A week without bread, pasta, AND your morning cereal or pastry could feel a little daunting/boring/difficult/[insert mostly-negative adjective here], but here at Noshin’, we encourage you to take a different approach: enthusiastic welcoming of the opportunity to try something new and change your routine for a short, set period of time.
Your mother’s always badgering you to eat more vegetables (even though you’re quite grown up enough to make your own meal decisions, thankyouverymuch), and isn’t your breakfast routine absolutely screaming for a spring makeover (not to mention your lunch and dinner)?
Here’s my plan for you: ditch the matzah-laden fake-out recipes (read: anything made with matzah flour, including cakes and rolls) for a fresh take on your eating habits. I’ve done rigorous research and taste-testing (life’s hard, I know), and present for your review a week’s worth of meal suggestions.
And, since Passover starts on a Monday night this year, take advantage of Sunday to prep for the upcoming week! Just one less excuse…
Plan: Load up on plain yogurt with a variety of frozen fruit (I like mango and raspberry) and add your own sugar if you’re so inclined.
Hard-boiled eggs aren’t just for the seder plate — hard boil some at the beginning of the week and have one with breakfast if you aren’t up for making omelets in the a.m.
Make a couple of filling salads and mix and match them for lunchtime variety. Add some leftover protein of your choice and you’re set! Plus, most of these recipes keep at room temperature!
- Spice-Roasted Butternut Squash and Onions
- Lentil Salad with Fresh Mint and Goat Cheese
- Toasted Quinoa Salad with Lemon and Herbs
- Vegetable Kugel (easy to stretch with more eggs, or adapt with your vegetables of choice)
- Moroccan Carrot Salad
- Moroccan Beet Salad (Tip: buy canned beets to skip the arduous, time-intensive task of roasting them whole.)
- Egg salad over mixed greens (matzah optional!)
Bonus points: roast a chicken at the beginning of the week (or just make extra of whatever protein is on the menu for dinner or the seder).
- Matzo ball soup isn’t just for seders — serve it all week! Keep uncooked matzo balls in the fridge, then pop them into boiling soup.
- Speaking of soups, they’re easy to make large quantities of. Try guacamole soup!
- Try a stir-fry — sure, we’re used to eating them with rice, but you could abstain if that’s your custom; try it with some quinoa!
- Or, how about the quintessential Israeli meal, shakshuka?
- And holy cow, are there other Passover recipe roundups out there: Vegetarian, healthy, diabetic, traditional, gourmet…
- Top chicken pot pie (or any similar casserole) with mashed potatoes instead of dough. (Or, basically, combine some soup with some veggies and protein, then top it with starch, and — ta-da! Casserole!)
- Eggplant lasagna can be hearty, healthy, and kosher for Passover.
- Latkes aren’t just for Hanukkah — they can be Passover-appropriate too!
- And there’s nothing wrong with the meat+vegetable+potato combination: brisket + broccoli + mashed Yukons, chicken + Swiss chard + sweet potato fries, baked salmon+ creamed spinach+baked potato… The possibilities are endless. Not every night of Passover has to be something fancy; basic and easy has a place, too!
- Carrots (or other crisp raw veggies) with caramelized onion dip
- Applesauce (or even just leftover charoset!)
- String cheese
As if you needed encouragement or help in this area. Chances are you make the same two or three desserts every year. While there’s nothing wrong with that, some of you might be looking for something new. Here are a few I’m excited about:
- Flourless chocolate-pecan torte
- Chocolate caramel crack(ers)
- Almond-Macaroon Torte with Chocolate Frosting and Orange Compote
- Ricotta Fritters
- Any kind of homemade sorbet or ice cream
- And, of course, almond macaroons
What am I eating this week as a vegetarian? I’m eschewing typical Ashkenazi Passover minchag and continuing to eat beans and tofu. Heathen? Maybe in some communities, but if it’s good enough for the Sephardic community, it’s fine for me, and it means I still get lean protein without having to forego my vegetarianism for a week. I’ll sub my tofu or beans in wherever you omni-/carnivores would be eating meat, make a couple of veggie or lentil salads with some cheese, and call it a successful Passover.
Photos: yashima, The Gifted Photographer, joyosity