Guest Post: Passover From a Living Foods Perspective
The following guest post was written by Robin Silberman, a technical writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She gives Living Food Lifestyle classes, demonstrations, and consultations to individuals and groups. For more information or to purchase her book, L’Chaim To Life: A Living Foods Passover Haggadah With Recipes for the Seder, contact her at Cockatoo77777@yahoo.com.
Passover is a time of feasting for Jews, especially during the first two days at the seder table. But a feast for a vegetarian/vegan/living-raw-food practitioner can be a dilemma of eating.
During Pesach, Jews need to be vigilant, making sure that all of what is consumed is “kosher l’pesach,” with all of the packaged goods labeled accordingly. Vegetarians/vegans need to make sure of the “bli basar” – without meat ingredients, and for those who practice “kashrut,” we need to make sure of the non-dairy ingredients as well.
For those of us who are raw foodists, fresh fruits and veggies are less of a concern than what grains and/or legumes we eat and how we eat them. For those who follow strict “kitniyot” constraints, which most Ashkenazi Jews follow, nothing in the grain/legume family is really acceptable, making eating for 8 days even more difficult. What might be construed as a grass might be a grain, and alternatives seem helpless.
Seasonal veggies, such as asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, and spinach, make excellent choices for entrée basics, but what I have found more intriguing is experimenting with Sephardic choices. Because the majority of Jews in this country tend to be Ashkenazi, Sephardic culinary dishes are not normally made. In researching dishes for L’Chaim To Life: A Living Foods Passover Haggadah With Recipes for the Seder, I found some extraordinary recipes that can be eaten for Passover. There are several Sephardic recipes for haroset, which are intriguing and certainly different from the normal apples–walnuts–grape-juice combinations we grew up with as Ashkenazi children.
I took the Moroccan Haroset recipe, changed a few ingredients, and made it into a dessert, calling it Moroccan Paradise. It is truly heaven, with the sweetness we associate with haroset recipes and the complexity of a North African sunset. This is a really heavy dish, and serving it as a dessert, rather than as a haroset, makes it easier to eat for digestion. Having discovered the richness of this recipe, and the adaptability for a vegetarian/vegan/raw seder dish, I serve it every year for a Living Foods Passover. Bring it to potlucks, and receive the ultimate “mit’suyan”— excellent.
בטי אב׀ן B’tai Avoan (Bon Appétit)
25 pitted dates, halved
10 large brown dried Calimyrna (Greek-style) figs, stems removed
20 dried apricots, halved or quartered, and soaked overnight (preferably in orange juice)
10 large pitted prunes, soaked overnight (preferably in orange juice)
2 cups walnut pieces, not soaked
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds, not soaked
½ cup raw shelled pistachios, not soaked
¼ cup fresh grape juice (fresh orange juice is an option as well)
Ground cinnamon, to taste
Put dried fruit and nuts into a Champion juicer or food processor, and process into a paté. Add the juice and the cinnamon. Roll into small balls, and serve.
Click here to read Robin Silberman's Rosh Hashanah guest post on heebnvegan, which features a Mock 'Gefilte Fish' recipe that can also be made for Passover.