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Feb 27, 2011 03:46 PM

8 Day Vegetarian Pesach Dinner Menus

Has anyone ever planned all of their Pesach dinner menus ahead of time for all 8 days that could share their plan with me? Vegetarian. Eggs and dairy are fine. No kitnyot. Gebrokts OK. No eggplant (family members with allergies). The 2 Seders and probably Shabbat dinner are going to be shared with people eating meat, so the food for those meals will have to be pareve. Breakfast and lunches are usually repeats, so I'm looking for variety in the dinner menus. Anyone?

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  1. I don't have a full 8 day plan, just some suggestions:

    Remember that you want to get protein into your diet, not necessarily into the main course. Cheesecake or a rich chocolate torte (the kind where the recipe begins: separate a dozen eggs) can follow a vegetable main course.

    I would also think about a soup-and-salad meal centered around a creamed soup made with milk, or serving a cold soup made with yogurt for the first course.

    Shakshuka is a wonderful main course.

    I assume that you have a recipe for the kind of fritatta-like matzoh brei that fills a whole frying pan and is close to an inch thick? Make it with milk as the liquid. And serve it with the most exotic jellies you can find, or homemade fruit sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AdinaA

      Thanks. In the past, we've packed all of our daily protein into breakfast and lunch with almond butter, eggs, yogurt smoothies, and quinoa (might not be possible this year) and then eaten a pareve vegetable side dish for dinner. It did not work well for us last year -- everyone felt hungry during the night. The dairy soup/salad thing or shakshuka might work well during Chol Hamoed.

      1. re: mamaleh

        don't forget about cottage cheese - it's a terrific source of protein and you can have it for breakfast with fruit & nut butter, or use it in blintzes, kugels, casseroles...

    2. I have often planned my meals ahead of time, but they are not vegetarian, so this isn't exactly what you asked for. Still, if you allow me to put my 2 cents in . . .

      When I do chalavi meals, I start off with one of three or four different fruit soups that I make. After that, we fress on matzah with cream cheese, butter, jam, and leftover charoset, along with milk with all sorts of syrups (chocolate, vanilla, coffee, cherry, blueberry, and raspberry--I put all the syrup bottles out if we are having kids as guests). We then move on to the main course, which is always a huge matzah lasagna, sometimes two if we're having lots of guests. (We like it so much, we have served the matzah version for our chalavi meal on Shavout!!) Typical side dishes are kugels, tzimmes, and a really tasty Butternut Squash Ratatouille. The ratatouille is not a typical ratatouille--NO eggplant or tomato sauce. I don't know what makes it a ratatouille, actually, but the recipe is from the NY Times Passover Cookbook, and is made up chiefly of butternut squash, carrots, leeks, zucchini, and apples. And as I am really chiefly into baking and desserts, there's always a choice of cakes, cookies, meringues, sorbet, mousse, fruit, nuts, etc.

      I imagine a vegetarian's main concern would be protein, but with cheese, eggs, and nuts as a possibility, I see lots of kugels, quiches, frittatas, omelets, and matzah brei. I have a recipe I've never made on Pesach, but I made it years ago and was reminded of it by your post. It's for a nut loaf, which has pecans, cashews, almonds. celery, cheddar cheese, onions, oil, eggs, and matzah meal.

      10 Replies
      1. re: queenscook

        Thank you. I would love the nut loaf recipe if you can share it.

        1. re: mamaleh

          No problem, but as I said, I haven't made it in many years, and can't even recall exactly what it looked like or tasted like. I dug up the recipe card I had for it, but don't have exact amounts for the nuts--just the proportions:

          3 parts pecans
          2 parts cashews
          1 part almonds
          1 cup diced celery
          1 cup diced cheddar cheese
          3/4 c. diced onions
          oil (no amount is written on my card--prob. enough to moisten it)
          3 eggs
          matzah meal (again, no amount given--prob. just enough to bind it)

          The only directions I have written are:
          Chop nuts into small pieces. Mix all ingredients. Bake.

          No temp or time given, but I'd imagine 350-400 would be appropriate. As for time, I'd check it after 1/2 hour or so to see how it looks.

          Sorry the directions are so minimal, but I don't know where it originally came from, and I haven't been in touch with the person who gave it to me in quite a while. It might be a good excuse to get back in touch with an old friend, but that isn't happening in the very near future.

