A healthy and nutritious menu everyone will love
By: Gitta Bixenspanner
Passover is in the air! Here’s a healthy and nutritious menu, including a variety of salads and not much frying. Avail yourself of fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. With a little ingenuity, one can easily create great healthy meals aiding to avoid the unnecessary weight gain that seems almost inevitable every Passover.
Salmon with sweet and sour leek sauce
I served these salmon fillets recently and got rave reviews. Tasty while easy to prepare.
- 6 salmon fillets
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 3 leeks, well washed and chopped
- 3 Tbs brown sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
Sauté chopped leeks in olive oil on a medium flame until soft about 10 minutes, add brown sugar and lemon juice and allow to caramelize for another 10 minutes. Place salmon fillets over this mixture and broil for 10 minutes on each side. Remove from oven and serve, or allow to cool and cover for later use. Tastes great hot or at room temperature.
Preparation 20 minutes
Matzah Ball Chicken Soup
What’s Passover without chicken soup and matzah balls?
Some like their soup full of vegetables while others serve it clear. Some serve soup with lots of little matzah balls while others like one per bowl. Whichever way you enjoy it here is a delightful recipe that can accommodate every taste.
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into quarters or if you prefer use chicken carcasses at 1 per quart of water
- 2 to 3 celery ribs, chopped or a small celery root
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 parsnip
- 1 turnip or parsley root
- 3 to 4 carrots
- 2 zucchini
- Sea salt, to taste
- White pepper, to taste
Bring chicken and 6 quarts cold water to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove foam with a slotted spoon as it rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour.
Add celery and next 6 ingredients. Cover and simmer 2 more hours, for a strong chicken flavor.
Allow to cool. Skim fat. Remove chicken from bones, and return meat to soup. If using the carcass remove them from the pot and reserve for other dishes. Add matzah balls, and serve.
The best matzah balls are made with the Passover matzah meal. Their texture is special while the color is somewhat darker than with regular matzah meal.
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup oil
- ½ cup seltzer
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups matzah meal
Combine first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Add matzah meal, and mix thoroughly. Chill for 1 hour.
Wet hands, and shape matzah mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. (They will double in size when cooked.) Chill matzah balls 20 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add matzah balls gently to boiling water, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Matzah balls can also be cooked in the chicken soup for added flavor
Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 1 hour 20 minutes;
Cook: 20 minutes.
Yields 20 yummy matzah balls
For those that do not Matzah balls during the first days of Pesach, take some of the blintz sheets and slice very thinly and add some strands to the bowl of chicken soup.
As an alternative, I use stranded spaghetti squash as a healthy substitute for noodles.
Chuck Eye Roast
Chuck eye roast is a very tender roast that is tasty and soft. However, feel free to choose your favorite cut of meat, such as minute steak, Miami ribs, or butcher flanken for equally tantalizing results.
- 1 3-5 lb Chuck eye roast
- 1 chopped Spanish onion
- ½ cup wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup honey
- ½ tsp fresh ginger grated
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
Place onions on bottom of roasting pan. Place roast over onions. Combine remaining ingredients and smear over all sides of meat. Bake covered 2-3 hours at 350°. (Generally, I calculate ½ hour per lb. of meat), serve over a bed of mashed potatoes, or nokedlech.
Preparation 20 minutes
Serves 8-12 Nokedlech- Dumplings
This recipe became a real winner in our family, it is easy to make and complements any soup as well as any meat, poultry or mock tomato sauce, feel free to double the recipe and keep it on hand to use at a later meal, as it freezes very well.
- 4 potatoes boiled and mashed
- 4 raw eggs
- 1- cup potato starch
- Salt to taste.
Combine mashed potatoes with eggs, salt and pepper. Add potato starch until mixture forms sticky dough. Boil salted water in large pot to allow for nokedlech to expand and drop tiny bits of dough into boiling water, passing it through a square holed potato grater is a good and foolproof idea, as pieces will be more even; simmer for twenty minutes so water will not run out. Nokedlech tend to rise to the top of the water. After 20 minutes of cooking, remove with a slotted spoon. Great mashed potato makeover.
Serve with roast chicken, roast or meat loaf gravy.
Preparation 10 minutes
This is one of the most popular dishes with kids as well as adults. It is from the few dishes that I deem necessary to fry, because it is so delicious. Serve hot or cold
- 6 chicken breasts
- 1 1/4 cups potato starch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbs oil
Mix together the eggs, potato starch, salt and oil.
Cut the chicken into nugget-sized pieces and dip into the batter. Fry in oil until done.
***Note: If the batter seems a little thick, add a few drops of water. If too thin, a little more potato starch dissolved in a tiny bit of cold water. This mixture can also be used to coat fish, eggplant, zucchini or sweet potato or your favorite vegetable.)
