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Symbolic Foods

Symbolic Foods

Delicious recipes for the simanim of Rosh Hashanah.


On Rosh Hashana, we eat various symbolic foods – simanim -- as omens for the new year. Through them we express our desires for a sweet new year and to be inscribed in the book of life. While each item can be eaten raw, making unique dishes incorporating those makes each siman a little more special and may bring a greater focus to the activity. The following are just a sampling of the possibilities. For more recipes, please visit

Carrot Soup

12 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
3 boxes Imagine pareve chicken soup
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large soup bowl and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about ½ hour until carrots are soft. Allow soup to cool slightly and then purée with hand immersion blender until smooth.

Date Bread

1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup strong coffee
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup small pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Combine dates and baking soda. Pour boiling coffee over and let sit. Cream together the margarine, sugar and egg. Mix in the vanilla and flour. Stir in the nuts and the date mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour. Let stand for 5 -10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack.

Pumpkin Tarts

1 (8-ounce) package tofutti cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup non-dairy creamer
¼ cup margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
12 pre-made tart shells

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tart shells on a cookie sheet. Beat tofutti cream cheese until whipped. Beat in pumpkin and sugar. Add the eggs, creamer and margarine and continue beating until well combined. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. Pour filling into tart shells and bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

Roasted Beets

2 bunches of beets, washed and sliced as thin as possible
olive oil
kosher salt

Line a low rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non stick cooking spray. Put sliced beets in a single layer on the pan (you may need two pans). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and toss the oil and beets together. Roast in the oven until the beets are soft and a little crisp on the edges (the peel will come right off). Sprinkle generously with kosher salt.

New Year’s Coleslaw

1-1/2 packages cole slaw mix
¼ cup candied pecan pieces
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds


1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine and shake to mix well.

Combine all salad ingredients including mandarin oranges if desired. Toss with about ½ cup of the dressing and serve.

September 13, 2009

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Visitor Comments: 5

(5) , September 24, 2009 3:44 PM

For your cheesecake from the "white cheese" cottage cheese?

(4) Sig Friedman, September 17, 2009 6:53 PM

The site looks wonderful..your now on my favorites list.

I am always looking for different cooking sites and when I find them I am truly excited. Besides having many cook books in print I like to go on line and compare various tecniques and ingredients before I start to never know what wonders will come out with collaboration

(3) Elisheva, September 16, 2009 2:44 PM


Not just because of the gematria-- but there is a halacha regarding avoiding nuts on R"H because they make you salivate-- and it makes it more difficult to daven. Please ask your own Rabbi regarding nuts on R"H.

(2) Anonymous, September 13, 2009 4:51 PM

no nuts

These recipes look great. Just one comment - many people have the custom not to eat nuts on Rosh Hashanah since the numerical value of nut is the same as that as sin. While some say this only refers to walnuts, other people avoid all nuts. So perhaps it would be best to find an ingredient other than pecans for your New Year's Coleslaw.

(1) Anonymous, September 13, 2009 2:54 PM

Wow, great site!!

Hi, Love your recipes and checked out your new site GOURMETKOSHERCOOKING.COM and it's wonderful! Good luck with it, I'm making it one of my favorites!! -Basia

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