How to Lighten up your Favorite but Fattening Passover Recipes

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Passover begins at sundown on March 28 with the first seder and a meal likely to be memorable not just for family togetherness but also for Bubbie’s heavy-on-the-salt matzoh balls, copious slices of her slow-cooked brisket, more matzoh than anyone should ever eat in one meal and enough sugary desserts to make up for having to eat all that mazoh for the next eight days.

Tradition certainly has its place, but Paula Shoyer, the author of The Healthy Jewish Kitchen: Fresh Contemporary Recipes for Every Occasion(Sterling Epicure 2017) and The New Passover Menu (Sterling 2015), says classic recipes can be made healthier without sacrificing taste or familiarity. While The Healthy Kitchen was not written as a Passover cookbook, at least half of the book’s recipes are Passover-friendly.

Shoyer, who has been extensively featured on television and in the press, offers these suggestions to update your Passover menu that even Bubbie would approve of:

  • Matzoh balls are full of white flour from matzoh meal. Why not tasty chicken meatballs for your soup instead?
  • Instead of turkey with matzoh stuffing, choose a lighter option of whole chicken with dried fruit stuffing.
  • Traditional kugel, pies made with vegetables, eggs, a carb to bind it and too much salt, are Passover favorites. Try charred cauliflower with orange vinaigrette instead.
  • Breakfast during Passover is always a challenge and too many people eat matzoh covered with cream cheese. Gluten-free waffles or Passover granola are much better options.
  • Looking for a healthier dessert? Why not try a chocolate quinoa cake, made with cooked quinoa that is also gluten-free?

About Paula Shoyer

Paula Shoyer, known as “the kosher baker,” is the author of The Holiday Kosher BakerThe Kosher BakerThe New Passover Menu and her latest, The Healthy Jewish Kitchen. A former practicing attorney, Shoyer has a pastry degree from Ritz Escoffier Ecole de Gastronomie Francaise and does cooking and baking demos around the world since 1996. She has appeared on Fox New York, NBC Washington, Home and Family, Good Morning Washington, among others, competed on Food Network’s Sweet Genius, and been featured in numerous publications including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Family Circle and Hadassah magazine. She is an expert on making baking easier and more healthful, developing recipes for people on special diets and planning healthy holiday menus.

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