My Passover Eats

Passover might be over with now, but I am just getting to my pictures of my Passover eats.  In case you are not familiar with Passover, there are some strict dietary rules that come in to play for this week out of the year.  Mostly, there is no bread.  Instead, we eat matzo.  As the bread was unable to rise as the Jews rushed out of Egypt, it is symbolic and a remembrance of exodus.  I am not going to go into all of the details, but there are a few more things excluded other than bread (although I will say that I do consume rice and corn, whereas others might not...I stick with the more "obvious" no-no's for the holiday).  For me, it is easiest to stick with some boxed items, and now that I cook, prepare things that are vegetable based or include fish, without any bread or similar products.

So, here are some of my eats for the holiday this past year.  My mother and my father both sent me packages with some goodies.

I was happy to see some Matzo farfel in whole wheat.  Farfel is small pieces of matzo, already broken up, and perfect for adding to soup.  This is also good for making stuffing.
Continuing with the whole wheat trend, I was very excited to see whole wheat matzo ball soup.  Matzo and Passover products have really come a long way over the past few years and I think a lot has to do with improved palatability and acceptance of gluten free products.
I decided to make 2 packages of the matzo balls and then have enough soup for lunches for the whole week.
I made the soup from a powdered mix of "chicken" soup.
Here is what the matzo ball looked like.  I love matzo balls!
I was not able to attend a true seder because there is no one here to celebrate with me, and some items for a traditional seder were not available to me, making it a difficult decision, but one that I decided was best.  Instead, I cooked dinner, and then read the story of Passover to Ryan.  This was my first year without a seder.  It was weird, but it wasn't the end of the world.  I think it helped to know I was heading to Israel soon (1 week!!!).

Another item I made, and a big thanks to my dad on this one since he sent this to me, was brownies.
I am not kidding, this was better than some regular, non-Passover brownie mixes I have made before.  Even Ryan thought they were really good.
For my 2 meals during the week of Passover, I stuck with one veggie loaded dish and then made a fish dish.

My veggie dish was a huge concoction of veggies, cheese and beans.  Basically, this was a noddleless lasagna.

I started off with some eggplant for my bottom layer.  
Then I used these products for my in between layers.
My second "noodle" layer was zucchini.  I knew this, combined with the tomatoes, would result in a liquidy dish, but I hoped much would cook off.
After the eggplant, I created a layer of Morningstar Farms soy crumbles mixed with tomatoes.  I used the no added salt tomatoes with basil and some other herbs (you can laugh, it's late and I spaced on the others, but I do think garlic is in here too).  This way sodium is kept to a minimum and I don't need to add other seasoning.
After I put in the mixture, I added a layer of cheese.
Next up was the zucchini.
This was topped with tomatoes mixed with black beans, then topped with more cheese.
After about 35 minutes in the oven, it was ready to be served...except there was a lot of liquid.  At least I was able to tilt the dish and pour some out.  When we were done, I cut it up and put in storage containers for lunches, which solved the extra liquid problem.
This dish is a keeper, Passover or not!

For the second meal, I went with fish.  I used the same canned tomato product.
I put the tilapia in the pan, covered with some tomatoes, and then added some garlic and chopped kalamata olives.
I baked this for about 12 minutes, and this made a simple, easy, but very flavorful meal.
I served it with the TJ's brown rice mix.  It was really good.  I was actually very proud of myself because I made these dishes on my own with no recipes involved at all.
Another Passover favorite is matzo pizza.  I keep it simple.  I start with matzo.  This time I was really hungry, so I used 1 1/2 pieces.
I spread on some tomato sauce.
Top with cheese.
Then I bake in the toaster oven.  It is so good!
Another product I was sent, this time by my mom, was this mac and cheeze.  Glad they put the word cheeze there because this is not even close to cheese.  It was good, but more like eating ramen noodles, minus the extra liquid.
The noodles are made from potato starch.
It has turmeric to give that yellow color.  It was different, but it really grew on me.
Last up is this honey cake that my mom sent me.
It smelled so good as I was mixing it.
This turned out really well too.  We both liked this and I would definitely make this again.
DSC09043 DSC09044
So there you have my Passover 2011 eats.

QUESTIONS:  Are you familiar with Passover?  What dinner dish would you create that was Passover friendly?  Have you ever been to a seder?


Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

All your food looks very good. I don't know a lot about Passover or Passover friendly dishes, but I really enjoy Matzo ball soup. Also, a friend of mine made the best latkes, and when the teenager was little, we actually made them a few times with her. I think she made a special version of them (different ingredients???) for Passover as well. But I'm not sure...

Unknown said...

your passover eats look YUMMY! Yes, I am familiar w/ Passover :) This year we went to a Sedar at my friend Laura's parents house and it was FUN! Then we went to Ireland where I surely did not eat any Matzoh (I might be the only Jew here). Can't wait to share my photos with you!

chow and chatter said...

fun to learn from you

Gina; The Candid RD said...

I used to eat PAssover food all the time in high school. Three of my best friends were (are!) Jewish and so many times when I was at their house I was "forced" to eat Passover food. Of course, I didn't mind, because I loved it. Even at school we had Matzo and I used it to make PB&J, even though I'm not Jewish. So delicious!! I don't know why I think it's any better than other crackers.

Your "lasagna" sound amazing. Wow, very impressive. I love the addition of the kalamata olives.

Jessie said...

Looks like you've been enjoying some new products! I love Matzo, although I've never had Matzo balls (will have to look for them). I'm ashamed to say I'd never even heard of Matzo until I met Peter in college - and now I love it!

Your noodleless lasagna looks great, and I'm glad you were able to solve the excess liquid problem. The fish looks superb with those olives - yum!

Astra Libris said...

Thank you so much for all your help and advice as I adjust to my future of being a military wife... :-) Even though Zach has been military for as long as we've been together, this is "my" first on-base transfer (when I first met Zach he was just being transferred off base in Gulf Port to attend medical school in Georgia), and I don't know any military wives here to guide me, so I'm incredibly grateful to you for your insights and friendship! *hugs* :-)

A belated Happy Passover! :-) With the chaos of the move I didn't get around to a Passover post, so I was especially excited to read yours! :-) We LOVE the whole wheat matza farfel and I think I live off of whole wheat matza pizzas for lunch during the week... :-) This year I found whole wheat and bran matzas, and I was super excited - they were very flavorful and had 5 grams of fiber per matza! :-) Where did your parents find the whole wheat matza ball mix??? I've been searching and searching for such a product!! :-) SO cool to learn that it actually exists!! :-) LOVE your idea of making Passover lasagna with zucchini for the noodles - I'm definitely fixing this for our seder next year! Thank you for the awesome recipe!

Special K said...

I am familiar with Seder, and it definitely a village event. That is the hard thing about being so mobile sometimes can take us out of our rituals. Maybe this will be your chance to teach others...

I made matzo soup I was curious, first day...not that great to me, but ended up LOVING it the next day.

Jessica said...

Everything you make always looks so good!! I seem to leave your blog hungry all the time!!! :)

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