Veggie Stir-Fry

I couldn’t take the thought of another night of the same old ho-hum leftovers. Armed with that knowledge, I entered the produce section. Bok choy… garlic, ginger, onion… an idea started to form. A small eggplant, some cremini mushrooms and half a dozen tiny yukon gold potatoes rounded out my basket. I also knew there was some broccoli in the fridge, just waiting to be cooked up.

When we got home I cut up the potatoes, tossed them with olive oil, rosemary and salt and popped them in the oven.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Then I sliced the eggplant and “grilled” it up with a little oil and garlic on the stove. When they were cooked through, they got plated and I got to work on the rest of the veggies. It should be noted that when I say “I,” I really mean “my husband and I,” because he did pretty much all of the washing and cutting of the veggies, while I (the real I) stood watch over the stove. Anyway, next into the pan went some more oil, garlic (2 cloves), ginger (about 1/2 an inch), and 3/4 of a small onion. Then the broccoli, mushrooms and bok choy, adding each as the previous was cooked most of the way through.

Veggie Stir Fry

When everything was done it was a plate of deliciousness. Yum.

(To be fair, I must admit that we ate it with some rice, since we are indulging in kitniot this year, but the meal would still be really good and filling sans rice.)

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On-the-go eating

Last year, I sang the praises of Osem Instant Mashed Potatoes. Once again, they have come to my rescue as my on-the-go meal. Today I was out an about and hungry. Thankfully I had one of the potato cups in my purse and with a cup of hot water, had an instant meal.

Bissli Onion Snack

Another great snack when you’re out and about are Bissli snacks, also from Osem. They make several flavors: Onion, Barbecue, Smokey and Falafel. I’ve never seen the Falafel flavor in stores, which is too bad, because I had a hankering for some falafel today. But the other three flavors are tasty, tasty, tasty. They’re a bit greasier than I normally go for, but they’re handy and KforP, so I gobble them up for a week a year.

Chocolate bars are also a great take-along snack and this is one of the few times I don’t feel guilty having an entire bar in my purse “just in case.” There’s loads of KforP chocolate bars and a lot of them are vegan. Look for Parave markings, but many might be labeled dairy. Read the ingredients, you might be surprised!

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Thursday – So far, so good

The fridge is well-stocked with leftovers (of the quinoa and/or veggie persuasion) and I’ve been popping into the kitchen to put together a few other provisions. Not feeling too deprived yet.

Breakfast Smoothie

Breakfasts are consisting of peanut butter and strawberry jelly on matzah. Normally I would use almond butter instead, but since I’m down with the kitniot this year, I decided to forgo the added expense of buying an entire jar of almond butter to use only a few tablespoons. I’m also fond of the breakfast smoothies. The one pictured is chock full of partially defrosted frozen strawberries, a banana, a bunch of frozen blueberries, a splash of OJ and a splash of almond milk. If almond milk doesn’t jive with your KforP standards (because you’ll likely never find one labeled for it), it’s darn good with just juice, too. Oh, and I threw in some ground flax for good measure. It’s always nice to pepper Passover with things you eat year round.


I also threw together a Pesach staple in my house – Fasta-than-Pasta bake from The Jewish Vegetarian Year. I’m not one to give out recipes from a cookbook, but suffice it to say it’s layers of farfel and a simple tomato sauce that, when baked, form a little bite of tastiness. I usually make it several times in the one week.

The last morsel I’ll share tonight is the legendary Pesach yellow cake. It’s from a box mix (honestly, I’m not even sure what brand, although I do know that it was touted as “extra moist.”) Instead of egg in the cake batter, I use half of a well-mashed banana. And in place of the margarine in the frosting, I use a touch more banana. As I found out last year, it ends up like a super moist banana bread with chocolate frosting. Not too shabby.

Yellow banana cake

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Seders in review

I cooked up a storm, and yet it didn’t seem to amount to all that much actual food. Not to say I wasn’t stuffed, because I was, but when I make a list, suddenly it doesn’t seem impressive and I have to wonder where my Monday and Tuesday went.

