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Averting starvation when you have no sukkah

No one chooses this situation, but it happens. Business travel, lunch at the office, and the many people who live in apartments where they have no capacity to construct a sukkah. They manage to get to a sukkat on the chag itself, but schlepping to a sukkah at a shul or at the other end of the campus for breakfast or a weekday dinner is asking a lot.

So, this is a thread for: Tips on How to Eat When You Have No Sukkah

The main thing to remember is that is a world of good things to eat beyons meznonot and hamotzie (baked goods and bread that can only be eaten after a bracha that can only be made inside a sukkah)

Thank heaven for Columbus, when he discovered the new world he discovered quinoa, corn and potatoes.

1. Bake a corn bread made from cornmeal with no flour. Corn cakes are also good.

2. Potatoes of every and all kinds.

3. Most (all?) gluten-free noodles are not mezonot. Ancient harvest is a brand of noodles made from a blend of corn and quinoa flour. Make a marinara sauce and enjoy.

4. Rice is also fine to eat without a sukkah. Curry, anyone?

5. For lunch, think tupperware. Instead of a sandwich, pack a maincourse salad with enough rice, potatoes, corn or quinoa to fill up on.

Bon appetit.

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  1. Adina,

    We often buy up marked down Pesach (after Pesach) mixes, frozen meals, noodles, etc. specifically to use in this way. No gebrokts, no mezonot, no problem. Mini cans of pesachich gefilte fish work wonders. I always have a couple in my desk.

    1. Breakfast: Pretty easy. I don't find the corn-based cold cereals filling, but if you do, they're out there. Eggs and potatoes are a classic breakfast if you lean that way. The last couple of years, I've been making cornmeal porridge, which is surprisingly good if you spice it the right way.

      Lunch: In addition to Adina's suggestion above, I've always found beans helpful. As an example: peel and dice a carrot, and chop several cloves of garlic. (Other vegetables and seasonings can be used - this is just my default.) Sautee them in a little olive oil; when the garlic is browned and the carrots tender, add a rinsed, drained can of white beans and a pinch of thyme, and cook until beans heat through and maybe dry out a little, a minute or two. This makes a filling, healthy lunch for five minutes of work.

      1. btw, this is only a problem for men when there's no sukkah

        2 Replies
        1. re: berel

          Call it minhag or chumrah, but some women choose to be strict about this.

          Also, there are many blogs on eating gluten-free. A simple search will locate some (just google "gluten-free blogs"); most of the recipes you find will be perfect for this situation.

          1. re: queenscook

            You can also get wraps made with corn flour (corn tortillas) and gluten-free breads made with brown rice flour or other non-mezonot flours. A corn tortilla with tuna is quite good.

            Filling snacks include bananas, dried fruits, and almonds.

        2. I guess I didn't realize the halachah of this, but when did Sukkot during in Passover-lite?

          1 Reply
          1. Sandwiches using rice cakes instead of bread. I had the same issue on a business trip 3 years ago. You can find rice cakes, sandwich fillings, and veggies in any supermarket.

            BTW, my neighbor made a portable sukkah on a business trip in a remote area by opening his car door, resting some fallen tree branches over the opening for schach and using a small piece of plywood for the third wall. I can't vouch for its kashrut, but I think it was an ingenious attempt.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mamaleh

              Great idea. In the northeast, this has been a common practice for decades. I know people who leave the schach in the back seat on chol hamoed. It really can work for anyone who has a car and a place to part it under the open sky. Families on tiyulim take turns using the sukkah. And I know guys who don't just improvise the schach, they actually own a bamboo roll-up mat that fits their car.

              You don't need plywood, just a four-door car. Open the driver's seat door and the one behind it. The car itself serves as the third wall. Sit on the edge of the floorboard of the back seat with your feet on the pavement so that your body is almost entirely under the shach.

              And remember, a traveling merchant can set up a sukkah on the back of a camel. It actually says this somewhere in the gamara. Anybody remember where?

              The limitation is, you do have to have a access to a car...

              1. re: mamaleh

                Should be perfectly kosher. Better yet, open two doors on the same side for a third wall, or if the party has two cars park them near each other and open doors on both for four walls. Just make sure the schach covers more than 50% of the roof area.

              2. Kicking this up in case someone finds it useful.

                1 Reply
                1. re: AdinaA

                  The mujadara recipe I put up on the vegan/vegetarian thread would fit the bill here.

                2. Falls in the category of Ask your local Rabbi as the very concept of oppressing yourself on a holiday that has no food-related restrictions is an issue. There are those who are against this approach on Sukkos and who allow for that in their rulings. It is not Pesach, as someone on here noted and--while some must work on Chol Hamoed due to the prospect of considerable financial loss--adding more insult to injury by feeling constrained by the food eaten that day is considered by some to be forbidden. Not everyone knows this which is why I bring it up here. Worth asking about.

                  1. This is real world, not theoretical:

                    1.
                    baked salmon (leftovers from yomtov)
                    salad with techina
                    cup of yogurt

                    Snack: humus and baby carrots

                    2.
                    cold chicken or meat from yomtov (schnitzel is best if you have any left over)
                    potato salad
                    cole slaw

                    snack: slices of salami

                    3.
                    Morningstar chicken patties
                    canned corn

                    snack: scrambled eggs with cottage cheese and Israeli salad

                    Make sure to include a protein and a starch in every meal so you don't feel deprived, and a fruit and veggie.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: SoCal Mother

                      Protein and starch, no bread, also good at room temp:

                      Vegetable or meat lasagne
                      Baked Ziti
                      Stuffed Shells

                      Chef Salad with crispy rice noodles instead of croutons
                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      On the go, no starch
                      Bell peppers stuffed with tuna or chicken salad

                      crudites and dip, bag of chips

                      I find it much easier to do no bread/no motzi than Pesach no chometz when on the go

                      1. re: SoCal Mother

                        I'll also add to the first one: if you want a bit more starch, you can consider doing a yogurt potato salad (see, for example, http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/0... for one idea). Minor variant and would make the meal a bit more substantial.

                        1. re: SoCal Mother

                          SoCal, I think it's worth a discussion (prob not here) so that people can actually find out as my family did that this option is not only not the best one, but may actually be the one that is not preferable. Food and the enjoyment of the holiday is a very big part of each Jewish holiday. Not theoretical at all. The practical would be to actually pick up the phone and ask the question or look it up.

                          1. re: cappucino

                            I think SoCal meant those were real/actual m,eals, not theoretical suggestions