meal prep

PASSOVER MENU + COOKING SCHEDULE

This Passover meal was absolutely delicious and even included some vegan options! My friend, Joanna, is vegan and I really wanted her to have something good to eat. I’m a vegetarian, so there was lots for me to eat as well.

MENU

  • Brisket
  • Kugel (vegetarian)
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip-Style Quiche (vegetarian)
  • Matzo ball soup (vegetarian + vegan option)
  • Haroset
  • Matzo Samoas (vegan)
  • Chocolate Peanut butter pie

 

SCHEDULE

Not going to lie, making a huge dinner is a lot of work. Here’s the schedule that helped me organize.

2 days before:
  • pick up the brisket and any fresh ingredients
  • hard boil the eggs (refrigerate)
  • make the caramel sauce (refrigerate)
  • toast the coconut (room temp)
  • make the haroset (refrigerate)
  • set the table if you can
1 day before:
  • make the brisket (refrigerate)
  • caramelize onions (refrigerate)
  • make the quiche crust (refrigerate)
  • make the chocolate pie crust (freeze)
  • brown the butter for ganache (refrigerate)
  • make the samoa bark (freeze)
The day of:
  • take out the cream cheese to get to room temp.
  • make the kugel
  • while that bakes, make the pie and refrigerate
  • make the quiche
  • make the matzo balls (refrigerate)
  • make the broth (let simmer)
  • make the seder plate + put out the matzo, parsley, etc. for the table
One hour before:
  • cook the matzo balls in the soup
  • heat the brisket 300 degrees
  • warm up the kugel and quiche for about 20-30 min

 

RECIPES

 

AUNT ELAINE’S BRISKET

* best to make the day before if possible

Ari has made the brisket 3 years in a row now. He makes a “meat man” which makes it more fun. I added more carrots before cooking, but it didn’t go with the face 🙂

  • 5-6 lbs brisket
  • garlic powder
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • 5 large onions, thickly sliced
  • Bottle of ketchup (enough to fully cover the brisket)
  • 3 cans whole cranberries (you won’t taste them)
  • 5 or so thickly sliced carrots
  • 2 bags baby potatoes

 

  1. on the bottom of a large roasting pan, place sliced onions
  2. place meat on top
  3. liberally sprinkle seasonings on top- can’t go wrong with covering it like a rub
  4. spread ketchup and cranberries on top of that to fully cover the meat
  5. add potatoes and carrots around the meat
  6. add 3/4 cup water to the pan
  7. cover the pan tightly with foil
  8. bake 350 degrees for 4 hours
  9. let cool, then take the meat out and slice thickly. Replace the meat back into the gravy, cover, and refrigerate. I like to first portion half into a 9×13″ casserole dish so that it’ll fit into my oven for reheating purposes, especially if there are only 4-5 people eating it at a time. This year, I put the remainder in to-go containers to give to my sister and friends.
  10. 1 hour before seder, reheat at 300 degrees.

 

 

HAROSET

I really don’t measure! This is just an approximation. My Grandma says to use 1 small apple per person. Make sure there’s enough wine to fully coat all of the mixture. The apples will soak up some of the wine, so you’d rather overdo it a little bit then have it be dry.

Make 1-2 days ahead of your seder so the apples soak up all the flavor
  • 4 large honeycrisp apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups red wine (I use a decent red blend to give it a good flavor)
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar (only if you’re using regular wine like I do. If you’re using sweet red wine like Manischewitz, skip this step)
  • 1 tbsp or more cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans finely chopped

Mix everything together. Stir several times throughout the day so that all the apples get coated.  The liquid should be about 1/2 of the way up the bowl. The flavor gets better as it sits and the apples get soaked. Serve with matzo.

 

HOMEMADE MATZO BALL SOUP (VEGETARIAN + VEGAN OPTION)

I’m NOT a fan of the pre-made soup mix. It’s too salty and not enough flavor for my taste. My family loves this recipe, and below there’s a vegan option for the matzo balls. We seriously could not taste the difference! The only visible difference is the balls when cooked in the broth, thickened the broth.

Vegetarian Matzo Balls:
Makes about 12
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp water
Vegan Matzo Balls:
Makes about 6
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/8 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chickpea cooking liquid from 1 15-ounce can
Vegetarian Broth:
Enough for about 18 matzo balls
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 carrots, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 heaping tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp or more to taste of  THIS spice which is absolutely magical, but you could recreate it with salt, freeze-dried shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp of fresh dill
  • 3 – 32 oz boxes of vegetable broth

 

1. Make the Matzo Balls

For Vegetarian Matzo Balls: Add eggs and oil to a medium bowl and whip with a fork. Mix in matzo meal, water, and salt until combined. Leave in the fridge for at least 15 minutes while you make the soup, but it can be made hours before.

