This Passover, we are outside a big frum community – and outside our home country. We don’t have guests coming on Yom Tov, although there will likely be some other folks joining us for another meal or two.
I ordered some Pesach food from the US, and some I’m making from scratch. We have only chicken (no beef or lamb, much to my dh’s dismay!), just milk and a little bit of mozzarella and American cheese we brought with us when we came (no cream cheese or cottage cheese, something we usually love). We’ve also saved the last of our grape juice for the seders, which will be a real treat for the kids (it’s been the dry, dry red that’s available here for a while now.) Now that I know what’s available, I can finally make my Passover menu!
I have 5 years of previous menu plans and shopping lists, maybe more. I keep track of what we like and what we don’t like, and I use the same basic meal plan each year. It’s good for memories and it also means I don’t have to reinvent the wheel each year – it’s part of my electronic Shalom Bayit Book. Although this year, our menu is a LOT more chicken-y than normal. But that’s all we’ve got!
How I plan the seder meals: you’ll see the first item on my menu is part of the seder. I know it’s not specifically part of the meal, but by the time everyone has eaten the hard boiled egg, the romaine, the matza, and all the other things we use to celebrate, it definitely counts toward filling our tummies! We use basically the same meal plan for both seders since the soup is a favorite and the kids don’t really eat much past that – well, except dessert! So it might be more simple than some you’ve seen with courses upon courses of food – but we don’t have tons of leftovers to eat.
I usually plan the meals for the first few days and last few days, and Shabbat, when it falls outside of those times (like 2013). The last day is usually leftovers and our favorites before we put it away for the year.
Then I plan several looser meal ideas and snacks, and we make and eat what we have the time and inclination for. My kids tend to like just matza and honey sometimes, or fruit, but sometimes they want a full meal. I can’t plan ahead for that well! So you’ll see some meal ideas but not days for all. Oh, and we eat kitniyot (beans, rices, and legumes that aren’t chametz but could look like it if ground – eating is mostly a Sefardi thing). (Speaking of…got to start checking!)
And a lot of this is subject to what actually arrives here on time or can be located locally.
Here we go!
First seder / Second seder
- (All the seder trimmings – hb egg, karpas, charoset, etc…)
- Matza ball soup with veggies
- Chicken stew (using lamb stew recipe) over rice or quinoa
- Roasted veggies / cauliflower popcorn
- Matza crack (we do without nuts) / lemon strawberry sorbet
- Matza with veggie salads: eggplant, tomato, carrot, maybe olive
- Noodle soup
- Spice rubbed chicken
- Veggie platter
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Matza and salads
- fish “meatballs” in sauce
- shredded chicken – chicken salad, maybe?
- cookies / matza crack
Here’s my spreadsheet of meal ideas:
|Matzah and spreads||Matzah pizza||chicken||popover|
|fruit||matza with honey||pinto beans and rice||fruit|
|yogurt||egg salad||matzah lasagna||bissli|
Oooh, I just saw this recipe for Passover enchiladas – I might make those sometime, too!
Second days meals:
- soup – potato leek / carrot?
- chicken / beans and rice
- roasted potatoes
- confetti kugel
- lemon wafer cake and strawberries
And bli neder I’m going to try making cottage cheese - I’ve done paneer, so this is a rennet free version which seems to be similar. Not too hard, and hopefully yummy. We’ve been missing it – and by we, I mean me. It’s a good protein source and I like it. Plus I can add it into matza lasagna or a matza bake like it’s ricotta. Something else we’re missing here…
There you have it! It’s not perfect, and it’s going to change. But it’s what I’m basing my shopping list on, and it’s good for us!
Have you done this yet?