Happy Spring and happy (almost) Passover and Easter! What are your plans and do they happen to include food? I am going to guess that they do! Mine sure do, and even though there are lots of things a Jewess like myself cannot (or should not) consume during Passover, there are still TONS of things to eat! …and if you celebrate Easter (or both!), not to worry! I’ve got you covered, too! There are way more choices than hardboiled eggs or ham! Let’s create some newer, more conscious traditions, shall we?
During Passover, Jews do not consume “chametz”, which includes any of the following grains:
Wheat Oats Rye Barley Spelt
These grains are prohibited if they’ve had any contact with water or moisture for longer than 18 minutes, which leads to rising or “leavening.” Leavening agents, like yeast and sourdough, are also considered chametz and should not be consumed.
Although technically matzo (which is what we eat during this time) is made from wheat, it is an unleavened bread, so it’s okay.
Ashkenazi Jews also refrain from consuming rice, corn, millet and legumes during Passover.
So…WHAT can we eat, if we cannot eat any of the above?? Veggies would be a great start!! 😉 Also, QUINOA is totally allowed!! So, if you’re already consuming your quinoa and veggies, the upcoming Passover menu shouldn’t even phase you! Just don’t overdo it on the Manischewitz wine! 😉
The following recipes can actually be interchangeable for both holidays, if you so please, or if you live in a mixed faith household such as myself.
I assure you, these recipes will make you (and your family) very “hoppy.” 🙂
I used to go crazy for these as a kid and have not had a “real” one in many years because these make an amazing alternative that is animal and cholesterol free!
6 small, organic red potatoes
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plain hummus
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Dash Cholula, or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
Dash black salt (which you can find at an Indian market–it has a sulfurous taste, which makes these seem more “egg” like)
Boil potatoes until tender with a fork, then let cool completely. In the meantime, mix hummus, mustard, garlic and onion together, plus a pinch of black salt, stirring to combine. Add in hot sauce, if you prefer spicy deviled eggs. Add more Dijon or black salt to taste, then set aside. Once potatoes cool, slice in half long-ways and use a little spoon or melon baller to scoop out a small circle of the potato flesh to resemble an “egg”. Spoon the hummus mixture into the hole and garnish with paprika.
Spring Quinoa Salad
This is nice as a starter, or as an entree and it’s bursting with bright flavors and colors!
1 cup quinoa
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp EVOO
1 small bunch asparagus (FYI, asparagus is on the “Clean 15″ list, so if you cannot find organic, you’re safe!), about 15 spears, washed and cut into 1” pieces
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup frozen peas
1 avocado, cut into chunks
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
For the dressing:
3 tbsp EVOO
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp coconut nectar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
In a small bowl or medium Mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine or shake jar with tightly sealed lid. Set aside.
If your quinoa is pre-cooked, reheat on low on stove by adding just a bit of water to your pot. If you’re cooking quinoa at this time from scratch, cook quinoa by using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Boil for 5 minutes, and simmer for 15 until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and fresh lemon juice. Cook until tender, for about 5 minutes–be careful not to overcook, as you don’t want mushy asparagus. You want it to be bright green! Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, asparagus, peas, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the fresh basil and serve.
Matzo Mac ‘n’ Cheese
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3½ cups broken matzo (use gluten free matzo, if desired)
¾ cup Daiya mozzarella cheese, divided
6 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
3 flax eggs, beaten (to make 1 flax egg, combine 1tbsp ground flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water–whisk together and set aside in fridge for 5-10 min)
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1¾ cups unsweetened almond milk
1¼ cups Follow Your Heart vegan sour cream
Fresh dill, to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and saute onion until golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients, reserving ¼ cup of the Daiya mozzarella.
Pour into an 8×8 dish and top with reserved mozzarella. Cover and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. If you like, sprinkle with fresh dill. Serve hot.
Cauliflower Leek Kugel with Crusted Almond Topping
8 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads cauliflower)
6 tbsp EVOO, divided
4 cups coarsely chopped leeks (use both white and green parts–about 3 large leeks)
6 tbsp unsalted matzo meal
3 flax eggs (to make 1 flax egg, combine 1tbsp ground flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water–whisk together and set aside in fridge for 5-10 min)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup almonds, toasted, chopped
Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl and mash coarsely with potato masher.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add leek mixture to cauliflower. Mix in matzo meal. Beat in flax eggs, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp dill, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend; stir into cauliflower mixture.
Brush 11×7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared dish. Mix almonds, remaining 7 tbsp parsley, 7 tbsp dill, and 2 tbsp oil in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle evenly over kugel. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake kugel uncovered until set in center and beginning to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
Raw Chocolate Brownies
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup Medjool dates
5 tbsp raw cacao, or unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp coconut nectar
1/4 tsp sea salt
Place pecans in food processor and process until they become tiny pieces. Add in your dates and process again until the mixture sticks together, almost like a paste.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture turns dark brown. Do not over process.
Add mixture into a glass brownie pan, and press down firmly using your clean hands or wax paper.
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Cut into brownie squares once chilled.
Chocolate Matzo Squares
6 (about 6-inch x 6-inch) lightly salted matzo crackers
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup your favorite dark chocolate, chopped and melted
1/3 cup minced pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange matzos on 2 large baking sheets in a single layer, breaking some in half to fit, if needed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together vegan butter and coconut sugar and generously brush on top of your matzo pieces.
Bake until the sugar is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Use a fork to drizzle chocolate and then sprinkle pistachios over the top.
Briefly refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Break into about 24 pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.
So, there you have it!! I hope these recipes will inspire a healthier version of your holidays, which ever you celebrate and I hope your holidays are joyful!
For more recipe ideas, or for personalized nutrition coaching that is specific to unique and amazing YOU, contact me!