For Vegan Matzo Balls: In a medium bowl, mix the matzo meal, potato starch, baking soda, and baking powder with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the olive oil and enough chickpea liquid to make a slightly sticky mixture that’s not too wet or loose, about the texture of oatmeal. (The matzo meal will absorb lots of the liquid.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 

2. Make the Broth

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium.
  2. Add diced vegetables and cook for a few minutes until just softened, maybe about 5 min.
  3. Stir in minced garlic and dried/fresh seasoning and cook a few more minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  5. While you wait for the pot to boil, grab the matzo ball dough from the fridge.
  6. Using a cookie/ice cream scoop (anywhere from 1″-2″), scoop up the dough then roll it in your hands to make sure it’s packed together.
  7. If you’re making both vegetarian and vegan options, transfer some of the broth to another pot to use to cook the vegan matzo balls.
  8. Drop in the matzo balls in the soup pot, then cover the pot tightly with a lid.
  9. Simmer for 40-60 minutes.
  10. Top with a little parsley and crushed red pepper if you want… but no one in my family likes either 🙂

 

GRANDMA’S KUGEL

This year I halved the recipe, so it fit perfectly in a 8×8″ dish. Double if you’re serving a large group and use a 9×13″ dish.
  • 4 oz. medium broad egg noodles (or any egg noodles are fine. Usually in the “international section”)
  • 1/2 stick of butter, room temp (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup or so of raisins
  • lots of cinnamon

 

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. barely boil the noodles- just 2-3 minutes until they just start to soften
  3. butter 8×8 casserole dish
  4. spread the noodles in the pan
  5. sprinkle raisins on top
  6. in a separate bowl, mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth
  7. add in eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, lemon juice
  8. add milk and mix by hand – it’s soupy!
  9. pour wet mixture on top of the noodles and raisins
  10. fully cover the top with cinnamon- don’t be shy!
  11. bake 350 for 1 hr until a knife comes out clean.

Let it cool to room temp, then you can refrigerate if you make this in the morning. Reheat for 30 min or so before seder starts.

 

SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP STYLE QUICHE

Sort of made this one up and it turned out amazing! The flavor and texture was so good and a great main course for me since I’m a vegetarian. The crust is obviously not going to be as good as a regular crust, but hey it’s kosher for passover and did the trick for sure. *You can make the crust and caramelize the onions a day before and refrigerate*

  • 6 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 5 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped and caramelized.
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • greyere cheese, grated
  • fontina cheese, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Make the crust: Place the butter, almond flour, pecans, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times for a rough chop. Slowly add in the water and continue to pulse, just until it starts to come together as a dough. If you blend it too much, it’ll turn into a butter consistency. Press into a 9″ pie pan and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake the quiche.
  2. Make the filling: Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so then add in the fresh spinach with a little salt and pepper. Cook a couple minutes until the spinach has wilted. Add in the artichokes and onions until well heated just to get the flavors blended. Let that cool a bit. Whisk the eggs and milk together with a little salt and pepper, then mix into the vegetables to create the filling.
  3. Assemble the quiche: Line the crust with enough of the shredded cheese to cover it. Pour in the filling. Bake 375 degrees for 40 minutes (check at 20 min. and cover the edges of the crust with foil because it could burn…like mine did as you can see in the photo)
  4. Let it come to room temp then refrigerate until about 30 min. before seder. Reheat.

 

 

VEGAN SAMOA BARK

Okay this was amazing! The recipe is by Rebekah Lowen. They were chewy with a crunch from the chocolate matzo. I made the caramel sauce and toasted coconut a day before, then mixed everything together and assembled the day of the seder. I froze the rest, and the next day they were just as good. You can definitely make this a couple days before and keep in the freezer. If you don’t need this recipe to be vegan, use THIS recipe for the caramel sauce which I use for most recipes, I but this vegan one was seriously good too.

  • 45 sheets standard-sized matzo
  • 6 cups shredded sweetened coconut, divided (I used a combination of both sweetened and unsweetend) 
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cans full fat coconut milkfrom the can – (you’ll get about 2 cups of the thick part of the coconut milk from 3 cans)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse sea salt

 