          I'd be interested to hear if you make it and if so, what you thought about it.

          1. re: queenscook

            Thanks. I'll give it a trial run this week.

            1. re: queenscook

              This sounds like a nut roast. I make something very similar, but I add tomato paste and salt and pepper. I bake at 350.

          2. re: queenscook

            Queenscook: Can you please post your matzah lasagna recipe? Thanks.

            1. re: EmpireState

              6 matzahs (I use whole wheat)
              2 containers cottage cheese (I use fat-free)
              1 bag mozzarella cheese (I use low-fat)
              1 bag cheddar cheese (I use low-fat)
              2 jars pasta sauce (I use Spicy Marinara and Pizza sauce)
              pizza seasoning (or a mixture of Italian-type spices: oregano, basil, garlic, onion powder, etc.)

              Soak 2 matzahs in hot water, and place on the bottom of a large aluminum pan. Cover with one third of the combined jars of pasta sauce. Dollop out and spread one of the containers of cottage cheese over the sauce. Sprinkle one third of the combined cheeses over that. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning. Layer 2 more soaked matzahs, cover with another third of the pasta sauce, the second container of cottage cheese, another third of the cheeses, and more pizza seasoning. Layer the final 2 soaked matzahs, cover with the remaining sauce and cheese, and more pizza seasoning.

              I can't remember how hot I make the oven; probably 375-400 or so. Bake for a while, 'til the cheese on the top is nice and browned.

              1. re: queenscook

                How big is a bag? I buy my cheese in 2 lb. bags. 7 oz?

                1. re: SoCal Mother

                  I think the bags I use are 8 oz of shredded cheese. I'll be doing some Pesach shopping today, so I'll reconfirm that later.

                  I might try one lasagna this year with all cheddar cheese, because for the first time I'll be using Cabot cheddar, which everyone raves about. I figure that if it's that good, maybe making one without the mozzarella, just the cheddar, would go over well. I know that cheddar isn't even traditional for lasagna, but neither is matzah, so why not give it a shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

                  1. re: queenscook

                    Just confirming that I checked at the store today; the bags of cheese I have used in the past were the 8 oz. bags, so that would make 16 oz (1 lb) of shredded cheese per lasagna.

                    1. re: queenscook

                      It's easy to add vegetables to the "matzagna", and because it cooks so quickly (compared to the traditional one), they don't get mushy. I like to add spinach and mushrooms.

          3. I've made the nut burgers here ( burgers bittman&st=cse ) several times (not on Pesach), and they've proved popular in my non-vegetarian household. They do use oats or rice as a thickener, but if quinoa is available this year, I'd think that would be a good substitute. If not, you could probably play around with matza meal, although I'm not sure in what proportions.

            My mother has made matza cheese blintzes in the past - soak the matzas between sheets of wet paper towels to soften, then fill with cheese blintz filling, roll, and fry. They're a patchka, and not particularly healthy, but they taste great. I can ask her for the recipe if you like. She also makes very old-school cheese pancakes that I love.

            Fritattas? Spanish tortilla (a fritata made with potatoes poached in olive oil, which can be made totally pareve)? Vegetarian shepherd's pie, like the one here (replace the 1 T of flour with potato starch, and I prefer a more classic mashed potato with butter and milk rather than the yogurt variation here): ?

            I'm flipping through the 'Gratins and Casseroles' section of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and there are several good candidates, including Cabbage Gratin, Celery Root and Potato Gratin, Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Feta, Potato and Leek Gratin, Potato and Mushroom Gratin, Potato Tomato and Pepper Tagine, New Potato Gratin with Tomatoes and Olives, Vegetable Gratin-Souffle, and Cottage Cheese and Spinach Gratin. They're mostly dairy, but there are a few pareve options on that list.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GilaB

              Thank you! All great suggestions. I'll work on a plan and share it when I'm finished.

