Giant Plant-Based (Vegan) Passover (and Easter) Post
I know that not many of you celebrate Passover but for those that do there just aren’t that many resources out there. If you don’t, many of these recipes would work well for Easter or on any other day.
This will be our third plant-based Passover. Passover is a holiday that uses a scary amount of eggs and oil and we were a little, ok a lot, nervous, about sticking to our typical way of eating during our first year on a whole foods plant-based diet. Not to mention, what about legumes and tofu (which are traditionally not allowed during Passover)? Where would we get our protein? We did some research and found a few recipes out there, but honestly there weren’t many. And it took a LOT of searching to find them.
We also weren’t sure how to handle things like avoiding oil and eggs, avoiding gluten and trying substitutions that make things easier. This is our attempt to provide you with tips and tricks and collect as many recipes and Passover posts in one place as possible. If you have other recipes you’d like to add or other websites that we haven’t uncovered, please add them in the comments below and we will add them! We hope this post will save you time and make it easier (and less stressful) to enjoy a plant-based Passover.
Below we will cover a few things that might be challenging. Once you figure it out it’s not that hard so don’t get frustrated.
I Want to Adapt my Old Passover Recipes
If you are feeling brave and want to convert some of your old Passover recipes to make them plant-based, here a few suggestions:
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour = ¼ cup matzo cake meal and ¾ cup potato starch
- ½ Cup all-purpose flour = 2 TB matzo cake meal and 6 TB potato starch
- Desserts with eggs are really hard to convert, particularly ones that use egg whites to create height in cakes. There is really no good substitution so I stick to things like:
I am Oil-Free
During our first year I made a few recipes I found on the web that were oil-free but there aren’t many out there and I had to adapt others with oil in them. We made it through that week on a few dishes that we made big portions of and ate over and over. We were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t that hard and that the recipes were really tasty. Some of the recipes on the sites listed below have oil in them. Here are a couple of tips to eliminate oil in these recipes:
- Saute veggies in water and not oil. Many of the recipes for main courses that have oil only use it for sautéing veggies so this one is pretty simple.
- If a dessert recipe calls for oil I will typically replace it with an equivalent amount of applesauce or a ripe, mashed banana.
- I don’t use any recipes (particularly desserts) that use Earth Balance or another plant-based butter/margarine replacement. They are full of oil and they taste and smell like plastic (IMHO). Unfortunately there isn’t a good replacement for this. Fortunately there are many recipes you can make that don’t need Earth Balance.
Here are four oil-free recipes from Plantivores that you could make for your Seder or for meals during Passover week:
Healthy Girl’s Kitchen has four oil-free Passover recipes on her site.
What About Protein?
Good question. Many Ashkenazic Jews will not eat Kitniyot on Passover. Kitniyot are grains and legumes such as rice, corn, soy beans, string beans, peas, lentils, mustard, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Whoa! That is quite a list, right? We handle this one on a technicality because Sephardic Jews will eat Kitniyot. We are Ashkenazic but since going plant-based we go with the Sephardic rules. We figure God understands because he would prefer us to be healthy and get enough plant-based protein. 🙂 This is obviously a very personal preference so do what is right for you.
Andddd I’m Gluten-free, Now What??
You think this is a challenge? Come on, throw us something difficult. 🙂 I went gluten-free about six months ago. Not being able to eat wheat eliminates the major food group of Passover–matzo. Don’t fear my vegan, gluten-free matzo-craving peeps! According to the blog at the Intermountain Jewish News, quinoa, amaranth and teff are three grains that are perfectly acceptable for Passover. Here are four tips to make it through Passover gluten-free:
- If a recipe calls for cake meal you can substitute that amount for another gluten-free flour like teff, quinoa or potato starch.
- If a recipe calls for matzo meal, substitute with an equivalent amount of Quinoa Flakes.
- If a recipe calls for matzoh farfel, you can spend a lot of money and buy gluten-free matzoh and crumble it up for farfel. That said the only gluten-free versions I’ve seen contain palm oil and eggs. Again, personal choice. I haven’t yet found a good substitute for farfel that is gluten-free, egg-free and oil-free.
- For matzo to eat during the week or in recipes (like this Mina De Masa, a type of Passover lasagna), make our Gluten-Free Vegan Matzo 4 Ways that is oil-free. I have three versions using quinoa flour, teff flour or potato starch. These come out sturdy enough to eat on their own, eat as a sandwich, or you can break them up to make your own matzo farfel.
