This year, Passover and Easter coincide. Traditionally, Easter conjures up images of glazed hams, hot-cross buns, chocolate eggs and Peeps whilst the ritual Passover meals include matzo-ball soup, roast lamb, tsimmis and matzo candy. There are also many dishes that cross over both cultures in presentation, ingredients, and, most importantly, taste and surprisingly, both holidays can easily be Paleo friendly (Passover almost requires it!)
A holiday feast based on Paleo principles can be done! Granted, it can be a little trickier if you are a guest, but with a little planning and forethought, you can make that work too. Check in with the host or hostess beforehand and either ask what you can bring or explain your food choices and or ask if they feel comfortable with you bringing a dish or two to share with everyone. Most hosts will welcome the offer.
Passover is possibly the most Paleo compliant holiday on the calendar. There is, however, one glaring exception: matzo. Putting this unleavened (tasteless) “bread” (a concoction of flour, water and a little salt) aside, the Passover meal is possibly the least stressful of holiday food gatherings. During Passover, grains and legumes are forbidden (with the exception of the aforementioned matzo). It is largely a meat-centric holiday, and the traditional “Seder plate” is decorated with mostly Paleo compliant foods like bitter herbs and horseradish, salt water and hard cooked eggs, a nut and dried fruit and wine ‘pesto’ and a lamb shank. The foundation of a Paleo meal indeed!
Easter brunch or dinner can be a little more challenging. Traditional Easter foods around the world include multiple renditions of pastries, breads and baked treats, roast lamb and cured ham along with all the Easter Egg candy that can fit on grocery store shelves. There are still some Paleo options available and creating a Paleo Easter table will not leave anyone feeling they have missed out.
When it comes to preparing your meal for either Easter or Passover
- Avoid the pastries, bread, matzo and goods made with matzo meal
- Pastured pork or naturally raised lamb will do a perfectly Paleo job as the piece de resistance.
- While copious amounts of leafy greens might not be something that you associate with these celebrations, there is certainly no good reason not to include them. Serve a large salad and/or some roasted. Vegetables of your choice.
- For the young ones, keep the focus of the Easter Egg Hunt on items other than sweets and treats. Perhaps you can hide plastic eggs and offer non-candy prizes for those who gather the. most, rather than having them focus on who finds the most candy.
- Easter is a great opportunity to make eating hard-cooked eggs fun. Spend the afternoon coloring the eggs with a food-based egg coloring kit (so they’re safe to handle and eat) found at your local health food store.
- Paleo desserts and treats are naturally Passover friendly – enjoy mindfully
With Easter and Passover a few days away, we thought it a suitable time to post some alternatives to the traditional foods, meals and treats in order to give you enough time to procure your ingredients, plan your menu and prepare a lovely holiday meal.
We would also ask you to please note in advance, that this is simply a dietary option and is not intended to offend anyone from a religious perspective. There is complete awareness of the symbolism of some of the foods served on these holy days. Please do not take offense at the omission of similar ingredients, of which there are many.
Dye Easter eggs or simply cook one for your Seder plate and try adding some of these dishes to your dinner table as a complement to either or both holiday feasts.
And don’t forget to order from our Spring menu for meals that are ready when you are, no apron required!
Vegetable Kugel (Vegetable Casserole)
Michal Ofer is a wellness and digestion expert and nutrition coach. She is focused on assisting clients to take control of their health and happiness through the sustainable food and lifestyle choices that best support them. Through strengthening the body from the inside out, her clients are able to reach new heights of health, happiness and wellness. Michal obtained her Professional Training and Certificate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She has a further studied through the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Stanford University and is a Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach. Michal has also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences and a Master Life Coach Certification. For further information and to connect with Michal visit her website at www.michalofer.com