            2. Thank you for all of your input. Please let me know if we can tweak this. Here we go (and no quiche to be found :)

              1st Seder – Butternut Squash Ratatouille; Portabella Mushrooms with Seasoned Matzah Meal Stuffing; Sauteed Spinach and Raisins; Vegetarian Matzah Ball Soup; Eggs in Salt Water

              2nd Seder – Potato, Tomato and Pepper Tagine; Matzah Kugel with Spinach; Vegetarian Matzah Ball Soup; Green Salad with Toasted Nuts; Eggs in Salt Water

              3rd Night Chol Hamoed – Vegetable Lasagne; Green Salad

              4th Night Chol Hamoed – Vegetable Gratin; Green Salad

              Erev Shabbat – Nut Burgers; Wild Mushroom Ragout; Sweet Potato Pie/Tzimmes; Vegetable Soup; Spinach and Orange Salad

              Motzei Shabbat Chol Hamoed – Shakshuka; Salad

              Erev Chag – Dairy Shepherd’s Pie; Green Jade Soup; Assorted Moroccan Salads

              Erev Chag – Dairy Nut Loaf; (Tomato Salsa?), Mashed Potatoes; Vegetable Soup; Assorted Moroccan Salads

              Breakfasts: Matzah Brei and Fresh Fruit; Bubbele; Yogurt Smoothies; Almond Butter on Matzah and Fresh Fruit; Cream Cheese on Matzah and Fresh Vegetables

              Lunch: Leftovers; Cottage Cheese and Fresh Vegetables; Scrambled Eggs or Fritata; Salads; Blintzes; Matzah Pizza; Baked Potato Bar; Matzah Natchos or Quesedillas with Salsa and Guacamole; Egg Salad and Fresh Veggies; Almond Butter or Cheese Slices on Matzah; Fresh Fruit and Fruit Juices

              26 Replies
              1. re: mamaleh

                What suggestions are there for the 8 days for someone who eats vegan (no meat, fish, milk or eggs) for Passover (no kitnyios).

                1. re: moegreene

                  Check with your rav and make certain such a diet is not prohibited on the grounds that it may endanger you health.

                  Seriously, vegan Pesach is really tough. If quinoa is permitted, work it into lots of menus. Coconut milk can be used in lots of wonderful ways. Is there KP coconut milk? Other than that, it's pretty much nuts all the way. I really can't think of any other way of getting protein.

                  Pine nuts can be added to lots of dishes, including cream sauces made with coconut milk. and you can do things like pesto over spaghetti squash (bake the squash and take it from its shell in strings with a fork, it resembles pasta) sprinkled over pine nuts.

                  Am I missing something? Some other Pesachdik vegan food with protein?

                    1. re: mamaleh

                      Good point. Well, if you are a frum vegan, do include a lot of avocado. It would give you both calories and protein. And guacamole is very good on matzo.

                    2. re: AdinaA

                      AdinaA - One can make coconut milk from dried coconut, which is abundantly available for Pesach, but it's not much of a protein source. Avocado is also not high in protein.

                      Squash seeds, maybe? You'd have to clean/roast/peel them yourself, but they're full of protein (and fat.)

                      If there's a K-for-P egg replacer out there, you could make the nut burgers I linked to above.

                      There was a thread on vegan cooking for Pesach here last year:

                      1. re: GilaB

                        The commercial stuff has about 5 g. per cup. Which is not altogether trivial if you're trying to put a vegan diet together. Of course, it also has about 500 calories. Which is the problem. Vegan diets are really hard to achieve. I mean, if you got your protein form coconut milk, avocados and nuts, you would soon have the physique of a Sumo wrestler.

                        1. re: AdinaA

                          I wonder how important it is to have lots of protein over Pesach for vegans. In other words, in terms of health, how bad would it be for your body to go eight days with less than you usually get? I do understand that protein helps many people feel full, and that it helps keep them from overeating because of that, but from a strict health POV, would going the 8 days without much protein be truly dangerous or just difficult because of lack of variety? I know I have heard that lack of protein is not much of a problem in America generally, though I imagine vegans probably generally get less than big meat-eaters. Still, if a generally healthy vegan has to skimp a bit on Pesach, how dangerous would that be for his/her health?

                          1. re: queenscook

                            I'm sure you're right. 8 days is immaterial to a well-nourished adult.

                            If you cook for yourself and are knowledgeable, you can be a well-nourished vegan. Especially if you take some iron and calcium supplements. On Pesach all of this becomes more difficult.

                            But Vegans, not ovo-lacto vegans, strict vegans, , have to work very hard at maintaining a diet with sufficient protein. This can be a particular problem for young people who are still growing or who are very physically active especially if, as is usual with teenagers and twenty somethings, they eat on the go a lot, or in dorms, or in other situations where they eat what is available. Young frum vegans often subsist on hummus and pita. When they come for Pesach, they may get little more than potatoes and asparagas.

