YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. DON'T BE MATZAH
Eating on passover makes me anxious. I obsess over questions like, will I have access to real food at my parent’s house? Will I be able to eat how I usually do? Will I show restraint or will I binge eat coconut macaroons because they’re just there? Will I or won’t I be bloated for three straight days? Can I pull off not eating even one morsel of matzah for the entire holiday? Because you know, it’s inedible and all.. Also, how many matzah farfel cookies will I eat, and when will “but these cookies have been in my family for generations” no longer be a legitimate justification for eating the aforementioned cookies?
These questions plague (!) me each time Passover rolls around. Which is why I decided to take a look at how I normally like to eat - whole foods, plant based, eating with the seasons- and inject that framework into passover friendly recipes - dishes that do not have chametz. What’s chametz you ask? It’s an esoteric category of restricted ingredients including foods that contain any amount of wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt- essentially anything that can leaven, or “puff up.” The reason for the tradition is to pay homage to that time when the Jews became free, fled Egypt with haste and so didn’t have time for their bread to rise. Oh, and you’re also not allowed to eat seeds, beans, chickpeas, corn, or many other things delicious. That I can’t really explain.
But diet concerns aside, I am grateful to have strong Passover traditions (thanks Mom & Dad!). My Dad, for example, constructs a tent in our living room, held up and jerry rigged with shower curtain rods, waste bins and bricks. After 5 years, it’s never collapsed, but it has come close, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re on borrowed time. Each year we sit underneath the rickety yet beautiful tent, surrounded by a panoramic painted background of ancient Egypt and sarcophaguses made from old cardboard boxes. And we tell stories about the history of the Jewish people, what it means to be free, fortunate, and privileged, and how that translates to our current reality. And underneath the many rituals and liturgies, we find ourselves in deep discussion about philosophy and politics. The table becomes a platform for us to connect and speak openly, passionately about our unique points of view about the world. It’s a pretty incredible thing… I hope you can make it to our Passover table one day. Until then, here are my three passover friendly, matzah free bowls. Because, again, matzah is indigestible.
Spiced Carrot & Lemon Yogurt Bowl
- 2 lbs of carrots, roasted with cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika
- 2 cups of quinoa, boiled for 20 mins with 4 cups of water
- ¼ cup of golden raisins
- ¼ cup of almonds
- ¼ cup of mint chopped
- 1 cup of yogurt with ½ lemon, squeezed, 1 clove of garlic, minced
Roasted carrots with spices on a pan at 425 for 45 mins. When finished, place quinoa in bowl and top with carrots, raisins, almonds, lemon yogurt and mint.
Root Mash & Mushroom Bowl
- 1 lb of carrots
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- chili powder
- 2 cups of mushrooms
- ¼ cup of white wine
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbs thyme
- micro greens
Boil carrots and sweet potato for 30 mins until soft. Blend with 1 tbs. coconut oil, salt, pepper, and 1 pinch of cinnamon, cumin, paprika and chili powder, until smooth. Meanwhile, heat a pan on med heat with 1 tsp butter and 1 stalk of thyme. Add mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are crispy, they add 1/4 cup of white wine. Let simmer until evaporated. Place root mash in bowl and top with mushrooms, pistachios and micro greens
Spaghetti Squash, Honey Roasted Radish & Radish Green Pesto
- 1 spaghetti squash, roasted for 45 mins with 1 inch of water
- 1 lb of radishes, roasted with salt, pepper, and honey
- ¼ cup of radish greens
- ½ cup of olive oil
- ½ cup of pistachios
- ½ cup of mint
- ¼ cup of scallions
- 1 clove of garlic
Blend olive oil, pistachios, mint, scallions, salt and pepper and garlic in a blender. Assemble shredded squash, pesto and top with radishes and parsley.