Tonight I made the cholent recipe from Veganomicon. It came out really good, though it didn’t really remind me of real cholent the way my mama and her mama used to make it, but it does make for a delicious and hearty stew all the same.

Vegan Cholent from Veganomicon

I made a few changes to the recipe. I used red lentils instead of French lentils because that’s what I had on hand. I used peas instead of lima beans, not because I don’t like them but because I couldn’t find them already cooked (I wanted to make this now and not wait for beans to soak… the recipe said peas could be substituted), and I used ready made seitan instead of TVP chunks. They specify in the recipe that it must be TVP chunks and not the flakes, however TVP chunks are impossible to get just about anywhere unless I wanted to bother mail-ordering some (or try harder), which I didn’t. The seitan made a fine substitute and allowed me to make the entire recipe using all organic ingredients.

Vegan Cholent from Veganomicon
(all up in it)

I really liked the flavor that came through from the caraway seeds. Next time I make this I’ll use more garlic, leave out the lentils and instead use barley which is more traditional. I’ll also acquire lima beans as it’s not really cholent without them. Overall, a great recipe as is, regardless of whatever you call it. There’s lots of interesting info on cholent to be found in the Wikipedia:

Le Chaim!

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22 Responses to “Oi Vey! Vegan Cholent from Veganomicon”
  1. Beth says:

    Isn’t that stuff filling? I loves me some cholent- yours looks prettier than when I did it! Also, for future reference, if you’re ever out in West LA, you can get TVP chunks from the Erewhon market by the Grove, or the Santa Monica co-op (sort of near the 405 & 10 freeways). Took me forever to find it too :-)

  2. FoodEater says:

    Beth: Indeed, as the recipe explains, it really does “stick to your ribs”! Very hearty and filling and nice on a cold evening.

    And thanks for the tips on the TVP chunks! I tried all of the natural food stores nearby, as well as the not-so-natural Asian food markets but couldn’t find any. I haven’t been to Erewhon in years but it’s good to know they have the stuff. As mentioned in my post, the seitan actually worked out really well. I’ve yet to find any organic TVP of any sort anywhere, so I avoid using it if I can, knowing it’s made of GMO frankenfood. I can buy (or make) organic seitan so it made for a great substitute.

    The authors of Veganomicon should include a list of such substitutes in future editions of the book. If I have a hard time finding an ingredient in Los Angeles, imagine how hard it is to find out in the middle of nowhere.

  3. kay says:

    it looks so delicious.

  4. Jessica says:

    Those pictures are gorgeous! I love the cute little squash & garlic in the first picture.

  5. FoodEater says:

    Jessica: Thanks! The squash and garlic will probably turn into dinner tomorrow…

  6. Beth says:

    Yea, I like your idea of the seitan in this recipe. Even people in the middle of NYC are having trouble finding tvp chunks!

  7. FoodEater says:

    Beth: Yeah, I’d hesitated to make this because I couldn’t find the right TVP. Looking around online I noticed other people also talking about not being able to find any… I would provide a link to the person who I noticed first suggested the seitan substitute but unfortunately I can’t find that post anywhere. I find it kind of odd that they used such a difficult to find ingredient in this recipe… surely they must realize that lots of people won’t have access to it (or even know what it is!). Regardless, I think that seitan has a more realistic “meaty” taste and feel to it then TVP, so it’s all good :)

  8. VeggieGirl says:

    mmm, your version of the Cholent sounds even tastier – bravo with the recipe changes!

  9. Melisser says:

    Just a tip on the TVP chunks; you can find them at Indian grocery stores! I bought some by “Soy Day”, but my Indian market had lots of choices & they were all inexpensive.

  10. soup and stew is very good food!

    anyways, have you ‘taken advantage’ of any dineLA restaurants?

    (check out my blog)

  11. Vegyogini says:

    What a lovely-looking stew! I’ve never had traditional cholent, but it seems like barley would be great instead of the lentils since you already have the seitan/TVP for “meatiness.” That bowl is beautiful. :) Madeleine’s cooking class is today…I’ll let you know how it is!

  12. That looks perfect for the frigid weather we’ve been having in Kansas City, MO.

  13. Meg Wolff says:

    This looks delicious!!

  14. FoodEater says:

    Melisser: Thanks for the tip. I’ve since learned that they can also be found at some of the Asian markets. Good to know!

  15. Cookiemouse says:

    This I must try out. It looks delicious. I love red lentils and use them a lot.

  16. FoodEater says:

    Cookiemouse: Yes, give it a try! The recipe actually calls for french lentils, not the red ones, but they worked fine.

  17. hundredflowers says:

    they sell tvp chunks in the bulk section at follow your heart. i want to know where to find nutritional yeast somewhere closer to east LA.

  18. FoodEater says:

    hundredflowers: Have you checked for nutritional yeast at Nature Mart in Los Feliz? Seems like something they would carry… not sure if that’s east enough for you. Here in the valley I know you can get it at Full of Life in Burbank. They carry a few different kinds, including Red Star.

  19. quarrygirl says:

    that looks delicious! i need to try more stuff from veganmoicon. i found like 3 things i like and i just keep making them over and over….need to branch out!

    GOOD LUCK on cholent round 2!!

  20. mumkin says:

    Spotted your tweet about the cholent after making some of my own tonight. I used some Japanese tvp strip thingies from a local Asian market… lessee, the bag says it’s “JP Vege Slice” from, but it’s really just big tvp squares. Worked well, and yeah, I’m totally sold on caraway. I’ll try making cholent with seitan next time.

  21. FoodEater says:

    mumkin: When I made it this last time I used tvp flakes even though the recipe specifically says not too… it was all I had on hand. It still turned out great! The flakes give it more of a chili like consistency. The flavors in this recipe are foolproof so I think it’s safe to switch the ingredients up a bit as long as you keep the basics. Next time I think I’ll try it with seitan too. I love this dish and am very glad to have it in my arsenal.