Friday, March 27, 2015

Very Veggie Pesach 2015: Zucchini Alfredo

My friend Polina sent me a link to The Joy of Kosher's recipe for Zucchini Noodle Alfredo last week. I made it over the weekend, and it was a tasty and pretty easy to prepare vegetarian kosher-for-Passover option. Thanks, Polina! I won't presume to do a better job of presenting the recipe than the original creator, so you can follow the link above, but I thought I'd add a few comments and suggestions from my own experience with it, and also run down the kashrut issues to watch out for.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Very Veggie Pesach 2015: Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is a great idea for Passover: it's a pie with a mashed potato "crust"! But it's normally a meat pie, and commonly includes a vegetable that is not kosher for Passover (peas). I substituted cashews for the meat to provide protein, and substituted asparagus for the peas, and was very happy with the results!

Be sure to use gold potatoes for this recipe (Yukon gold or any other gold). Russet potatoes are great for baking, and white or red are great for stewing, but gold potatoes have a smoother, creamier texture that is best for mashing, which is vital for this recipe. And don't skimp on the potatoes: I tried it once with less potato and ended up with a tough potato film on top instead of the soft top that should be there. The horseradish is not necessary, but it's a traditional Passover flavor that goes very well with potatoes.

If you're not a fan of asparagus, you can substitute another green vegetable, but you'll probably want something green to balance it out. Peas are kitniyos, not kosher for Passover, so don't go there! But you could use broccoli, green peppers, Brussels sprouts, maybe spinach or zucchini.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Passover Shopping List

Last Sunday morning, some friends and I made a pilgrimage to the ShopRite in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the grocery store with the most extensive Passover selection in our area. In recent years, most local grocery stores have whittled down their selection to little more than matzah meal, macaroons and beet soup, leaving serious Passover shopping to a smaller number of kosher shopping destinations.

Most of the vegetarian Passover recipes I've made for this blog rely primarily on fresh vegetables and herbs, which don't require any Passover certification. Some other ingredients, like extra virgin olive oil, don't require Passover certification, and some carry Passover certification all year round, like Domino's brown sugar. Matzah, of course, is available just about everywhere at this time of year. But there are some things that are a little harder to find and require a special trip to someplace like ShopRite.

This is the shopping list that I made for my trip to ShopRite this year. It is a surprisingly short list: only 26 ingredients, but of course I bought plenty of other impulse items! I have identified the recipes that use each of these ingredients including a few recipes coming soon, identified with asterisks! And I've also made a few notes about the availability of some of these ingredients.

Onward to the shopping list ...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Very Veggie Pesach 2014: Creme Brulee Matzah Brei

If you are a vegetarian for health reasons, you will want to skip this recipe, because it's made of butter and sugar. But if you are vegetarian for other reasons, you will definitely want to try this because it is made of AWESOME!

A few months ago, I was introduced to Crème Brulee French Toast, and it was so good that I went looking for a recipe. I noticed that most of the ingredients were things that are readily available for Passover, so I decided to try substituting matzah for bread in the recipe, along with a couple of other minor substitutions, making it similar to matzah brei. When I brought it in to the office for feedback, people tried a polite small piece... and then went back for more because it is very tasty! It's also incredibly easy to make, though it does require assembly several hours in advance.

This recipe is not vegan (includes butter, eggs and milk) and is not gluten-free (contains matzah).

This recipe needs to soak for about 12 hours. If you're planning to make it for breakfast or brunch, assemble the ingredients the night before and cook it in the morning.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Very Veggie Pesach 2012: Spinach-Cheese-Quinoa Fritatta

I recently found a great recipe for a fritatta with spinach, cheese and grits. Most of it was easily adapted for Passover: eggs, cheese and fresh vegetables. The only problem was the grits (they're a corn product), but it occurred to me that quinoa would make a good substitute for grits.  Of course, as I've said before, there is some dispute as to whether quinoa is kosher for Passover. If you don't accept quinoa, that's OK: a frittata is essentially an omlette casserole, and it doesn't really need the grits or quinoa. you can just add more eggs and cheese, or some other vegetable.

This recipe is not vegan (includes eggs and cheese), but it is gluten-free and non-gebrochts.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Very Veggie Pesach 2012: Mediterranean Medley

Yes, that time of year is coming up fast! Time to come up with some new Passover recipes for vegetarians.  I have one today, and I think there will be one or two more this week or next.

This recipe is based on one from The Healthy Jewish Cookbook, which my mother gave me last year.  It's a very simple recipe, well-suited for making after a long day at work: sliced zucchini and tomato over a layer of shredded mozzerella on a bed of sauteed onion and garlic. The original recipe uses fresh mozzerella, but I've never seen fresh mozzerella certified kosher for Passover, so I made some changes to make it work with shredded mozzerella.

This recipe is not vegan (contains cheese), but it is gluten-free and non-gebrochts (contains no matzah). I suppose you could make it vegan by substituting some chopped or ground nuts for the cheeses, but I haven't tried that, so I don't know hwo well it would work.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

There's No Such Thing as a Holiday Tree

A week ago, the governor of Rhode Island declared the 17-foot spruce in the State House rotunda to be a "holiday tree," not a Christmas tree. Governor Chafee is not Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, or any other religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas. He's Episcopalian. But for some reason, he seems to think that it is more inclusive to call it a holiday tree than to call it what it clearly is: a Christmas tree. Governor Chafee, I know you want to include us, but next time, include someone else.