Food, Nutrition and Cooking

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Don’t Passover this recipe #1

A recipe the whole family will enjoy!

Matzo Meat Pie

1 large onion, chopped

3 T canola oil

1.5 lbs. ground chicken or turkey (can substitute beef or lamb)

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t allspice

2 T dark raisins or chopped prunes

2 T pine or walnuts (toasted till lightly browned in either a toaster oven or dry skillet)

1.5  cups chicken or beef broth

8 oz matzo farfel (or 5-6 sheets of matzo)

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Have a 9″ pie plate of 8″ square baking pan ready.

Heat oil in saute pan, add onions and cook until golden. Add meat and spices. Cook about 10 minutes, meat should be browned but retain moisture. Add raisins and nuts to combine and set aside.

Soak matzo farfel in broth to absorb liquid.

Press about 1/2 the soaked farfel in bottom of prepared pan. Place meat filling on top of bottom crush, Top with remaining farfel. Brush with beaten eggs.

Bake ~ 1/2 hour until top is golden. Serves 4-6

Can be made a day ahead . Cover with foil, reheat at 325 degrees F.

Note: Use your leftover meat from the seder in place of ground meat. Chop leftover meat in food processor and combine with cooked onions, raisins and nuts and spices. Follow remainder of recipe as is.


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Lynn-Zer Torte for Passover

I have renamed this dessert for my mother Lynn who passed this recipe onto me. With a few modifications from the original I offer you…

Passover Linzer Torte

1/2 cup matzo cake meal or matzo meal
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
1 jar raspberry jam or preserves (about 16 oz)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine cake or matzo meal with potato starch in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to combine and to further crush the matzo meal. Add the butter and pulse to combine, then add the canola oil, sugar, cinnamon and egg. Process till well blended. The dough will be very sticky.

Spread 2/3 of the dough onto the bottom and sides of a 10″ tart pan (one with a removable bottom). You may want to wet your hands as you work with the dough.
Spread the entire jar of preserves over the dough in the tart pan.
Place the remainder of the dough into a plastic baggie. Cut off a corner of the baggie and pipe the remaining dough over the jam in a lattice pattern.

You may want to put a piece of foil under the tart pan while baking as sometimes the batter leaks a bit.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool before serving.

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Chef Up to the Seder Dessert Plate

Chocolate Mini-Brownie Muffins for Passover
These brownies are just about 1 bite each, the perfect ending to a seder meal.

4 eggs or 1 cup of egg substitute such as Egg Beaters
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
6 T matzo meal (white or whole wheat)
1 cup cocoa powder (if lumpy, sift through a sieve)
1 tsp orange or mint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare mini-muffin tins with muffin papers, spray with cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring till well incorporated. Transfer by tablespoons into muffin papers. Bake for 15 minutes.
Let cool.
Yield ~ 48 mini-brownies

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Chef Up to the SEDER Plate

As my last Passover post for this year, I offer you a great way to use up any leftover Charoset. This makes a great breakfast or brunch dish and could even be served for dessert.

Charoset Chremsel – Yield 12-16 pancakes

1 cup matzo cake meal (substitute matzo meal if you don’t have cake meal)

3/4 cup charoset (whatever type you have on hand)

1 cup water (+ additional as needed if batter is too thick, this will depend on the liquid content of your charoset)

3 eggs or 3/4 cup egg substitute

Combine all ingredients, mix well. Prepare griddle or frying pan with cooking spray. Drop by ~ 1/4 cupfuls onto hot pan. If the batter doesn’t “spread” much, press down with bottom of measuring cup.  Cook until browned on one side then flip and brown the other side.  

These can be served with more Charoset, maple syrup or just as is. 

Many chremsel recipes call for the separation of the eggs and beating of the egg whites to add fluffiness. Being a bit lazy (especially first thing in the morning), I just add the eggs or egg substitute whole and give it a good mix. The texture is good, no need for that extra step. 


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Peanut Butter and Chocolate Matzo Candy

A recipe for delicious matzo toffee crunch candy inspired me to come up with this version that has more protein, healthier fat (from the peanut butter) and is even easier to make.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Matzo Candy

2 sheets of matzo (white or whole wheat)

~ 1/2 cup peanut butter (preferably natural, chunky) 

~ 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Trader Joes makes one that is parve)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. 

Spread the peanut butter on the matzo and bake for 8- 10 minutes; keep an eye on it, you don’t want the PB or the matzo to burn. 

Turn off the oven. Sprinkle the chips on top of the hot matzo and put back into the oven (remember the oven is OFF) for about 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread the chocolate evenly over the matzos. BE CAREFUL, THE MATZO IS VERY HOT AT THIS POINT. Let cool so that chocolate hardens. Break into bite sized pieces. 

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Don’t “Pass-Over” this dish

Sephardic Carrot and Asparagus Salad

2 lbs carrots, peeled

1 1/2 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2″ lengths

4 T olive oil (lemon flavored if you have it)

2 onions, cut in half and then sliced into thin 1/2 moons

1/2 tsp each hot red pepper flakes, paprika, ground cumin

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

Cayenne pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and the zest from the lemon

Cut the carrots into 2″ lengths and then quarter each length (or use peeled baby carrots cut in 1/2 lengthwise). In a large skillet with high sides combine the carrots, a pinch of salt and enough cold water to cover. Heat until water boils, then lower heat and simmer the carrots for about 7 minutes. Reserve the liquid. Remove the carrots to a large bowl. 

Add the asparagus to the same liquid in which the carrots cooked, boil for 3 minutes, reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid to a measuring cup and remove the asparagus to a colander. Immediately refresh the asparagus with cold water and drain. 

In the same skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat till hot (but NOT smoking). Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the reserved liquid and the spices (except the cayenne), bring to a boil. Add the carrots and simmer uncovered for ~ 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, the cayenne and salt to taste.

Add lemon juice and zest just before serving. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature and leftovers are great cold on a green salad. Serves 8 or more.

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Tromp les papilles

Looking for vegetarian hors d’oeuvres and/or watching your cholesterol, the following recipe will definitely “tromp les papilles” (fool the taste buds):

String Bean Pate (Mock chopped liver) – serves ~ 12

1/2 lb frozen string (green) beans cooked in the microwave (no water added) for about 5 minutes, then left to continue steaming (without further cooking) another 5 minutes

3 large chopped onions

2 hard boiled eggs or 3 hard boiled egg whites

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

~ 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Spray skillet with cooking spray and saute onions for ~ 10 minutes until they soften and are slightly browned. In a food processor, chop cooked green beans and onions for a few pulses. Then add the remaining ingredients and continue to process until the texture is pleasing to you and resembles chopped liver.

Serve on matzo or other crackers.