Cholent: Mushroom-Barley


There are as many versions of cholent as there inventive cooks. This vegan version of the traditional Jewish Sabbath stew dresses in humble schmates (rags) but promises not to disappoint.
This recipe is the creation of Jewish Veg supporter Zel Allen of Vegetarians in Paradise.

Prep time: 30 minutesCooking time: 1 1⁄4 hoursTotal time: 1 3⁄4 hours


large onions (sliced, then cut into quarters)
1⁄2 cup
4 cloves
garlic (crushed)
8 cloves
garlic (whole cloves, peeled)
cinnamon stick (3 inches long)
2⁄3 cups
pearl barley
shiitake mushrooms
1 pound
seitan (chicken style )
1 package
tofu (cut into 3/4-inch chunks)
potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold (cut into quarters)
large carrots (sliced)
5 cups
vegetable broth
1 1⁄4 teaspoon
3⁄4 teaspoons
1⁄2 teaspoon
ground ginger


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the onions, water, and crushed garlic in a large, deep skillet. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and beginning to turn golden brown. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to prevent burning.

Transfer the cooked onions to a 6-quart, covered casserole, place the cinnamon stick in the onions, and sprinkle with the barley.

Remove and discard the mushroom stems. Cut the mushroom caps in half and add them to the casserole with the seitan, potatoes, carrots, and whole garlic.

Combine the vegetable broth, salt, paprika, and ginger in a medium bowl and pour the mixture over the vegetables. Cover and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.