Don't go mad at Pesach ... Recipes to keep you sane!
I really can't understand how people manage to cook for Pesach weeks in advance (unless they have a separate kitchen).
How do they do it? Where do they store it?
How are they so organized?
It's not even that I'm disorganized – I just feel why ruin 3 weeks when one can just ruin 1?
Each year I have cut down on buying ready-made products. I have yet to find a kid that eats the Passover cereal anyway. And certainly in 2020, when we are more aware of what is in our food and prefer less packaging, it's time to go back to basics.
My tip is: spend a little more on fruits and vegetables and less on frozen matza pizza (that never looks like the photo on the package anyway).
I have tried to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in this year's dishes – vegetarianism is on the rise – but I'm also aware that this year there are a lot of Shabbat and Chag meals, just by the way that the festival falls.
The meal that always seems to cause the most controversy is lunch on the day Pesach comes in.
Dairy or Meat?
Light or heavy?
What can we have instead of matza?
I always do a baked potato station with toppings and somehow my family manage to eat most of the fried fish that I've made for the whole week (I only fry fish once a year).
Here are some simple recipes to keep your sanity whilst enjoying your Chag.
TOMATO AND BASIL SOUP
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
This hearty soup can be made all year round, but somehow has become a Pesach staple in our house. There is just something very fresh tasting about the tomato and basil combo.
Roasting the tomatoes literally takes the flavor to another level – especially if some of the edges turn a little brown.
1 kilo fresh tomatoes, cut in half
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 liter tomato juice
½ liter water
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pinch sugar
1 bunch basil
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C.
Arrange the tomatoes, skin side down, on a cookie sheet and spray with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the red onion and garlic until translucent.
Add the tomato juice to the pan and stir.
When fully roasted, add the tomatoes to the saucepan with the water, salt, pepper and sugar.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Rip in the bunch of basil leaves and blend with an immersion blender. Then serve.Enter your text here ...
ONE-PAN PAPRIKA CHICKEN PIECES WITH BABY POTATOES AND CAULIFLOWER
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Anything that can be done in one pan is such a blessing, but particularly at Pesach.
I literally make this for Chag, Shabbat or even mid-week as it's so simple and tasty.
You can double this recipe if you have a large crowd – but I suggest using two roasting tins if you want the chicken skin to stay crispy.
8 chicken pieces, skin on
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
300g baby potatoes, sliced in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 190⁰C.
Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting pan.
Add the potatoes and the cauliflower pieces and give everything a good shake.
Drizzle olive oil over everything and season with the paprika and salt.
Roast for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Check the chicken to make sure it's thoroughly cooked.
Serve with wedges of lemon.
STRAWBERRY BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
Preparation time: 10 minutes
"What's for breakfast?????"
I always struggled when my girls were little to make a healthy Pesach breakfast – luckily now no one wakes up until lunchtime so the problem seems to have sorted itself out!
1 ripe banana
1 cup strawberries
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups almond milk
Blitz everything in the blender and serve.
Makes: 12 – 14 cookies
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Move over cinnamon balls – there's a new kid in town. The quinoa cookie is the ultimate Passover cookie.
They are not only a healthier version of traditional cookies, but they are totally addictive.
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup almond meal
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons potato flour
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.
Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment.
Mix the cooked quinoa in a bowl with the almond meal, sugar, salt and potato flour.
Pour in the beaten egg and coconut oil and mix thoroughly.
Stir in the dried cranberries.
When everything is combined, use a tablespoon to drop mounds of the mixture onto the cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
Allow to cool – these will keep fresh for the whole week of Pesach.