Tag Archives: passover

WIAW – Kosher for Passover (Veg Pledge)

Oh hey, Wednesday.  I missed last week’s What I Ate Wednesday, so this will be my first week of Jenn’s newest theme party:  Veg It Up!

I’m all for adding extra veggies, always.  Forget a lifetime supply of M&Ms of something, give me a lifetime supply of fresh produce, and I’m a happy girl!  Living in a country with limited year-round access to fresh fruit and veg has seriously made me appreciate them.

Anyway, as you probably know from my previous posts, this week is passover.  Which means that us hardcore Jews (oh yeah) don’t eat ‘chametz’ for a week.  Now, there are so many interpretations what is ‘chametz’, and many people observe differently.  For me, I have chosen to follow the tradition in the barest sense, avoiding the main biblical grains – wheat and barley – unless made into matzah.  I have also chosen to cut spelt, rye, and oats, as they are traditionally not eaten on passover, and apparently could easily be mistaken for wheat.

Some people also choose to cut out ‘kitniyot’, other things that could contain or be mistaken for wheat, which include most other grains and legumes.  Seeing how I basically live off grains and legumes for protein & carbs, I wasn’t going to cut those out.

Enough of a history lesson, onto more important things – like breakfast.

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Fried Matzah. Matzo Brei. Whatever you want to call it, it’s absolutely delicious – one traditional passover breakfast I couldn’t live without (true fact – I had this two days in a row. which is a feat, for me!)

It’s super simple to make.  One egg, one matzah, soak, mix, fry, eat.  I have always eaten mine with a bit of salt and jam.  The best.  And it makes me feel like I’m 10 years old again.

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Veg-filled snack age (there’s one extra cup!).  [[Again, this is not all from one day.  I’m bad at that.]]  Sweet potato dipped in creamy goat cheese, and broccoli.

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Quickie lunch – matzah sandwich! These are a passover staple.  And so delicious.  Here we have tomato sauce, lentils, sprouts and mustard.  Can you tell I needed to go grocery shopping?

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Dinner from a few nights ago – glass noodles! They’re made from mung bean flour and potato starch, so by my standards they’re kosher for passover (and gluten-free!).  Also super easy to make, pour boiling water over them, cover, and let sit for three minutes.  Plus roasted veggies, chickpeas, and creamy herb-y tomato sauce.

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And – tonight’s epic salad beast.  If you follow me on instagram (or twitter), you’ll know I couldn’t hold back my excitement  of sharing this guy.  Huge bed of spinach (extra handful = extra cup!), pepper, cucumber, radish, tomato, sprouts, sardines for protein and omega 3s, hemp seeds, drizzled in drippy tahini.  Holy yum.

Taking the Veg Pledge:

As you often see around here, most of my meals are full of colors and veggies.  I love big healthy meals and snacks.  But the truth is, I haven’t been 100 percent truthful on the blog. I snack on sugary things.  Chocolate. Chocolate covered nuts.  Dessert at gatherings / parties / friends’ places.  Why don’t I post about them?  Truth is, I don’t really think about it.  I know, I don’t post nearly everything I eat, because that would be a ridiculous chore.  But, I find that I tend to mindlessly the chocolate/sugar/not-so-healthy things.  Especially sugar.  I’ll be the first to admit I eat more sugar than I need to.

I am in no way going to cut out all treats.  That would be depriving myself, and I know I would not be happy without my dark chocolate here and there.  But, I am going to try to be more mindful when eating such things, and try to reduce the amount of sugar I eat.  I know it will make me feel better in the long run, but I know it will be hard to do.

So here is my veg pledge – I plan to prep at least one sugar-free, veggie-ful snack when I’m craving something sugary.  Where I would normally reach for the sweet stuff. I am challenging myself to substitute something more wholesome instead.  Follow me on instagram (username: eatlearndiscover) or twitter to see what I come up with.  Who’s with me?!

Any thoughts on keeping kosher for passover?

What’s *your* personal veg pledge? Join me!

Lovely Weekend

Everyone have a good Easter/Passover weekend? I certainly did.  Some good food, friends, walks in the city, pillow fights.  I’ll show you!

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And so it begins – the rotation of matzah breakfasts.  Well, not every day, since fruit and green smoothies are still kosher for passover.  Lucky for me, lax was on sale!  I had half a piece with creamy goat cheese and lax, half with creamy goat cheese and jam.  Cream cheese and jam is a childhood favorite.  Seriously, try it!

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I made a lovely / refreshing bean salad.  Right now I’m too lazy to share a proper recipe.  Sorry ( but not really…)!

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On my active rest day I decided to walk from my place to Stockholm’s city center – about an hour.  This weather is slightly deceiving, though, it was chilly and super windy!

