Monday, March 15, 2010

"Too much matzah! I can't take it anymore!"

When does eight days feel like an eternity?

When it's Passover, and the matzah is making you ill.

Can't stand another bite of matzah? Then stop eating it.

It's okay to stop eating matzah without breaking the Passover leavened bread ban. The only requirement to eat matzah is at the seder and Sabbath meals. (Maybe the other yontif meals too. Check with your local rabbi.) But that's just part of Passover. Home alone, without the festive meal, it's possible to fill up on a plethora of food options that don't involve matzah at all. In fact, as a friend and fellow blogger pointed out, Passover is a wonderful time to begin a healthy diet. Off the top of my head, here are meal/snack options to satisfy one's appetite straight through to the end-of-Passover pizza party:

1. Salad! Dozens of salad dressings are kosher-for-Passover. Garnish with any number of items (check for the Pesach hechsher). Fresh or iceberg lettuce is fine; salad bags are not kosher-for-Passover. This is an easy do-it-yourself project.

2. Baked potato! And mashed potato! And hash browns! The humble potato has long been a Passover staple. It's possible to be creative and prepare it any number of different ways. Remember to use kosher-for-Passover butter or margarine if you plan on adding that to your potatoes--and please, keep the dairy products separate from the meat dishes.

3. Meat! If you're fortunate enough to live near a supermarket that sells whole kosher chickens, one chicken can keep you fed all through chol ha'moed. (Okay--maybe two.) Packaged kosher meat does not require Passover certification (unless it's flavored). There are hundreds of kosher-for-Passover chicken recipes. Remember when adding ingredients to check with a reliable Passover guide to confirm which ingredients need special Passover certification. There are online guides at and It would be a shame to find out later your chicken masterpiece has secret banned-on-Passover ingredients. If you want to make it easy on yourself and have a deli sandwich (on matzah? uh-oh), remember all condiments--ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise--must have Passover certification. These items are readily available in supermarket Passover aisles.

4. Eggs! There really is a book called 365 Ways to Cook Eggs by Elaine Corn. I assume the authoress' surname is not a pun. I would bet that more than half those recipes, from a non-Jewish cookbook, could be made kosher-for-Passover. Cooking is permitted on yontif, and yontif does not fall on the Sabbath at all this year, so there are opportunities aplenty to test your cooking mettle. As with meat recipes, remember to check with a Passover guide to determine if additional ingredients require Passover certification. If you make an omelette with kosher-for-Passover cheese, I'm coming over.

5. Fresh fruit and vegetables! Much to my chagrin, one of my snack staples, applesauce, does require Passover certification. But fresh fruits and vegetables do not. This is another opportunity for a healthy snack or side dish for a larger meal. Remember that Passover is not the time to revisit the celery, peanut butter and raisin snack from Rosh Hashanah ("raise in salary," ha ha ha), as peanut butter is never kosher-for-Passover.

If kosher-for-Passover consumers, even first-timers, plan carefully and make sure they have enough food--and enough variety--for the full eight days, the matzah indigestion will be a fading memory from previous years. Happy eating!

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