Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

Nine Days Menu Plan – Scrap the Meat, Bring Out the Tofu

Recently I was asked if I had a Nine Days Menu Plan set yet.  At the time, I did not.  In general, I’ve fallen away from monthly menu planning.  We’ve fallen into a comfortable routine of:

  • Sunday ~ leftovers from Shabbos
  • Monday ~ Fish or Pareve
  • Tuesday ~ Whatever – either leftovers of Monday or Meat
  • Wednesday ~ Meat (sometimes leftovers from Tuesday)
  • Thursday ~ Dairy
  • (and then it’s Shabbos, which is really its own thing)

But the Nine Days presents its own challenge, since meat is off the table (ba-dum-CHING).  

In case you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, this is the (very abridged) deal with the Nine Days:

We used to have a Temple, in Jerusalem.  It was amazing.  God’s Presence was *right there* and it was great.  Now we don’t have it, and we are sad, very sad.

The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.
The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are reminded of this regularly :

  • When we pray, we face Jerusalem, where the Temple was.
  • At the end of our daily prayers, we say a short supplication asking for the return of our Temple to us.
  • During the Grace After Meals, we reference Jerusalem and/or the Temple.
  • Concluding the wedding ceremony is the breaking of the glass, which signifies that there is no complete joy until we have our Temple back.

It’s not just that we want our Temple, it’s that we want the closeness to God that comes with it, among other things.  I could go on, but you’re probably here for the menu ideas, not a drasha.  If you want to read more about this time of year, here are some excellent linkies:

  1. Why Do We Still Mourn?
  2. ABCs of Tisha B’Av & The Three Weeks
  3. History of the Destruction of the Temples

As part of this three week mourning process, of which the Nine Days is the most intense, we restrain from some enjoyable things in order to connect to the grieving.  Foodwise, this means during the Nine Days we don’t eat meat or drink wine, except on Shabbos.

We’re not big meat-eaters over here, not like some of my neighbors who eat meat every single night (hey, to each their own).  But taking a meat meal or two out of the normal rotation does call for a little bit of thought to ensure enough protein is being eaten (my vegan and vegetarian friends, this is where you shine!  Please share your wisdom!).

Here’s a tentative menu plan:

  • Monday, July 8th (the 1st of Av) ~ Cornmeal Crusted Flounder (from Kosher by Design Short on Time), Green Salad with Veggies
  • Tuesday, July 9th (2nd of Av)Creamy Bow Ties with Peas & Tuna, from More Quiche, Please, Black Bean and Corn Salad
  • Wednesday, July 10th (3rd of Av) ~ Veggie Curry from Hannah’s Nook (from the freezer), Couscous, Roasted Tofu
  • Thursday, July 11th (4th of Av) ~ Baked Noodles with Sauce and Cheese (from the freezer), Green Salad with Veggies
  • Friday, July 12th/Shabbos, July 13th (5th & 6th of Av) ~ Shabbos, so that’s pretty much normal
  • Sunday, July 14th (7th of Av) ~ Tuna Salad on Bagels, Green Salad with some kind of nuts (pecans, maybe)
  • Monday, July 15th (8th of Av) ~ this the pre-fast meal Mushroom Barley Soup (from the freezer), whole wheat bagels with cream cheese and lox
  • Tuesday, July 16th (9th of Av) ~ Fast Day (Tisha B’Av – “Tisha” means 9th)

What’s on your menu?  Please feel free to share links to your menu plan or to recipes that you would use during this time of year.  

And next year, may we be eating a festive meal!  


11 thoughts on “Nine Days Menu Plan – Scrap the Meat, Bring Out the Tofu

  1. Happy to see one of my own on your 9 Days menu! I actually just updated that recipe, and the directions make much more sense now, so good timing. :)

    1. That’s a tricky one. Would she be game to any of the tofu-based “fake” meat? You could do fake chili or tacos with real cheese, or a salad with fake deli, or fake sausage and scrambled eggs (or, better, IN scrambled eggs!). Hatzlacha!

  2. won’t lox be too salty right before a fast! I wouldn’t eat any salty foods before a FAST!!! :Maybe switch the lox to watermelon or cantaloupe as I heard they help you from getting dehydrated during the FAST!

  3. Hi Rivki
    Here is my menu for the 9 days. I have two children under 4, therefore my menu is kids friendly.

    Nine day menu
    Monday, July 8 – Burekas, Caesar salad with Croutons, corn on the cob, may be yogurt and cereal
    Tuesday, July 9 – (Tuesday is hotdog night) Veggie-hotdogs with fries and sweet potatoes fries, green beans
    Wednesday, July 10 – (wed is fish night) fish sticks, quinoa with peppers, green salad
    Thursday, July 11 – pizza (we go out every Thursday)
    Friday, July 12 – glaze salmon, rice, and green salad (my kids have dinner before Shabbos), then my son stays up for Kidush.
    Shabbat, July 13 – cholent and salads: Carrot salad, noodle salad, beet salad, green salad, and kugel.
    Sunday, July 14 – For lunch: Bagels with cream cheese with lox. For super: Burekas, green beans, left over salads.
    Monday, July 15 – Tuna Salad, cuscus, and mushroom Barley soup.
    Tuesday, July 16 – fast day (Tisha B’Av) for the kids Bagels with cream cheese and jelly, yogurt with blue berries. (I need to give them something that won’t make me hungry and that they will like.)

  4. For the meat loving-kid, I suggest:
    Fish sticks with the option of a dipping sauce
    Fake meat which is tofu-base with tomato sauce
    Fake meat tacos with the corn shells

    1. My pleasure,
      I am a mom with a pick-eater and it is nice to share what works and keeps him happy (and me too).

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