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Stockholm has lots of hills.  Made of these rocks.  It’s really cool!

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The reason I went to the city – to watch Stockholm’s participants in the international pillow fight!  The turnout was not nearly as impressive as NYC’s , but was still quite fun to watch.

When I got home that evening though, I was chilled to the bone, felt like crap, and could not stop sneezing!  I spent the evening curled up sipping tea, and really hoping that it would pass the next day, since I was planning to run in the morning.  Nope! Same thing happened all day, which led to me taking a second rest day in a row (gah!) and spending another night curled up sipping tea and hot water with honey and lemon.

Luckily I felt a million times better today, and got in a good 4.5 mile run this morning!

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Going back to the weekend – Easter brunch with friends! Tons of good food, traditions from at least 5 different countries, and no shortage of chocolate.

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This is some traditional Swedish thing they drink at Easter (Påsk = Easter, in Swedish).  It tasted like a weird mix of coke and ice tea.  It was weird.   That is all.

You like my original post title? I’m feeling a little less than creative today.  If you couldn’t tell.

What did you do this Easter weekend?

Ever participated in International Pillow Fight day?

Passover in Sweden – A True Family Seder

[[heads up, this is a photo-less post! kudos to you if you get through the whole thing!]]

And so it begins – the 8 days of the year when all Jews (well, the observant ones) are forbidden to eat leavened bread for 8 days!  While most are off celebrating easter with lots of chocolate, brunch items, and things we can’t eat, we ring in the holiday with a ceremonial meal – the passover seder. (click here to read more)

Passover celebrates the freedom of the ancient Israelites from their oppressors in Egypt (I’m not going into detail, if you want to know more, click here to read the Wiki page).  We have a meal with lots of songs, prayers, and symbols, to remember our ancestors.

But, for me – and many other Jews in today’s society – holidays like these are more of a cultural and family event.  It’s a time to gather with those you don’t get to see often (and those you do), share stories, sing songs, eat good food, make fun of each other, and laugh together.  Unfortunately for me, I haven’t been able to share this holiday with my whole family at home for the last six years.  Which makes me incredibly sad.

I love the family seder experience, so this year, I reached out to the Jewish community in Stockholm to find a place to go for a seder.  I was lucky enough to be directly contacted by the Rabbi (!!), who invited me to his house.  Seemed like a big deal, but I was thrilled nonetheless.  I started my evening at Shabbat services at beautiful Stora Synagogan (The Great Synagogue) in Stockholm.  Then, I walked with the Rabbi, his family, and a few other young people to his small apartment.

The company at the seder was fantastic.  Four of the Rabbi’s five daughters were in town from Israel (<–what is it with Rabbis and having five daughters…).  They reminded me how much fun Israelis are.  Loud, ridiculous, singing all night, I loved it.  Some (Swedish) family friends of the Rabbi also had their two little kids – omigod they were so cute!  It’s been ages since I attended a seder with little kids – and it really makes it so much more fun, even for the adults.  The leader focuses on teaching the kids the traditions and telling them the story, but everybody gets to ooh and ah at their cute-ness, and we all may learn something in the process.  There were also a few other 20somethings there, and it was great to connect to some other young Jews!

The food.  I wish I could show you what we ate that night, but the seder is not a time to take pictures of food all night.  In fact, in most religious households, use of a camera (or other electronic equipment) is forbidden on holidays!  Anyway, the food was fantastic.  I have to say I was a little worried about the meal being meat-heavy, since many traditional seders are.  It was a lovely surprise to find out that the Rabbi keeps a vegetarian household!  All the food was prepared by the daughters, and was delicious. On the menu was:

  • hard-boiled eggs in salt water (tradition)
  • charoset (tradition)
  • matzah ball soup (veg)
  • herbed salad – gorgeous, refreshing
  • roasted veggies and squash
  • veg. holishkes (stuffed cabbage)
  • salmon cakes – these were amazing
  • for dessert: homemade chocolate pudding and fresh fruit

(and plenty of wine for all) I think that’s probably the healthiest passover meal I’ve ever been to.  Was it traditional when it came to the food? Barely.  But it still tasted like a true passover meal, as many of these foods are traditionally Israeli/Jewish.

However the food was hardly the main event – which is rare for me!  I know I’m learning to appreciate life and company more than food, which is a huge step, and I must say I’m proud of myself for it.  I didn’t feel like I over-ate, I savored every bite, and was perfectly happy not to go crazy and overload on desserts like I have in the past.  I was happy.

The whole night lasted over 5 hours (I didn’t get out of there until midnight!), but it seemed like no time at all.  The only thing really missing was my family.  I hope we can spend Pesach together next year, I miss you all!  Especially you, Zady <3.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Are there any you don’t get to take part in that you truly miss?

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