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.
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?