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Unexpected Passover Food

During the week before Passover, observant Jews will prepare for the eight-day holiday by removing every piece of chametz (food with leavening) from their homes. Instead of restocking the pantry with prepackaged kosher-for-Passover cookies, cakes, gefilte fish and marshmallows, here are some delicious and unorthodox suggestions.

The Passover “Ham”

“For Easter, having a ham in the house is like having money in the bank,” says Tina Ujlaki, F&W’s Executive Food Editor. The Passover equivalent is turkey. You can serve it on the first night of Pesach, and there will be leftovers all week. Use the bones for turkey soup. Throw it over salad, make a chunky turkey salad or cook a turkey shepherd's pie with beautiful spring vegetables.

Salty and Crunchy Foods that Aren’t Matzo

Too much of the ever-versatile matzo can sit like a brick in your stomach, and most kosher-for-Passover potato chips and flavored crackers contain MSG, plus not-great-for-you cottonseed oil. This is a good time to try tastes-like-they’re-fried-but-they’re-not foods like kale chips and oven fries. Or even real French fries; potatoes are your friend during Passover.

Quinoa

The master of disguise, this protein- and fiber-packed food looks like a grain but is actually a seed that’s OK to eat during Passover. It makes a great substitute for oatmeal (which is chametz) in a warm breakfast dish sweetened with honey, and is also delicious in salads or served as a side.

Non-Boxed Desserts

What other time of year calls for four boxes of cookies and a huge bag of marshmallows for only eight days? The kosher-for-Passover cake mixes, cookie mixes, prepared cakes and cookies are often loaded with empty calories and can taste like the cardboard boxes that they came in. Flourless cakes, flourless cookies and meringues are among the easiest desserts to make, as well as the lightest calorically.

Homemade Vinaigrette

Something green and leafy is necessary when you’re downing matzo by the box (you know who you are). Although white vinegar and mustard are chametz, salads can be dressed with a wine or cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (all EVOOs are kosher for Passover).

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