UnDiet Your Passover and Make This Instead.

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Alternative Passover options

Passover is a Jewish holiday that extends for eight days, requiring observers to avoid leavened bread. That’s the basic rule. No problem. I don’t remember the last time I ate leavened bread.

Beyond this- the rules get a little fuzzy. You could join ten different families for passover on the same street and have ten different experiences of what Passover is. Even to this good little hebrew-school-educated nutritionista, it gets confusing.

For example: wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats are forbidden, unless those foods are labeled “kosher for Passover.” Matzoh, the primary symbolic  ’food’ of Passover is made most often with wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats. Confusing, and you can throw your gluten-free dreams out the window. Food can get the stamp of approval if rabbis have determined that foods containing these grains are cooked in 18  minutes or less- after which time the natural leavening in the grains would cause foods to rise.

Typically “Kosher for Passover foods” are those made specifically for the holiday under the supervision of a rabbi. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet a nutritionist rabbi, and much of the kosher foods are loaded with hydrogenated and modified vegetable oils, monosodium glutamate, and refined flours and chemical preservatives.

Additional foods that are usually forbidden during Passover include: rice, millet, corn, beans and lentils. These are forbidden as they can be ground up and cooked like flour and therefore can be mixed in to stuff and baked and rise, therefore falling into the leavened bread category.

Quinoa is the saving grace of those trying to observe both gluten-free health and Passover.

I respect those that choose to follow the traditions of their culture combining those with the traditions of their families.

The question I have is how a holiday that was intended to celebrate the freeing of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, evolved into a holiday filled with heavily processed ten pound matzoh bagels, kosher for Passover toothpaste and chewing gum,  cakes that use a dozen eggs, the most constipating food combinations there ever were, ridiculously sweet bad wine, and the swapping of day-to-day dishes for disposables for eight days to avoid contamination (some people do have a second set of real dishes for this holiday).

The traditions have evolved and some of these may not be working. I’m pretty sure this was not how the holiday was celebrated five hundred years ago, let alone fifty years ago.

What if “the way it’s always been done”, or the ways our families celebrate it,  just doesn’t work for our own personal values and philosophies? Then what do we do?

That’s where we ask:

Is this working?

It is time to UnDiet your Passover!

A Complete UnDiet Passover Menu
Appetizers

Soup Options

Salad Options

Side Dish Options

Mains (go nuts with your usual turkey, chicken or fish options- but perhaps try these too)

Dessert

What are you cooking up this year for Passover or Easter? Are you UnDieting your own holidays?

3 Responses to “UnDiet Your Passover and Make This Instead.”

  1. sharon stanley

    #

    not jewish, but love that there are alternatives for ALL holidays! what is the yummy salad shown above? must make that!

    Reply
  2. rebecca

    #

    I’m lucky, my maternal family is *really* into whole food! and most of us stay away from gluten too. I never have to fear going to Easter, Christmas or thanksgiving. There is always more than enough for me to eat. No ambrosia salad or candied yams or green bean casserole from a can.

    Reply
  3. Maxine

    #

    Meghan, these options are brilliant – thank you so much. I love this post & completely agree with your sentiments. Happy pesach :)

    Reply

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