The family lunch boxes are lined up on the counter top. Water bottles are filled, clementines and apples are ready to jump in. Now what? Forget sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, and leftover fried rice. Unless you’re on a no-carbs diet, the week of Passover can loom long and laboriously in terms of meal planning.
To get the facts straight, here are the food No-Nos for those observing the holiday. Think of your raised eyebrows as you commit to memory this pnemonic device: BROWS – standing for barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt. These are the usual grain suspects that go into leavened breads, which are strictly avoided over Passover. Rabbis say that for these to be acceptable for consumption over this holiday, you need to be able to cook them in under 18 minutes. [That’s a challenge I plan to take up one day when I’m not juggling work, kids, PTA, and grainsome meals.]
Now, Ashkenazi Jews tend to also avoid the following (which Sephardi Jews do eat over Passover) because of their mere resemblance to the above grains: corn, rice, millet and legumes. Maybe CRML (caramel) is a tasty pnemonic for this one (yum).
In our family, we forgive CRML for being grain doppelgängers, and since corn muffins, rice and dhal can easily pass the 18-minute test, some of these characters appear below.
For more Passover recipes, click this link.
Here are some meal ideas to get you off on a (no-grain) roll this Passover:
- Tuna salad, with matzah
- Fish balls and veg sticks or salad
- Grilled salmon and veggies
- Quinoa and lime salad with mango
- Rice noodles with veg and peanut sauce
- Fish and fennel pie (omit breadcrumb topping)
- Fresh veg or smoked fish sushi
- Beet and arugula salad with goat cheese and pine nuts
- Fish fingers (substitute breadcrumbs with ground almonds/matzah meal) and veggies
- Chillied pesto fish and salad
- Rice with sweet and sour fish (kids love this)
- Rice and Keralan fish curry
- Chicken soup with Asian twist, and matzah balls
- Carrot and cumin soup, with matzah crackers
- Matzah pizza
- Corn muffins (can be made without leavening agents) with cream cheese and fruit
- Vietnamese rice-paper spring rolls with fresh julienned vegetables and dip
- Smoked salmon, cream cheese on matzah
- Matzah and chopped liver, salad or fruit on side
- Selection of cheese, cherry tomatoes, fish balls and fruit
- Egg salad, crudites, matzah
- Deli meat slices and salad or veg sticks
- Nutella and banana slices on matzah
- Hummus and matzah, with salad
- Almond or other nut butter, jelly and matzah or rice crackers
- Matzah and cream cheese, topped with cranberries, nuts, raisins or other dried fruit
- Chicken salad and fruit
- Baked potato and cheese or tuna or baked beans (ensure no thickener used in beans)
- Rice and dhal, or fried rice with veg
- Rice pasta or noodles with tomato sauce or pesto, and salad
- Salad or crudites and matzah-meal-breaded fish or chicken
- Guacamole, matzah crackers, veg sticks and fruit
- Fruit, yoghurt, and cheese cubes
Chag Sameach to you all!