water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.

Turn down the heat to medium and cook gently, stirring, for a few minutes more, until hot and thickened.

Roughly mash the lentils with a potato masher, so that some are broken up and you get a thick, porridge consistency.  Spread out the lentils on a flat platter, run a fork through to make a wavy pattern on top, and scatter on the sliced onion, the remaining cilantro.

Moroccan Inspired Winter Slaw

  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses or maple syrup
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ to 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1 cup good olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup julienned celery root
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Put the first 6 ingredients together in a blender and puree.  Slowly stream in oil until emulsified.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix all cut vegetables and pomegranate with the lemon juice and mint.  Toss with dressing. 

Wild Rice and Kasha Salad


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cups wild rice, soaked in cold water overnight, then drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Kasha mixed grain cereal
  • 4 cups vegetable stock

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, heat oil.  Add drained wild rice and toast about 1 minute.  Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer slowly for about 45 minutes or until soft but still whole and firm. 

In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of vegetable stock to a boil.  Add kasha to boiling liquid, reduce heat and cover.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients.  Toss with grains while they are still warm.  Set aside.

Vegetables and Herbs:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 sweet peppers, small dice
  • Chick peas….
  • 1 bunch scallion, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 Tablespoon each, fresh thyme and oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

When ready to serve, combine vegetables and herbs to the grains with dressing, fold together and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Vegan Chocolate Cake (serves 12)

  • ½ cup dry or 2 c cooked Cooked Quinoa
  • 2.6 oz or 1/3 cup Coconut Milk
  • 4 Eggs (or replacement)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Butter (Earth Balance
  • 1.5 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350f – prepare baking pans/sheets/rounds with parchment paper on bottoms.
2. Combine coconut milk, eggs, and vanilla in a blender. Process just till combined.
3. Add the cooked (cooled) quinoa and ‘butter’. When cooking the quinoa, use extra water so it doesn’t dry out. Blend until smooth. (Do this blending in batches that the blender can accommodate.)
4. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5 Add contents from blender to the bowl and mix till combined.
6 Divide the batter between pans and bake for 25-30 minutes (till toothpick comes out mostly clean).

Buttercream Frosting (3 cups)

8 cups organic powdered sugar (or powdered coconut sugar, powdered succanat, etc)
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup organic palm shortening (or vegan butter or a combination of both)
1/2-3/4 cup almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer. Mix on low till combined then on high for 1 minute till smooth.
Use additional milk or sugar to adjust consistency as necessary.