  1. Prep the matzo: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the matzo sheets on top. Create a double-boiler by filling a large soup pot with 1-2 inches of water and bringing to a simmer; place a medium sauce pot (or heatproof metal or glass mixing bowl) on top. The idea is for the second, upper pot to fit inside of the larger pot without actually touching the water. Melt 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips in this double boiler. Use an icing spatula to spread the chocolate onto each piece of matzo, then place the entire baking sheet into the freezer to harden while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Toast the coconut: Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then pour the coconut flakes on top. Bake the coconut for about 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a wooden spoon to mix to give the whole batch a chance to evenly brown. Bake for an other 3 minutes, then remove and stir; bake for another 2-4 minutes or until evenly browned all over. Once removed from the oven, measure out about 1/2 cup of coconut and set aside; then, let all of the coconut cool. (Note: In total, you’ll bake the coconut for 10-12 minutes, but the stirring is necessary to avoid over-browning. Coconut burns easily.)
  3. Make the caramel: Scoop or strain out just the thick part of the coconut milk. From 3 cans, you should get around 2 cups of this and it’s fine if you need to add some of the other liquid to get up to 2 cups. Heat a pot over medium high heat. Add the sugar and stir around the pot for about 1 minute to heat through. Add the coconut milk and and sea salt stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer at low medium heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until caramel has thickened, stirring occasionally. It should be sticking to the back of your spatula or spoon but it will really thicken up after it sits in the fridge so don’t worry. Remove pan from heat. Allow to cool slightly for 10 minutes then transfer to a jar with a lid. Cover jar, and place in fridge to cool further for at least two hours to thicken.
  4. Make the coconut-caramel topping: Pour the coconut flakes into a large mixing bowl, then add 3/4 of the caramel and mix to combine.
  5. Assemble all of the ingredients: Remove the now-hardened chocolate-covered matzo from the freezer and carefully flip each piece over (the chocolate side should be the “bottom” or underside of each piece). Divide and pour the 1/4 remaining caramel onto each piece of matzo, using an angled icing spatula or dinner knife to spread it evenly across each piece. (This first layer will help the coconut-caramel mixture adhere to each piece of matzo.) Using your fingers or a flat icing spatula, press on the coconut-caramel mixture firmly (it’s fine if you break the matzo!). It’s tough to get all-over coverage, so where there are “gaps,” sprinkle on some of the retained 1/2 cup of toasted coconut flakes you set aside earlier.
  6. Create the classic “Samoa” design: Melt the remaining cup of chocolate chips in a double broiler or a small bowl in the microwave on low heat, stirring every 30 seconds so it doesn’t burn. Spoon the melted chocolate into a small sandwich bag, use scissors to snip a small hole off of one of the corners. Pipe diagonally across the top of each sheet of matzo in long, parallel lines to mimic the look of a Samoa cookie. Sprinkle with a small amount of flaky sea salt, if desired. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature or in the freezer for about an hour, then break the matzo squares apart into smaller pieces, plate, and serve.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PIE

A mix of recipes by Buttermilk by Sam and The Pioneer Woman.

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour 

Ganache:

  • 7 tablespoons butter, browned
  • 200 grams bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped from a bar
  • 200 grams heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch flaky sea salt / fleur de sel

Filling:

  • 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • package (8 Ounce) Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • package (8 Ounce) Cool Whip, Thawed

 

  1. Brown the butter: Place the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook as it melts, then sputters and foams. When it stops sputtering and is nearly silent, and you see brown bits at the bottom. Scrape it all, including brown bits into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool or refrigerate for a couple days if you’re making this ahead.
  2. Make the crust: Either in a food processor or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter until blended then add remaining ingredients and pulse/mix until the dough sticks together when you press it. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 or 10” round tart pan with a removable bottom. Set crust in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 F. Poke the bottom all over with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the crust completely chill before adding the ganache and filling.
  3. Make the ganache: Bring the browned butter to room temp or warm in the microwave for a bit. Okay if it melts. Warm the cream in a pot until it’s bubbling on the sides, this will happen in a few minutes (careful not to overheat it!). Pour the chocolate and browned butter in the pot and mix, adding the vanilla and stirring until you have a smooth ganache. Pour into the chilled crust and set in the fridge.
  4. Make the filling: Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed Cool Whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Pour filling into crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

 

Now for breakfast…..

MATZO BRIE (for breakfast!)

So many good memories growing up eating my Grandma’s crispy matzo brie around passover, and my Grandpa’s more eggy version. Both so good with pure maple syrup!!

For 1 serving:

1 1/2 boards of matzo

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla

sprinkle of cinnamon

butter for the pan

 

Heat up milk in the microwave about 1 minute- I like to use a large glass pyrex or just a microwave save large bowl.

Break up the matzo in large pieces and put them into the hot milk for about 30 seconds just to soften the matzo.

Drain most of the milk out.

Add in eggs and cinnamon, and mix together.

Heat up a generous amount of butter in a skillet on medium, then pour in the matzo mix. I like to mix it up a bit to make sure all sides are coated and crispy. Or you could make it pancake style if you like a fluffy, eggy consistency better. Done when golden brown and egg is fully cooked. Top with of cinnamon and maple syrup.

 

SOME PICS FROM OUR SEDER

and links:

Chargers

Napkins

Seder plate

Pink Candles

Kids’ plates, bowls, cups

30 min. seder Haggadah

 

HAPPY PASSOVER!!

xo

Leah