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Getting In The Passover Zone

Getting In The Passover Zone

Cooking for the flour-free holiday is easier than you think.

It’s probably the scariest word to any kosher-observant cook in the world: Pesach. Take a diet already restricted – no pork products, shellfish, or mixing meat and milk – and add to it more limitations – no flour, oats, barley, and for Ashkenazi Jews, no rice, peas, corn, soy, peanuts, beans and whole host of other legumes. But if you focus on what we can’t have, you miss out on everything we can, and all their potential delicious combinations.

In that spirit, here are a variety of recipes from the last year of the Nosh Pit that can be made – or lightly adapted – for the Pesach holiday. They’re all full of fun, flavor, and no matzah!.

1. Chicken and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie – This is one of my favorite recipes from over the past year, because it’s so simple, easy and delicious. So I was thrilled when Ir realized it could be made kosher for Pesach with zero substitutions! It would be great for a holiday meal or just during the week.

2. French Onion Soup – Sure chicken soup with matzah balls is the classic, but it’s certainly not the only soup you can have all week! A bowl of this rich, flavorful soup – with or without cheese – and you’ll be saying: “what’s bread?” Instead of the three tablespoons of flour called for, add two tablespoon potato starch for a similar result.

3. Pomegranate and Apple Chicken – I created this chicken recipe for Rosh Hashana, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t work now! It calls for pomegranate juice, which is easy to find bottled year round in most supermarkets. Either skip dredging the chicken in flour or use potato starch or matzah meal instead. It will still be delicious.

4. Zucchini and Leek Soup – Here’s another delicious soup that’s perfect for Pesach – this one without any changes or substitutions. And it’s a perfect light counterpart to all that heavy matza.

And come back here next week for an all-new original Nosh Pit recipe that’s perfect for Pesach (and year-round).

PLUS, check out the two articles – with recipes – I wrote for The Jewish Week’s special holiday section: “Doing More With Less,” complete with recipes for ‘matzaroni and cheese’ and spinach and mushroom quinoa, and “Who Needs Matzah When You Have Chocolate,” with recipes for chewy chocolate cookies, classic chocolate mousse and almond chocolate thumbprint cookies.

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