PASSOVER PREP: GRAIN-FREE MEALS, SNACKS & TREATS

Passover is my least favorite holiday (well, after Yom Kippur). It's an observance of deprivation and oppression. I guess that's the reason we call them "Holy Days" and not "holidays."

I crack up every time a non-Jew shares with me that they LOVE Passover after having experienced a seder in someone else's home. I mean, I get it. It's one hell of a quirky meal what with the excessive hand-washing, splashing wine on a plate to symbolize plagues and kids running around looking for a hidden cracker (matzah) to make a couple of bones (the finder of the matzah usually receives a small sum of cash from the head of the seder, and my dad ALWAYS has the best/hardest hiding spots). Seder's a hoot! But having to keep Kosher for the following eight days? Not so much. Let's be clear: nobody LOVES Passover. I think appreciation is a more appropriate verb.

Every year I vow to keep Passover and several weeks before that inevitable sundown, I start to sweat. What will I eat? Will there be enough variety? Will I be hungry? For a carb queen like me, cutting bread products out for a week and change means fairly significant alterations to my everyday diet.

So this year I'm getting ahead of the game and making a list of my favorite grain-free meals and treats so I won't be scrambling for food ideas on Day 3. Hopefully this list will help you too - whether you're mentally prepping for Pesach or if you're just looking to cut back on grain carbohydrates.

(Note: I try not to go overboard on the matzah, as it's not easily digested. In a pinch it makes a great base for an easy breakfast or lunch.)

(Another Note: I practice reform Judaism, AKA the least religious branch, and my kosher-for-Passover boundaries are fairly lax. I cut grains, but I don't rule out condiments, yogurt or liquids/oils that may have traces of grains or corn syrup in them. I'm of Ashkenazic (Eastern European) descent, so traditionally I'm not supposed to have corn, rice or legumes. I mostly stick to this, though if I really want brown rice, I'm going to have some.)

BREAKFASTS (SWEET)

- Protein pancakes (egg white, banana, protein powder, almond milk) (pictured above)

Orange grain-free muffins

Lemon cake (Paleo)

- Yogurt with fruit

- Protein Smoothie

BREAKFAST (SAVORY)

- Sweet potato pancake topped with sour cream & smoked salmon

- Veggie scramble

- Matzah with nut butter

- Omelet with protein (sliced chicken sausage is my personal fav)

LUNCH & DINNER

- Grilled shrimp with side salad (I like to do grape tomatoes, cucumber and avocado with a peppery dressing)

- Burger patty (frozen or fresh beef, chicken or veggie) with sweet potato fries (frozen or fresh) 

- Salmon under the broiler (cooks quickly - I like it with a hoisin or sweet chili sauce brushed on top) with green beans on the side

- Copycat Hillstone kale cashew salad (have been dying to make this at home...will share the recipe soon)

- Tuna tartare

- Sashimi

- Chopped salad

TREATS

- Chocolate covered matzah

- Coco Roons

- Frozen yogurt

- Banana with chocolate hazelnut butter (I like Justin's)

Are you observing Passover this year?

all photos from my Instagram