Sweet and Sour sauce
- ½ cup red cooking wine
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
Bring to a boil, and pour over the chicken nuggets, or use as a dipping sauce.
Note: Use this mixture whenever sweet and sour sauce is called for.
Passover Specialty Layered Salad
Every year I end up with too much grated maror- horseradish, so one year I decided to put my leftovers of the bitter herb to good use. I discovered that maror’s sharpness could give some punch to salads and dips. Delight your company with this wonderful and elegant salad that is almost a whole meal in one dish.
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 cups finely chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1/2 cup finely chopped radicchio
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced Belgian endive (about 1 small head)
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped English cucumber
- 1/2 cup finely chopped kohlrabi
- 1 cup finely shredded carrot
- ½ cup shredded horseradish for added pizzazz (optional)
- 1 cup diced seeded plum tomato (about 4 tomatoes) peeled
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 cups diced, cooked beets
- 3 hard-cooked large eggs, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
To prepare the dressing, combine the first 7 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Set aside.
To prepare the salad, arrange the romaine in the bottom of a 2-quart glass bowl or trifle dish; top with iceberg. Layer radicchio, endive, cucumber, kohlrabi, carrot, peeled tomato, and red onion, evenly over lettuces. Drizzle with dressing. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving arrange beets over red onions; top with eggs. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Preparation 45 minutes
Kohlrabi, Carrot, Squash slaw
Kohlrabi is a good substitute for cabbage, which lends itself in many delectable dishes and being part of the cruciferous family has the same healthy properties.
- 1 large kohlrabi or 2-3 smaller ones.
- 1 large carrot
- 1 medium summer squash.
- ½ cup moror (horseradish)
- 1 small onion
Grate kohlrabi, carrots squash and moror. Cut onion in strips and toss lightly. Serve over your favorite green salad, or as is. You may also stir-fry these ingredients and serve it as a side dish for fish or meat.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves 2-4 people
Kosher for Passover Mayonnaise
This mayonnaise is easy to make and it is a real winner with young and old. It is great for a salad dressing. I make two batches because I have many uses for it.
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 small onion
- ½ cup moror
- ½ tsp. sea salt or salt substitute
- 2 cups oil
Blend 5 first ingredients in a food processor with the all purpose blade, until well mixed. Add 2 cups oil slowly, until mixture thickens. Add oil if needed.
With lemon juice, it will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Yield: approximately 3 cups
Preparation: 10 minutes
Never Fail Blintzes Sheets
This recipe has become standard in our circle of friends because it never fails and yields at least 50 perfect blintzes that can be used in a variety of recipes. Use them thinly cut in the soup, or fill them with your favorite vegetable filling, chicken, minced meat or whatever else you have on hand. These blintzes freeze well and can be adapted even for cheese blintzes, when substituting the salt for sugar. Make sure the ones frying the blintzes don’t eat them all up.
- 24 eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ cup oil
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sifted potato starch
Whisk eggs salt and oil until well blended. In a separate container mix potato starch and water and then blend both mixtures. Ladle out a small amount to cover a heated oiled crepe pan. I usually use two pans to get faster results. They get done in 2 minutes, and need to be turned over for 1-2 minutes longer.
Preparation 20 minutes
Yields 50 perfect blintzes
Filling for Potato blintzes
This recipe was brought to us by our daughter who adapted it from her mother in law.
- 4 potatoes peeled and cooked
- 1 medium onion sautéed
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- Salt to taste
Sauté onions until translucent, cook potatoes until tender mash and mix with onions, beaten eggs and salt until smooth. Fill blintzes with this mixture .These blintzes freeze very well. To warm up, remove from freezer and fry in oil before serving, or warm up in the oven, for a dietetic version.
Yields 8-10 blintzes
Vegetable Nut Patties
Grate your choice of root vegetables, (1 medium celery root, 2 zucchini, 2 carrots, 1 large Russet potato, 1 rutabaga, 2 oz. moror). Add 1-cup ground nuts of your choice, filberts or walnuts).That will yield 8-10 patties.
Add ½ cup mayonnaise into your mixture
Form into patties and dip into additional ground nuts.
Place the patties into a greased baking dish. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes on one side and 10 on the second side, until golden brown and tender.
Chocolate Ice Cream
- 8 eggs separated
- 3 cups water
- 2 Tbs potato starch
- 2 Tbs cocoa
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Beat egg yolks until light and creamy. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a medium pot cook water and potato starch add 2 Tbs cocoa, stirring constantly until it thickens. Fold gently into beaten egg whites. Combine both mixtures and add 3 Tbs oil. Lastly add nuts, mix well and freeze in a 9×13 baking dish.
Serve with sliced oranges
Preparation: 20 minutes
Wishing all our readers a wonderful Passover!