Pass(over) the Veggies!

By Raquela Suchinsky, Senior Dietetics student, University of Maryland
 
eat healthy during passover

“I’m sick of matzoh!”

“There’s nothing I can eat.”

“I ate so much at Seder last night!”

These are common cries from those who observe Passover.

As college students, we’re often restricted to dining halls and can feel that there is nothing to eat during this time. In addition, it feels as though there are not too many Passover appropriate options that are healthy or nutritious.

In fact, there are PLENTY of nutrient-rich foods that you can enjoy during Passover that are available in campus dining halls.

Eating Healthy During Passover

Fruits and Vegetables

  • You can still enjoy EVERY fruit and most vegetables that you normally eat during the year.
  • Because your intake of grains is limited during this time, make sure to eat plenty of fiber rich fruits and vegetables such as apples, bananas, raspberries, oranges, broccoli and artichokes.

Nuts

  • Certain beans and legumes are restricted on Passover, but don’t forget that you can eat nutrient-rich nuts such as almonds in order to get fiber, calcium and iron.
  • If you typically eat crackers for a snack, try having a handful of mixed nuts instead of filling up on matzoh.

Dairy

  • All dairy products are kosher during Passover as long as they’re not paired with meat.

Meat and Fish

  • Most meat is Passover-friendly including beef, chicken, turkey, duck and fish with scales.
  • Use Passover as a chance to try a new protein source.

Avoid Overeating on Passover

The Passover Seder takes place at the dining room table with family and friends, so overeating can become somewhat of a holiday tradition.

Passover is only once a year, so enjoy yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy two pieces of your grandmother’s famous brisket, a serving of haroseth, or a few macaroons. But you’ll leave the night feeling better if you don’t overdo it.

  1. Be aware of how full you actually are. You don’t need to eat until you’re stuffed. If you feel satisfied, then take a little break before helping yourself to seconds. It takes the stomach 20 minutes to get the message from the brain that it is full.
  2. Be selective with what you are eating. Choose some foods that are special treats for you. You don’t have to put something on your plate just because it’s in front of you.
  3. Be mindful of how quickly you are eating. Take your time and enjoy the company of friends and family. Avoid overeating by slowing down and enjoying every bite.

To help facilitate your healthy and happy Passover, try this Passover friendly recipe!

Bitter Herbs Salad (Source: The New York Times)

Ingredients

  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 1 small head radicchio
  • 2 Belgian endives
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula or watercress, washed and dried
  • 1 rib celery, preferably from the heart, sliced very thin
  • 2 scallions, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the romaine lettuce leaves and break into medium pieces. Separate the radicchio leaves and cut into medium pieces. Rinse and dry the endives and slice crosswise about 3/4 inch thick. Toss together all of the greens, the celery and the scallions in a large salad bowl and sprinkle the herbs over the top.
  2. Skin the garlic clove, cut in half and finely chop. Work in the lemon juice and then the olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Transfer to a jar until ready to serve the salad.
  3. Just before serving, shake the dressing in the jar, pour over the salad and toss.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Yields: 6 servings

Tip: Most of the calories come from the dressing; so you can use less to reduce calorie amount.

  • 210 calories
  • 19 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat
  • 13 grams monounsaturated fat
  • 0 milligrams cholesterol
  • 10 grams carbohydrates
  • 7 grams dietary fiber (it’s important to get fiber on Passover!)
  • 56 milligrams sodium
  • 4 grams protein

If you have any questions about your nutrition habits during holidays or any time of the year, try the Center of Health and Wellbeing’s free diet analysis service!

Photo Credit: Edsel L
This entry was posted in Nutrition and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pass(over) the Veggies!

  1. Tara says:

    Love the Bitter Herbs Salad recipe! Passover seems to be a great time to experiment with new recipes.

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