                            And there are cases where a caring, young parent has become a serious vegan and simply failed to provide sufficient nutrition for small children she thought she was feeding a more healthful diet by becoming vegan. Strict diets of sundry kinds (vegan, microbiotic, raw food) have become popular within the frum community.

                            Being vegan is a huge problem for pregnant or lactating women and growing children. It takes tremendous effort.

                            What I am suggesting is that anyone with a young or pregnant vegan relative coming for 8 days will want to make a serious effort to get protein into them. If you pregnant neice is coming with her toddler, you have some serious homework to do.

                            1. re: queenscook

                              It's a very good question and it probably depends on the health and regular diet of that particular vegan. Personally, I began to feel the effects of the change in my diet from my regular supply of soy, beans, and whole grains in about 4 days. If you have ever been on a diet, I would say I had the equivalent of a dieter's headache and agitation. I'm not sure if it was from the decrease in protein in my diet, or just the change in diet but it was not how I wanted to spend my Pesach. On the other hand, I probably could have done a better job making sure I was getting the right amount of protein from other sources. If you consume 4 TBSP of almond butter, 1 cup of avocado, and 1/2 cup of shelled pumpkin seeds every day I calculate you are at about 30 g of your daily protein intake. The recommended amount of protein is somewhere between 46-56 g per adult. If you combine consuming those items with other nuts and fresh fruit and vegetables (fibre is also important) to get the full benefit of the protein, you are probably pretty close to that protein goal.

                              1. re: mamaleh

                                Whole wheat Matzah has 4 g of protein per matzah.

                          2. re: GilaB

                            I'm not sure if you can find ground flax seed KP, but I suppose you could grind your own (may need to ask LOR) = anyhow, if you mix 1 TB milled flax seed with 3 TB water and heat briefly or let sit for 2-10 minute at room temp - it will develop an egg-like consistency and works great as a substitute!

                            1. re: AdinaA

                              Tahini is a good substitute for nut butters. You can grind your own sesame seeds, if need be. Also, as others have mentioned, flax seeds are quite nutritious.

                              Vegan Pesach is quite a challenge, in terms of variety.

                              1. re: chansi

                                Most Ashkenazim will avoid sesame seeds on Pesach, as they are considered kitniot.

                            2. re: moegreene

                              I tried it a couple of years ago, and fell off the wagon half way through. I was cooking just for myself at the time, and doing a whole other menu for the family. Whole wheat matzah, almond butter, and freshly juiced fruit for breakfast. Veggie soup or salad and baked potato with salsa and cooked veggies for lunch. Dinners were mostly vegetable stews served over quinoa. I also made acorn squash stuffed with apricots, and spaghetti squash with marinara sauce from a jar. That was as far as I got.

                              1. re: moegreene

                                There is at least one vegan kosher for Passover cookbook - No Cholesterol Passover recipes by Debora. Wasserman. The recipes are a bit bland but you can spice them us as much as your tradition allows.

                                1. re: daphnar

                                  I bought that cookbook many years ago, but misplaced it in the Pesach shuffle. It was quite revolutionary at the time. If I remember correctly, I think many of the recipes used kitnyot. Is that correct?

                              2. re: mamaleh

                                great ideas.. and most are pretty simple to put together.

                                A few more ideas for you-
                                - zucchini parm- layer slices of roasted zucchini with feta, mozarella, tomato sauce and spices. works nicely in individual portions or a large pyrex

                                - potato or sweet potato latkes. not exactly the right time of year, but great warm or room temperature.

                                - twice baked potatoes - I usually scoop out the potato and mash with olive oil. dill, parsley, black pepper, and lemon. You can prepare in advance and heat them up as you want to serve. Also good with some cheese mixed in if you want them to be dairy

                                - spinach salad with pecans and fruit. I like to add in some green apple slices, toasted pecans, craisins, and broiled goat cheese rounds. It's a nice main course salad or a side salad

                                - tomato soup with open faced matzah grilled cheese. Husband loves this and requests it all the time on Pesach

                                Don't have much of a recipe for this.. but a friend once served broiled tomato halves filled with a pesto and maztah crumb mixture. They were delicious and filling without any dairy

                                Don't forget yogurt... I love strained plain yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber and dried mint. It's a great savory breakfast.

