If you’re a member of “the tribe” you undoubtedly know about Passover, the holiday of no bread. Gluten free Jews, feel free to rejoice, but as for the rest of us challah-loving, bagel-shmearing Israelites, Passover may very well be the worst, second only to the holiday of no eating at all.
Keeping the holiday of Passover on campus is not easy, but I’m here to help with some easy Kosher for Passover ideas to make these eight days more than bearable, dare I say, enjoyable.
Say “shalom” to toast, oatmeal, cereal and muffins for a bit and hello to your new best friend, the egg. You can boil them, fry them, scramble them, poach them into perfection, or order pre boiled eggs in a bag for the lazy-bones out there. They’re great in matzoh brei, on top of a whole-wheat matzoh and avocado sandwich, and even on their own. It’s a great way to start the day off with a good source of protein in a high-energy package.
If eggs aren’t your thing, go to the supermarket and buy some yogurts that are made without all the icky stuff; high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, all of that stuff we shouldn’t be eating but do, keep them out. Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit, raw nuts, or honey makes a great alternative to the typical granola parfait.
Lunch is tricky. Most of us college kids tend to grab a sandwich from the dining hall in between classes as fast as possible and wolf it down. Pack yourself a salad with some lemon and olive oil dressing and whatever toppings you tend to gravitate towards (no peanuts, corn or soy based products allowed).
Go all out and buy some sliced turkey, chicken salad or turkey for a yummy matzoh- topper, or even some melted cheese and tomato sauce on matza for a classic matzoh pizza. Get creative and plan ahead.
I find myself snacking more than having sit-down meals in school. This becomes difficult during Passover, especially since the typical granola bar or bag of chips will no longer suffice.
Replace the cookie you would have previously picked up at the convenience store or croissant from Starbucks with fresh fruit. Bananas, pears, apples and oranges will be your best friends by the end of these eight holy days, and my what great friends they make. In the right portions, these power foods will do a great job of filling you up and giving you the energy to tackle the day ahead.
Starchy sides are a staple in every college dining hall, which makes dinner especially difficult. A main source of protein is very important but a lot of the time it will be braised with sauces and dressings that do not adhere to the Passover rules. Go for the grilled chicken or salmon (for all of you pescetarians out there). Steer clear of the pastas and the fried foods and opt for a side salad or cooked greens to fill you up instead.
These eight days are a great time to reevaluate what exactly we are putting into our bodies on the daily. Being forced to read the labels of the foods we eat and see what everything we consume is made up of is a difficult feat. I would like to argue, though, that this reevaluation of our diet is a necessary one.
Take the time to read each and every label, head out to the supermarket and buy food that will fill you up and still satisfy the laws that the holiday imposes, and most of all, be creative! Get your tribesmen in on the fun and cook a meal together. Joke about how much you missed challah at Chabad or Hillel this week. Most importantly, smile. We’re halfway done already – mazel tov!