In many ways, I’m the last person who should be writing an article about cooking for Passover. My family went on a Passover cruise the year I turned 12, and after experiencing what it was like to opt out of cleaning and cooking, my parents never looked back. So I’ve never really cooked for Passover. Don’t hate me for that, though, because I cook Passover food every day.
My husband and I adhere to a Paleo diet, which means that we don’t eat any grains, legumes, soy, dairy or refined sugar. We aren’t doing it to be trendy, or even to lose weight (though it’s a welcome side effect). Eating this way reduces inflammation in the body and is a very effective way to fight off chronic illness. The secret to sticking with it lies in the kitchen. Paleo recipes are so delicious; I never miss the things I used to love.
By default, any Paleo recipe that doesn’t include seeds (if you avoid kitniyot), pork or shellfish is Kosher for Passover. Accordingly, Paleo opens up a whole new universe of Passover recipes. Let me get you started with five of my favorite Paleo recipe blogs.
Michelle Tam is a serious foodie and her recipes are unfailingly amazing. The pictures are beautiful and they clearly outline the preparation process for each dish. Michelle recently released a wonderful cookbook, “Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans.”
Melissa Joulwan is the author of “Well Fed,” the cookbook that was my bible as I adjusted to cooking in this new way. She incorporates a wonderful range of spices and flavors in her recipes. She recently released “Well Fed 2,” which is every bit as good as her first cookbook (and maybe even a little better).
Elana Amsterdam is a Jewish mom who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998, and has been completely grain-free since 2001. She’s been mastering Paleo (and Passover) cooking ever since. She has published three cookbooks, such as “Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry,” and a site with over 700 recipes.
After years of hearing from doctors that her Ulcerative Colitis was unrelated to her diet (a familiar refrain for me), Danielle Walker decided to ignore them and try eliminating some foods. Sure enough, she got better. She has one best-selling cookbook, “Against All Grain” and another coming out in the fall.
Taylor is a 21-year-old college student who got hooked on eating Paleo after trying a Whole 30, a 30-day tough love introduction to the world of clean eating (that’s how I found Paleo, too). She indulges her sweet tooth by developing delicious grain-free dessert recipes.
It wasn’t easy narrowing this list down to five, because there are literally hundreds of great sites out there. If you want to find a Passover-friendly version of a favorite dish, try googling it with the word “Paleo” attached, and prepare to be amazed. And if you’re dealing with any sort of chronic illness, feeling low-energy, or just trying to eat better, ditch the matzah and give Paleo a try, even just for eight days. I promise, it’s easier than you think.