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Passover Recipes for a Healthy, Plant-Based Vegan Dinner

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Passover is a traditional Jewish holiday, honoring the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt.  It is a multi-day celebration that usually falls at the beginning of April, on the 15 day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar.  Passover is meant to celebrate the Jewish freedom from enslavement, and much of the food around this holiday is also served as a reminder to be free of that enslavement.

Here are some healthy, plant-based vegan recipes to honor the Jewish Passover celebration:

Quick Whole Wheat Flatbread for Matzo

One of the foods most identified with Passover is Matzo, a flatbread cracker that forgoes rising agents like yeast.  This quick cracker represents the haste with which the Jews escaped Egypt: They didn’t have time to wait for bread to rise.

Sure, you can buy a pre-made Matzo cracker at the store, but this healthy Whole Wheat Flatbread is a cinch to make.

Just three ingredient form the base: whole wheat flour, water, and salt.  Feel free to add extra spices or herbs like cumin, coriander, thyme, or paprika.  Even kids can help with making the dough and rolling out the little circles.

What gets this bread to rise in lieu of yeast?

A super-hot oven.  A 500-degree oven makes the bread “poof” up in just minutes.

Quick Whole Wheat Flatbread – Easy, Healthy, Whole Grain, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan Baked Bread Recipe

Quinoa Tabbouleh for Karpas

Karpas refers to the Seder ritual of dipping an herb (usually parsley or celery leaves) into liquid (often salted water).  This Quinoa Tabbouleh has fresh green color from curly parsley, adding beautiful brightness to your Seder table.

Quinoa Parsley Tabbouleh – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Vegan, Salad, Easy Spring Recipe

Horseradish and Romaine for Maror and Chazeret

The bitter herbs maror and chazeret are meant to symbolize the bitter end to slavery.  In Ashkenazi tradition, horseradish or Romaine can be served to symbolize this bitterness.  Sephardic Jews will often eat parsley, green onion, or celery leaves.  Add horseradish to mashed potatoes or celery root mash.


Beet Cabbage Borscht

Beets for Zeroa

It is often tradition to serve a roasted lamb or goat shank bone on the table during Passover.  This bone is not to be eaten, but rather serves as a reminder of the lamb sacrificed at the Temple of Jerusalem at the Pesach sacrifice.  Modern tables might even serve a roasted chicken wing or neck bone.

Instead of meat, vegetarian Passover tables can opt instead for roasted beets or this gorgeous Beet Borscht.  The deep red color of the beets will serve as a reminder of the blood spilled in the sacrifice.  Enjoy it warmed or chill for a lovely appetizer.

Beet Cabbage Borscht – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Winter Soup Russian Recipe
Roasted Beets can be used as a healthy, vegan substitute for the roasted lamb or goat shank bone served at Passover

Apple Walnut Slaw for Charoset

Charoset is sweet brown mash of apples, walnuts, and red wine, meant to symbolize the mortar used to build pyramids and storage houses in Egypt.

You can update this version with a quick, slaw:  Grate colorful apples and carrots.  Then toss with toasted walnut pieces and a splash of red wine.

Grate colorful apples and carrots. Then toss with toasted walnut pieces and a splash of red wine.

Tarragon Potato Stew for Passover Dinner

To entice your guests with a hearty, satisfying plant-based vegan entree, serve this satisfying Potato Stew.  Based on the traditional recipe by Chef Jacques Pepin for French Navarin D’Agneau, instead of using veal or lamb, this vegetarian recipe simply uses chunks of spring vegetables like fennel, fingerling potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.

French Tarragon Potato Stew with Root Vegetables – Vegan Navarin D’Agneau

More Resources, Listening, and Reading:

The Food Traditions of Passover on thekitchn.com, by Sara Kate Gillingham, April 6, 2009: http://www.thekitchn.com/the-food-traditions-of-passove-81166

Why Add a Banana to the Passover Table on npr.com, by Diane Cole, April 7, 2017: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/04/07/523030493/why-add-a-banana-to-the-passover-table

Reform Judaism: Delicious Recipes and Get Involved in Modern Judaism

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