Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reader Advice Day: What to Make for Passover Seder?

I realize that very few of the HGK readership celebrates the Jewish holiday of Passover, so please bear with us on this one. In the last few days I have gotten so many requests from readers asking for no-oil Vegan recipes for Passover. This is very new territory folks, and we are the pioneers!

It's not that hard to find Vegan recipes for Passover on the Internet, but it is totally impossible to find no-oil Vegan recipes. Everything is going to have to be adapted, so I hope you guys all have your thinking caps on. I am asking everyone who is Jewish to chime in here with ideas and suggestions for how you are going to prepare your Passover Seder food this year.

The Passover rules are as follows: In addition to avoiding leavened bread, Jews are also supposed to avoid foods made with wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats - unless those foods are labeled "kosher for Passover." All five of these forbidden grains are collectively called "chametz." (Pronounced ha-mets.) By the way, did you notice how much whole wheat Matzoh is on the shelves at Whole Foods?

In the Ashkenazi tradition (families from Eastern Europe) there are additional foods, called kitniot, that are usually forbidden during Passover. These foods include: rice, millet, corn and legumes like beans and lentils. 
In Sephardic communities these additional foods are eaten during Passover. It is also not uncommon for vegetarians who identify as Ashkenazi Jews to follow the Sephardic tradition during Passover - it's tough to be a vegetarian during Passover if chametz and kitniot are off the table!

Note: Ever since adapting a plant-based diet, I just don't think Passover is that difficult anymore. When I stick to our basic salads, soups, smoothies and sauteed greens dishes, which are all Kosher for Passover, what is there to worry about?

But this post is about the special food that we are all looking to serve at our seders. Everyone who celebrates Passover has their tried-and-true family recipe for Charoset (the Ashkenazik kind) but take a look at this Tropical Charoset, typical at a Sephardic table. It's amazing and it makes enough to enjoy the leftovers all week--unless you are having fifty people at your seder!
Mock Chopped Liver (okay as is for Sephardic tradition, look for versions with mushrooms or string beans for Ashkenazik)

Carrot Tzimmis Leave out the margarine from this recipe and you are good to go! Consider using maple syrup instead of honey. For a version without the sweet potatoes, try this Tzimmes, but leave off the butter.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts-just do it with a teeny tiny spray of cooking oil spray and some salt and pepper. Better yet, try this version, sans the parsnip puree.

Sweet-n-sour Stuffed Cabbage (okay for all traditions if using red or white quinoa as the grain, Sephardic can use brown rice if desired)

Roasted Pears with Banana Soft Serve (okay for all traditions)

Raw Vanilla Macaroons
makes 15 1"  balls

print me!

2 cups shredded coconut (not toasted)
2 Tbs maple syryp or honey
2 Tbs raw almond or cashew butter
2 Tbs maca powder (Maca is a superfood, found the powder at Whole Foods)
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract or powder
Generous pinch of sea salt
optional: melted dark chocolate for dipping

Mix together by hand or with a wooden spoon in a bowl, until it sticks together, adding more sweetener or water (I ended up adding an additional tbsp of maple syrup) to make it stick.

Scoop 1 Tbsp of mixture at a time and squeeze/roll into balls.  You can eat these immediately - they're perfectly chewy and delicious without dehydration.  Or you can scoop entire mixture onto a pie plate and spread until it is in an even layer.  Freeze (this sets them a little more) for a few hours and then remove from freezer, pry frozen disk off of pie plate and place in a cutting board.  With a large chef's knife, cut into triangles.

Optional: dip halfway in melted dark chocolate and let harden on wax paper.

A Few Vegan Passover Links to Check Out

Nava Atlas' Suggestions  Full of amazing ideas, and Vegan matzoh balls . . . if that's even possible!

PETA's idea of a Passover

Healing Thru Food There's a very interesting Chocolate Pie recipe in there.

So what are your no-oil Vegan ideas for Passover Seder food this year? Together, we can do this! To see the comments to this post or leave a comment, please click on the title of this post (the orange text above).

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