Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Store Cupboard Vegan Dinner Party

I am aware that I may have upped the ante when it comes to store cupboard meals. If my store cupboard guru isn't proud of me for this one I give up.

It all started when an old friend from England, currently living in Tel Aviv, came for Friday Night Dinner. Notice the capital letters there? Friday Night Dinner isn't just food on a Friday evening. It's one of the two main Shabbat (Sabbath) meals. At least three courses are expected and there are often four.

My friend and I have a mutual friend living round the corner so I also invited her and her family of three. We were six at table, four courses, vegan, and almost entirely from the store cupboard.

The Menu

Hors d'ouvres
Wine - My friend from round the corner brought a bottle of wine.
Challa - I bought two loaves of challa. (about 6 shekels each but one is left over for sandwiches during the week)
Humus - Home Made and all from the cupboard.
Coleslaw - I had a cabbage and I made it with red bell peppers instead of carrots as that's what I had.
Salad - Tomato/cucumber/avocado
Pickled cucumbers - A tin from the cupboard.

Tomato soup - There was an offer of three one litre cartons of assorted soft drinks for 12 shekels. I bought apple and mango for drinking, and one litre of  tomato juice to add to the soup. The other ingredients were sauteed onions, red peppers and garlic, tomato puree and seasonings. I had all of those in stock.
Soup nuts - From the cupboard.

Main Course
Shepherd's pie - In the freezer I had a bag of Tivol 'minced meat' (tvp) which I sauteed up with onion, garlic, tomato puree, soy sauce and some powdered onion soup mix. The topping was made from two other packets found in the freezer which needed to be used up; cauliflower and artichoke hearts. (I'm not even sure why I bought the artichoke hearts, they must have been on offer.) Both boiled and processed into a puree with seasoning and some flour to bind it a bit.

I only remembered to photograph it afterwards. #bloggerfail
Roast potatoes - Yup, we had potatoes and oil in stock.
Mixed vegetables - I used up whatever there was. It was mainly mushrooms, peas, tofu cubes, and onions.

Hot vanilla-iced cake - I bought it (14 shekels)
Dates and fresh strawberries - Brought by friend from Tel Aviv.
Tea and coffee

The total cost for dinner for six was 6 shekels for the challa, 12 shekels for the drinks, and 14 shekels for the cake. 32 shekels is about 5.50GBP. And there are leftovers for the week in the fridge.

Obviously you can't do this every week as you have to buy food sometimes but it's great when you can pull it off. If I'd not had so many vegetables in the fridge I could have made the shepherd's pie into a pasta bake and the mixed vegetables could have been tinned mushrooms and a gravy to be served with couscous or rice. I always have tvp and peas in the freezer and a cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers in the fridge. The soup nuts are also a staple here as DD likes a little bag of them to take to school for a snack.

For more about store cupboard eating look here.


  1. want me to lend you some money?

    1. No point, how would I pay it back? If you want to give me some money, on the other hand.... Or if you are Jewish billionaire with no children you can just marry and solve all our problems. :)

  2. Replies
    1. They are like croutons. ey are also called soup almonds because they were pasta-type pieces cut in an almond shape and baked to a crisp.

    2. You just reminded me that I prepared carrots and cabbage for a coleslaw for lunch and I never made it. Oops.

    3. You just reminded me that I prepared carrots and cabbage for a coleslaw for lunch and I never made it. Oops.

  3. Nice job, but is challah really vegan? When my son was younger he was sensitive to eggs and I had to buy something called "water challah" which didn't have eggs.

    1. I've no idea. There are egg challas which are more yellowy in colour and I didn't buy them. Also there was no glaze so no egg whites on top. I really don't know if they contain eggs in the dough or not.

  4. I'm extremely impressed at your creativity! Good job well done I'd say.

  5. How resourceful are you? Brilliant.... and it does look delicious. X

    1. Thank you, it was and I even had friends round during the week to polish off the leftovers.