Passover always starts with a large celebratory Seder meal, but what about meal planning and eating in the week following that? I remember watching my husband years ago when we were dating seemingly become hungrier as the week went on. When we starting living together, this was one of our first holidays I felt needed to be addressed... because surely we could find something to eat during Passover without having daily Matzoh pizzas and feeling hungry all of the time. Today I'll share our tips for planning, shopping and cooking during Passover, as well as a sample meal plan, and one of our favourite compotes you can enjoy over Kosher for Passover Yogurt or Cottage Cheese during this holiday.
What to Eat During Passover
After I learned about what was Kosher for Passover was for Reform Judaism, my husband went to explore the grocery stores to see what products were out there. I was surprised at the number of options that we found during our Passover shopping, and the variety of Passover items there were. Over the years, my husband and I have tired a number of the products. We tend to find some things aren't worth the investment (such as Passover friendly pasta - blech!), but there have been a few favourites we've gone back for (matzoh soup nuts disguise well as croutons on a salad!).
These days, I look at cooking for Passover as an exciting challenge. I always need to remind myself about what we can and cannot consume before we meal plan, but then I jump into it! Over the years, we've created a few general tips for meal planning and cooking during Passover to get us through the week so that it hardly seems noticeable.
Tips for Passover Shopping & Preparation
1) Buy lots of fresh ingredients!
Make a meal plan. When considering recipes, focus on what foods are Kosher for Passover! And that's going to mean lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to help you feel full, and planning for snacks that use lots of fresh ingredients. But a little extra meal planning can make you feel full and content all week long.
2) Get Creative with your Meal Planning.
When you think about salads and cooking for Passover, there are so many options! Kale salads, greens that feature apples, strawberries, citrus, roasted beets, olives, and even salads that are tomato and cucumber-based with a Greek twist! You can make your own dressing and get creative, and the flavour combinations are endless. Having a few staple recipes on hand doesn't hurt to make sure you know what you need for groceries and that you have some fast, easy and creative options to turn to when making your meals. Keep a little binder of favourite Passover recipes you try over the years, or ask friends and family for favourite recipes as well. Soon you'll have an amazing collection at your finger tips and you'll have a hard time narrowing down what to make.
3) Plan for Snacks & Prepare some Foods in Advance.
Make sure you have a few things pre-made and ready to nibble on so you're not stuck feeling hungry with only matzo to turn to. Do a little meal and snack preparation ahead on the weekend or on a weeknight for about 30 minutes. We often do this every weekend anyway, and will spend time cutting up some fresh fruits and hard boiling some eggs, stocking up on baby carrots, cut peppers, crackers (or in this case Tam Tams) and some baba ganoush or veggie dips. We also do a few extra things like some chicken stock in our Pressure Cooker while cutting the fruit, etc. (which makes 12 cups stock and 3 cups of shredded chicken) for a couple of dinner options during the week to make it faster too!
4) Try to Incorporate Foods that are Texturally Diverse.
Include a few things that make you feel like you're having your regular foods, like some Kosher for Passover coffee cake or brownies a couple of times during the week. Spread these treats onto a couple of days throughout the week so that when it comes to missing the texture of leavened foods, you don't notice it as much.
I also mentioned above, try to find foods that might act as a substitution, such as the matzoh soup nuts acting as croutons in salad, or even finding a favourite recipe like salmon cakes (we love this fast & easy Potato Salmon Patties recipe from Allrecipes.com) and being able to modify the bread crumbs for some potato starch and matzoh meal. Doing this makes it feel like you're enjoying your favourite meals just like any other day of the year.
Cooking & Meal Planning for Passover
Below I'm sharing a sample meal plan from our family, to yours, with some ideas about what we will eat during the first few days of Passover.
Sedar Sides Dishes, Slow Cooker Tangy Brisket (we usually freeze the leftovers into pre-portioned dinners), Garlic Roasted Potatoes in the Pressure Cooker, Sheet Pan Roasted Root Veggies
Matzoh Pizzas, Leftover Roasted Root Veggies
Vegetarian Greek Stuffed Peppers (Quinoa, Feta, Mushrooms) with Greek Cucumber Salad, and Roasted Spiced Potato Wedges
BBQ’d Maple Mustard Chicken, BBQ'd asparagus, and Coleslaw with Vinegar Dressing (large recipe)
Salmon Cakes (using potato starch & matzoh meal in place of bread crumbs, egg & seasonings), leftover Coleslaw, and Roasted Carrots with Cumin
WEEKEND MEAL IDEAS:
No Rice Stir-Fry, served over Quinoa
Frozen Brisket with leftover side dishes
Crustless Quiche or Frittata
Matzo With: Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon (Lox), egg salad or white fish salad, mashed avocado, tomatoes & and sea salt
Yogurt (that is Kosher for Passover) Parfaits with fresh fruits or Apricot & Currant Compote (recipe below)
Omelettes / Scrambled Eggs
Potato or Sweet Potato Hash with Smoked Salmon
Matzo Crackers with Eggplant Dip
Energy Bites (grain free or "paleo" options, such as these awesome Date Energy Balls by Detoxinista)
Passover Brownies (this is a great recipe that we love)
Coconut Macaroons (and this recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction is not only perfection in it's flavour and texture, but it includes ways to create other macaroon flavour varieties as well)
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Apricot & Currant Compote
Adapted From: Hip Pressure Cooking's Apricot Compote recipe
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time (including NP release): 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 750 mL
- 1 cup of dried apricots, cut in quarters
- 1/2 cup of currants
- 1 cup of pulp free orange juice
- 1 cup of water
- 1 madarin
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp vanilla (Kosher for Passover)
- 4 dried cloves
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Add the apricots, currants, orange juice, vanilla and water to the Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot base.
- Grate the zest from the mandarin, then squeeze the juice and strain it into the cooker.
- Place the 1/2 cinnamon stick and cloves into a tea ball, or tie them in cheesecloth, and put them into the cooker. Stir everything to mix well.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes (all cooker types). When the time is up, open the cooker using the 10 minute natural release method.
- Remove the spice-filled tea ball from the cooker. Add in the maple syrup to the sweetness of your liking.
- Let cool and then it is ready to serve! Compote can be store in glass containers or jars for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.