Seder #1:
Vegetable Soup with Matzoh Balls – soup recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, Matzoh Ball recipe from Candle Cafe cookbook.

Lemon Herb Quinoa (link to recipe)

Roasted sweet potatoes

Steamed broccoli & cauliflower

Fruit for desert

Seder #2:
More of the same soup (and there’s leftovers for today, too!)

“Quinoa Heaven” aka quiona with butternut squash, aka everything but the kitchen sink quinoa (recipe)

Assorted roasted veggies – brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and carrots

Dessert was even more fruit

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Pesach 5770

This year will be slightly different than last, for several reasons.

1) I intend to update this blog daily, or at least almost daily, for the duration of the holiday.

2) I’m pregnant! So I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before – eat kitniot at Passover. I’m going to keep KforP in the Sephardic tradition, which includes beans, peanuts and rice. My reason for doing so is simple – protein. While I always ate okay at Passover, I feel like it’s important for me and my baby to eat more than quinoa and nuts for protein for 8 days. So in addition to my usual Pesach staples, I’ll be eating some new foods, which I’ll outline in future posts. For those of you who don’t eat kitniot, I do apologize in advance for talk of deliciously forbidden foods.

3) I’m going to try to add photos of what I eat when possible. And only when it looks tasty, of course. Don’t want to make Passover look worse than it already is.

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Quinoa Heaven

Here’s one of my favorite recipes. It’s adapted from a recipe a friend of a friend made for me once. It’s a pretty versatile recipe and you can switch out or add more veggies, depending on what you have in the house. Cutting the squash can be a bit of a pain, but once you’ve got that done, everything else is a snap.

1/2 Cup and 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks, white and pale green parts, minced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 and 1/4 Cups vegetable stock
1 and 1/2 Cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Cup raisins, soaked in warm water
2 zucchini cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp fresh chopped ginger (or dry ginger)
Large Pinch cayenne pepper
1 Can chopped tomatoes (or fresh)
1 and 1/2 Cups quinoa
Lemon for garnish

– Heat oil in a heavy, large pot over low heat.
– Add leeks and garlic. Cover and cook until leeks are very tender but not brown (5-10 minutes).
– Add stock and bring to a boil. Add turmeric, ginger, cayenne and butternut squash. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
– Add raisins and zucchini. Simmer until all veggies are tender but crisp, not mushy (about another 5-10 minutes).
– Mix in tomatoes, then add quinoa. Give a good stir and remove from heat.
– Cover and let stand for ten minutes, or until quinoa is cooked.
– Fluff, garnish with lemon slices.

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Day 6, Post 1

Where has the holiday gone? My trip to New York really sucked the blogging out of me, so I’m taking this opportunity to update about what I’ve been eating so far this Pesach…

For the first seder, hosted at a relative’s house, I made a bunch of holiday favorites – Vegetable Broth from Vegan with a Vengeance with Matzoh Balls from The Candle Cafe Cookbook. I’d never tried the matzoh balls before and was a little nervous while preparing them, because the main ingredient is grated potatoes and I thought they’d taste it. Thankfully, once cooked up, they were yummy, chewy, dense and flavorful, thanks to the parsley and dill. I was very happy with how they came out and will definitely be using this recipe for years to come. For the main course, I brought the old Passover staple, Fasta-than-Pasta from The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook and one of my year-round favorites, Lemon Herb Quinoa. We made tons of quinoa, so there was plenty leftover to top salads in days to come. For dessert I munched on fresh fruit, as well as some apparently vegan jelly rings. Yum!

The first morning I’d planned on making my pancakes that I was so excited about, but I ended up with just matzoh and fruit. Breakfast is not my strong suit. I didn’t really eat lunch, because our seder was early, so I just picked at things in the kitchen while helping my mom.

Seder number two, at my mom’s house, consisted of leftovers from seder one, plus a ginormous tray of roasted veggies (brussels sprouts, asparagus, carrots and broccoli) and my mom’s famous roasted potatoes (whole white potatoes from a can sprinkled with garlic powder and paprika, baked for an hour and a half at 375). My mom and I made a delicious apple crumb cake for dessert. I wish I had the recipe, but it was like apple pie filling with a Passover cake meal and margarine crumble on top. It was the hit of the table.