                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                  Great. I can make some of these and freeze them ahead of time too.
                                  Cheesecake, do you have a favorite Pesach tomato soup recipe?

                                  1. re: mamaleh

                                    same basic recipe that I use all year round. Sometimes the KFP crushed tomatoes are a bit smoother than the all year round ones, so I'll add in a chopped tomato or two. Saute an onion and garlic till translucent with salt and a bit of pepper. Add in 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and 15oz can tomato sauce. Season again with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano and basil. If it's too thick, add water to thin it out. Simmer until it tastes good and it's soupy consistency. You can add cream at the end. I like to add some shredded fresh basil to the top.

                                2. re: mamaleh

                                  Mamaleh,I haven't seen a "bubbele" in many years! do you have a recipe?

                                    1. re: 4greatkds

                                      My grandmother taught me. She served it with strawberry jam. I've seen it served with cinnamon too. It's no wonder you haven't seen it in many years. Most recipes with this many eggs have become extinct (as have the people who have consumed too many bubbeles)!

                                      10 eggs (that is not a mistake)
                                      1 1/2 C matzah meal
                                      pinch of salt
                                      1 tsp sugar
                                      1/2 C water
                                      1 TBSP oil
                                      sugar for sprinkling

                                      Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the matzah meal, sugar, salt and water to the egg yolks. Fold the egg yolk mixture carefully into the egg whites. Pour into the pan. Brown on each side for about 3 minutes. It is very large, so be careful when you are flipping it. Turn it onto a plate and sprinkle with sugar. Cut into at least 6 pieces.

                                      1. re: mamaleh

                                        Thank you! I remember my father enjoying this immensely!

                                        1. re: mamaleh

                                          BTW I modified this recipe a little this year because I did not have enough matzah meal (sorry, Bubbie)! 1/4 cup matzah meal and no water. Worked great. I also figured out after all of these years that if you use 2 frying pans and flip the bubeleh over from one to the other, it doesn't break. Duh!

                                          1. re: mamaleh

                                            I actually own a Pesachdik frying pans in sets, one the size I find most useful, and a second pan with a somewhat wider lip, so that I can neatly invert the bubbele/matzoh brei/fritatta (whichever I'm making) neatly and easily. If you buy the kinds with glass lids, you can make enough to serve the family, and keep them warm and actually be able to join your family at the table and eat. If a large family comes to you for the chag, it really does pay to invest in cooking equipment.

                                    2. Hi!

                                      I am a lifelong vegetarian. I have actually written out some of my Pesach recipes that I continuously use. !NOTE: WE ARE SEFARDI SO I USE RICE! PERHAPS YOU CAN SUB QUINOA IF YOU DON'T USE RICE (but I have never tried this)!
                                      FYI- the pesach dough is my favorite and most versatile Pesach recipe ever!

                                      Here they are:

                                      Scotch Eggs:

                                      4 hard boiled eggs
                                      3 large tablespoons tomato paste
                                      1 onion- chopped and sauteed
                                      4 oz chopped nuts
                                      2 oz ground nuts
                                      2 oz cheese
                                      egg to bind- usually one is sufficient
                                      salt and pepper to taste

                                      put onion, cheese, tomato paste, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until you have a sticky mix which holds togehter. put around hard boiled eggs. bake at 375 until browned on top.

                                      pesach dough for pizza and quiche:
                                      4 oz fine matza meal
                                      4 oz potato starch
                                      4 oz margarine
                                      1 egg to bind

                                      usually makes enough for one 8-9 inch quiche or 2 8-9 inch pizza pies

                                      Nutty Burgers:
                                      4oz chopped nuts
                                      6oz ground hazelnuts
                                      3 tbsp boiled rice
                                      1 onion- finely chopped
                                      2 eggs
                                      2 tbsp tomato paste
                                      1-2 oz shredded cheese
                                      salt and pepper

                                      Saute onion
                                      Mix together all ingredients
                                      Wet hands and shape into balls
                                      Place on greased baking tray
                                      Bake at 400f until browned

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: marissaj

                                        Marissaj -
                                        Do you think a boiled potato would work in the Nutty Burger recipe instead of rice?

                                        1. re: mamaleh

                                          You know, it just might. The rice doesnt really hold its shape anyway, and the texture really comes from the nuts, so I dont know why potato wouldn't work. Try it and report back :)