Vegetarian Options During Passover

If you are a vegetarian or vegan during Passover, it may seem that you lack options for recipes during the week. But we have found a list (and a good one too) from an article we like online that gives you alternatives for both nutrition and flavor during Passover.

There are two different (main) traditions in eating style during Passover. The first one, which is considered the main one in the West, is that of European Jewry, the Ashkenazi tradition. This tradition, in summary, bans all food that is Kitniyot or “appears to puff or raise”, even if it does not have yeast/leaven in it. The second tradition is that of Middle Eastern Jewry (Israeli & Yemen) & Ladino Jewry (Spanish & Italian Jews) of the Sephardics who ban yeast/leaven but allow Kitniyot foods during Passover. What is considered Kitniyot you may ask? Foods like beans, rice, hummus, soy, corn, green beans, etc. (You can also find the complete list here.)

For a vegetarian, most Kitniyot foods have the nutritional value that is needed but many people are not aware of this tradition because we live in the West where almost everything during Passover season is geared to the Ashkenazi tradition. If you live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle while Jewish- you can still enjoy real food and not be under the harsh nutritional value of only eating matzah in every dish. And I teach everyone who enters our shul that we must adopt the Jewish traditions that fit you, your family and HaShem, not just the one that is most popular unless you live in that community because most people within Messianic Judaism do come from a Church background and was not raised in these traditions. Furthermore, while we are commanded to eat matzah, we can and should- but to eat it in everything can also be hard on your stomach, so having options is great for everyone.

So, here is a “Top 10” list of “must-haves” for Vegetarians during Passover. Notice that seitan meatless meat is not on the list as it is too controversial between Rabbis on whether Vital Wheat Gluten is Kosher for Passover or if it is an instant recipe for nonobservance of the Holy Day properly. So if you crave meatless, it may be safe to avoid using Vital Wheat Gluten at least for the week of Passover and get your meatless cravings by eating more creatively. Besides, it is only a week…you can survive with no meatless meat for 7 days. Trust me. Enjoy!

The list is taken from:

1) Quinoa is not only a great source of complex carbohydrates but also contains 8 grams of protein per cup. Check out my flavor-packed Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf below!

2) Eggs offer essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. I purchase free-range eggs, which have the added benefit of a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

3) Avocado provides excellent heart-healthy fat that will give you lasting energy. One of my go-to breakfasts on Pesach is mashed avocado on matzah with a touch of lemon juice and sea salt.

4) Nuts are another source of heart-healthy fat and also give you a bit of fiber too. I am so grateful that there is a Kosher for Passover almond butter on the market! I’ll definitely be packing an almond butter & jelly matzah sandwich with some fresh fruit for work a few days of the holiday.

5) With so many of my usual snack foods like hummus and granola bars cut out of my diet on Passover, I survive on fresh and dried fruit throughout the holiday. I carry bananas, oranges, or boxes of raisins wherever I go, so that I always have an easy snack on hand.

6) Since tofu, tempeh, and seitan are out of the picture, I use Portobello mushrooms instead since they have a great meaty texture and delicious, savory flavor. I stuff them with sautéed onions, spinach and matzah meal for a main dish (I make a variation of this recipe) or I grill them with red peppers and zucchini for a side.

7) Vegan chopped liver with Tam Tams is a yummy start to any seder. The eggs offer a great source of protein, the walnuts contain omega-3, and the mushrooms are one of the only plant-based sources of vitamin D.

8) Salad can get boring so easily, so I jazz mine up with interesting toppings. Hearts of palm are super easy to find in the Passover section and I love slicing them up on top of my salads. They have a great texture and taste and give you a nice dose of potassium, zinc, and iron.

9) Another delicious dip I always have in my fridge around Pesach is Sabra’s Caponata. They make a bunch of excellent dips that are free of kitniyot. They’re a perfect size to bring to work or a Pesach picnic.

10) When I’m missing grains, I cook up some Matzo Meal Couscous (Savion is one brand I like) in vegetable broth and toss in some roasted broccoli, garlic, and sautéed mushrooms. It has a toothsome chewiness and a neutral flavor that’s ready for any seasoning or add-in you see fit.

This list of items certainly will satisfy anyone in your home, vegetarian or not. So this Passover, try some new foods and recipes out.

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About the author
Rebbetzin Keturah is the wife of Rabbi Yehezqel of Congregation Melech Yisrael in Toronto, ON Canada. Congregation Melech Yisrael (CMY) was founded in 1976 and is Canada's oldest Messianic Synagogue. It is located right in the middle of the largest Jewish population in Toronto. Rebbetzin Keturah is a photographer, author, blogger & full-time mom. She loves to craft & knit as well as read a good plot. She also loves a great movie, music and relaxing!!!! Visit us at today!

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