Friday morning for breakfast I finally made my pancakes. I think they were actually Streit’s brand, not Maneschwitz. Either way, I replaced the eggs in the reicpe with a mashed banana and threw in a bunch of defrosted frozen berries. Cooking proved to be a bit of a challenge… No matter how long I cooked them, they remained soft and mushy. Experiment failed. But they were edible, so we ate them and went on our way.

Then we were off for a busy day, heading into NYC to visit with friends.I don’t usually eat out at Passover, but I decided to try my luck this year and had very pleasant results. We met my friend Amy at Aroma Espresso Bar, a cafe near her apartment. Not only did they have several delicious looking vegan salads, but they had Passover rolls and pastries, as well as matzoh. I figured none of the pastries were vegan, so my hubby and I each got the Quinoa Salad – a small salad filled with organic quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and fresh mint leaves (we ordered minus the green beans that aren’t listed on the website, but were at the cafe. It wasn’t the most delicious salad I’ve ever had, but it was good and filling, especially with the giant serving of matzoh my friend graciously shared with us.

Later in the afternoon, with another friend, we stopped into another cafe called Follow Me Cafe, which doesn’t have a website from what I can tell. Which is fine, because they didn’t have anything Vegan Pesach approved. So I got a cup of tea and munched on the chocolate bar I’d stashed in my purse. Which is really the perfect mid-afternoon snack, anyway.

On our way to meet up with some friends closer to dinner time, we stopped at Crumbs (probably nothing vegan) Bake Shop, where I got a cup of hot water and made myself some mashed potatoes (see previous post) and hubby had a tea. And we fantasized about which cupcakes we would eat if they were vegan/not giant/made of matzoh. I chose Cookie Dough.

Saturday morning was the beginning of my typical Passover breakfast breakdowns, in which I wander around the kitchen looking at food, feeling totally appalled by every option until I decide to either a) eat leftovers from dinner or b) eat plain matzoh. I’m pretty sure plain matzoh won.

For lunch my awesome friend Carly came by (hi Carly and all of her friends from her blog!) and we made a leftover lunch. I had more soup and matzoh balls and a giant salad with walnuts and quinoa on top. Really yummy and satisfying. My mom made us a snack of matzoh, cinnamon, sugar and melted chocolate, baked. We ate pretty much the entire thing. And by we, I mostly mean me.

For dinner that night, my dad and I made one of my favorite year-round recipes, which I’ve adapted for Pesach. It consists of tons of veggies, including butternut squash, zucchini and leeks, and quinoa and it’s freaking delish. I’ll post the recipe later. Even my picky mother loved it. The recipe makes a ton, so there’s always leftovers, although they’re all gone now.

Sunday’s meals were a lot like Saturdays. Same breakfast, same lunch and then we packed up as many leftovers as we could carry for the flight home. On the flight, I snacked on the veggie quinoa and chocolate, as well as some fresh fruit.

On our way home from the airport, we picked up some fruit and other provisions (including the long-awaited almond butter).

Saturday morning brought almond butter on matzoh and a banana. For lunch, more giant salads, this time sans-quinoa, because we don’t have any in the house. For dinner I made another Fasta-Than-Pasta and more of my mom’s potatoes. And for dessert, I’d bought one of those Passover cake mixes by Savion. These cakes were a staple of my childhood and I just love them. I defrosted an overripe banana (always keep ’em in the freezer) and blended it up. Reserving a tablespoon to replace the margarine in the frosting, I used the rest as egg replacer and followed the instructions. The final product ended up not quite like a traditional yellow cake, but tasted like a very moist banana bread with melted chocolate on top. Which is at least as good, if not better, than yellow cake.

Today it’s still early. So far, almond butter and a banana, again. Not sure what the rest of the day holds, but probably a walk to the store to pick up some quinoa is in order.

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