What About Breakfast?
Those store-bought cereals are horrible aren’t they? Last year I made my own granola and I am happy to share my recipe with you. It’s not gluten-free so I need to figure out how to adapt this for myself this year. You could use gluten-free matzo farfel and sub part of it for quinoa. You would add this in uncooked. This recipe made enough for two of us to have breakfast for 3 or 4 mornings last year. I had to make another batch mid-week so feel free to double if needed.
- 2 1/2 cups matzo farfel (make gluten-free by using gluten-free matzo)
- 1 cup quinoa (raw)
- 1 cup millet (raw, not flour)
- 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave
- 1 cup unsweetened, organic applesauce
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup dates
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick aluminum foil.
- Combine farfel, quinoa, millet, coconut, nuts, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine vanilla, maple or agave and applesauce.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well. Make sure everything is coated evenly.
- Spread mixture evenly on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes until golden brown. It burns easily so watch carefully.
- Transfer granola to a large bowl and use a spatula to break up the big clumps.
- Stir in the raisins and dates.
- Cool thoroughly.
- It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least one week (if you don't eat it before then).
- Haroset–if you want to change things up a bit, here is a link to 7 pages of Haroset recipes from around the world. Scroll down the page until you see the posting called Haroset from Around the World.
- Vegan Matzo Ball Soup with Spring Vegetables
- Vegan Matzo Balls with a Gluten-free option (use these in the recipe above)
- Vegan Chopped Liver (aka Lentil Walnut Pate)
- Israeli Salad with Pickles and Mint
Entrees/Sides (you can make several sides at the same time and have enough to eat in lieu of one entrée)
- Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts
- Passover Carrot Ring. Use a Kosher for Passover egg substitute for the egg and substitute applesauce for the oil, or just leave it out.
- Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Kosher Potato Leek “Cheddar” Kugel. You can saute in water to avoid the oil. The Daiya cheese is optional.
- Mina De Masa (Passover Lasagna)
- Passover Carrot Apple Pudding
- Sweet Potato Kugel
- Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake
- Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies
- Gluten-Free Strawberry Passover Tart
- Vegan Matzo Toffee (scroll down the page to find it). NOT oil-free.
Plant-Based (Vegan) Passover Recipe Round-Up
- This page at Nava Atlas’ Veg Kitchen has a suggested menu for both Ashkenazic and Sephardic seders as well as recipes. She also includes suggestions on how to make a Vegan Seder Plate
- Some of our favorites from last year include the Chopped “Liver” Spread, the Sweet Potato Kugel and Eggplant Casserole found on the Vegetarian Resource Group site last year. They were all terrific!
- Here are three new recipes for 2013 from the Vegetarian Resource Group Blog.
- This blog post from HappyHealthyLongLife.com has a number of recipes on it. If you scroll down you will see some suggestions and recipes for a Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free Passover. Phew, that was a mouthful.
- Here you’ll find where vegan Passover has gone mainstream on the NY Times Well blog.
- How to go Vegan for Passover from Jewish Woman Magazine.
- Lots of great recipes here at PETA.
- Healthy Happy Life’s take on vegan Passover recipes. She’s not Jewish but we applaud her efforts!
- Healing Thru Food posted these vegan Passover recipes that came from a Miami-based Rabbi and her husband.
- This blog post from Scratch and Sniff; Food Worth Smelling includes a long list of recipes that both include kitniyot and don’t include it.
- The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute shares a small list of recipes that all look divine.
- Vegan Passover from Triumph Wellness. Triumph Wellness is wellness blog run by a Jewish American woman living in Israel.
- Vegan Kosher for Passover Recipes by Mayim Bialik andher post on how to be organized for Passover.
- Big Mike’s Guide to Vegan Passover – Big Mike has a number of recipes on his site
- This is a large collection of Vegan Sephardic Passover recipes at The Shiksa in the Kitchen
- Here is a set of Vegan Ashkenazic Passover recipes from The Shiksa in the Kitchen
- This web page, Vegetarian Fat Free Passover Recipes, contains a good-sized collection of recipes that can be adapted to be vegan. We can’t wait to try matzoh ball recipe #3 which is oil-free and contains no eggs.
- Check out Plantivores’ Pinterest Board Plant-Based Passover
We hope this is helpful! Please let us know your favorite Passover plant-based recipes and other blogs that contain them.