MOM'S NOODLE KUGEL
Growing up in a mildly Jewish household, we only ate traditional Jewish foods around Passover or Hanukkah. Noodle kugel was always a must-have. Sweet, filling, and creamy, this dessert is one of my favorites. But normally, kugel is made with a laundry list of planet unfriendly ingredients—like eggs, butter, and cheese. These ingredients require large amounts of water and land, and emit huge quantities of greenhouse gasses. (Just the cheese alone emits about 13.5 kg of CO2 per serving!) So this recipe uses tofu instead—a much gentler choice, emitting only 2 kg of CO2 per serving—along with plant-based sour cream and margarine. The first time I tried it out on my mother, you can imagine I was nervous. But she loved it, our guests loved it, and the whole dish was gobbled up. Not one person was able to pass over this tasty, eco-friendly kugel.
Serves 8 to 10
Prep and cooking time: 1 hour
8 oz pasta (rotini or spelt ribbons)
1 apple or pear
½ (16-oz) package soft tofu
¼ C pure maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C Tofutti sour cream
¼ C margarine, melted
½ C sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 C raisins
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease an 11 x 8-inch casserole dish with margarine.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the directions on the package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Thinly slice the apple or pear and put it in a large bowl. Finely crumble the tofu into the bowl. Stir in all the remaining ingredients, in the order listed, and mix. The tofu should be mashed and fine by the end. Add the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly to combine.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake until the kugel is firm on the inside and the top turns golden brown and begins to crisp, 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let sit for at least 10 minutes, and serve.
Serving Suggestion: Kugel is great served cold or at room temperature!