My blogging always seems to lapse at this particular time of year. That’s because it’s Passover, and my eating gets super boring. We’re about midway through the eight days of Passover. This year I’m making The Fella “keep” the tradition. I’ve always kept things leavening free, but Roy isn’t as into keeping these traditions as I am. But, now that we’re married there are some holiday rules I’d like to solidify, especially before we have kids. We’re not super religious, but I really think there’s a beauty in following in the footsteps of the generations of yore…and, I always think of Passover as a good time to clean up my eating. It’s like culturally mandated low-carb eating.
I have made some concessions this year, though. I’ve been eating legumes. Judaism isn’t always the most straightforward of religions, and there are multiple traditions for how to eat during this time of year and it’s broken down by origin. Jews come from all over, but there are three main areas that rule the roost for the holidays: Ashkanazi (Eastern and Northern European decent), Sephardic (Southern European decent), and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern decent). There are also sizeable African (mostly Ethiopian) and Indian Jewish populations, but I’m not sure of how they keep Passover (Update: The Fella informs me that Jews in Africa and India follow Mizrahi tradition. Now I know). Eastern European Passover eating tends to be the most restrictive, with no rising wheat, oats, rice, legumes, or things like corn or corn syrup (no Easter candy!). Other groups do eat legumes and rice. None of this started off as mandated in any official capacity, it’s solely tradition based, and probably came from the types of food these regions had available to them. The main constant is no bread.
While Roy is technically from the Middle East, he’s Polish through and through, and my makeup is Ukrainian, Polish, German, Austrian, and Irish. We’re both technically Ashkenazi. In fact, when I took my 23andme genetic test, my test came back as officially “Ashkenazi” which I found kind of humorous. This year, since we’re keeping our lives primarily vegetarian I’ve decided to stray from tradition and bring legumes back into our lives. It’s just too restrictive to lose beans and soy products. Our diets would be far too dairy-heavy without them.
So, here’s what a typical day (specifically yesterday) in the Schwartz/Miller household looks like during the most
annoying celebrated holiday of the year.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my husband is that lettuce is not necessary to make a salad. I enjoy salads so much more now that I just fill them with the vegetables that actually have flavor.
I made a big salad for us to share with our scrambled egg/egg whites. Cucumber, tomato, red onion, yellow pepper, and feta. Dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
Quinoa is approved for Passover, so I whipped some up in my rice cooker (the only way to make rice or quinoa in my opinion), and did a light stir-fry of roasted tomatoes, zuccini, onion, mushrooms, and chickpeas (legumes!) for protein.
I was inspired to make this based on something I saw on Pinterest. Unfortunately I didn’t actually save the pin, so I made this up as I went along. It’s basically an eggplant rollatini, only without the breading or the frying.
To make: I thinly sliced, salted and drained the eggplant for about 30 minutes and patted dry. Then I sprayed with a little olive oil (I make my own cooking spray by mixing 1 part olive oil to 5 parts water in a dollar store spray bottle) and roasted the eggplant for about 25 minutes, flipping midway. Then I allowed them to cool.
While the eggplant cooled I took about 2 cups of part skim ricotta and mixed with garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Once the eggplant was cool to the touch I spooned some ricotta into the wide end and rolled them up. I then heated up some tomato sauce in a skillet on the stove top. Then placed the rolls in the pan, and then placed the rolls in the oven (350 degrees) for 15 minutes.
Easy, low carb, low-fat dinner.