This is the first year we’re staying home for the entire Pesach. A couple years ago, we went to my in-laws for the first days and came back chol hamoed, hosting my in-laws for the second half of Yom Tov (they are easy guests AND helped cook, so it was actually pretty fantastic). I don’t recommend traveling and making Pesach if you can help it, but if someone has to work chol hamoed, there’s not always a choice.
Anyways, we’re staying home this year. Since I had had some meager experience with “making” Pesach that one time, I’ve been pretty calm. I started cleaning and planning a couple of weeks ago, doing a little here and there, and, overall, have not been stressed out. Then, last night, I sat down to do a menu plan and my head exploded.
Usually, I enjoy menu planning because
I’m extremely type-A it helps me function efficiently. When I don’t menu plan, I end up running to the store multiple times a week, which I prefer not to do. Not making a plan for Pesach would mean a lot of shopping guesswork, probably a lot of unused items and wasted produce. I don’t have the time or energy for that, so I strongly prefer to plan, then make a shopping list, and go from there. It’s just how I roll best.
One of the big hurdles I didn’t consider is the awkward limbo phase when the house isn’t quite kosher for Pesach. I found this wholly overwhelmed. When would my kitchen be turned over? I wasn’t sure. What food could I make when? And where? How and what was I going to feed my family?
So, after royally freaking out, and posting said freak-out to Facebook and Twitter, I did the most sensible thing I could. I walked away from the menu planning, called my mother and moved on to a completely different task. Namely, putting away kitchen items I knew I wouldn’t be using from here on out (bye-bye coriander! See ya, toaster!). After making substantial progress, I felt much more calm and clear-headed.
Then, although it was late, I sat down to tackle the menu planning. The theme of this menu plan is KEEP IT SIMPLE! I scoured Facebook (one of my neighbors made a great page – a Passover Support Group. Fantastic idea!) and blogs for menu ideas, and emailed recipes to myself so I could print them off and put them in my Pesach notebook. Also, my mother-in-law is coming Thursday (Yay!), and she will definitely help with the cooking, so that’s a big relief.
Here is what I came up with:
the Pre-Pesach days
Monday, April 2nd – kind of almost totally cleaned for Pesach. Except not.
- lunch – Pesachdik noodles with cheese for the kids, roasted veggie salad for me.
- dinner – eat out
Tuesday, April 3rd – turn the kitchen over today, major limbo!
- lunch – more Pesachdik noodles for the boys, salad for me
- dinner – Bagels and cream cheese picnic on the patio. Serious vigilance will be exercised.
Wednesday, April 4th
- lunch – eggs with hash browns as a side (with ketchup, yum!)
- dinner – fish, matzah meal couscous and sautéed zucchini
Thursday, April 5th
- lunch – tuna patties and sweet potato fries
- dinner – scrambled eggs with some veggies, salad and egg matzah
First Days of Yom Tov
- Friday night/1st Seder, April 6th: Eggplant salad, Chicken soup (made by my MIL), Meat and Potatoes, some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
- Shabbos day/1st day lunch, April 7th: Marinated mushroom salad, Carrot salad (made by my MIL), Tuna patties, Sweet Potato Kugel, Cholent, some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
- Saturday night/2nd Seder, April 7th: Tomato Dip, Beet Salad, Chicken Soup, Smothered Caramelized Onion Chicken, Veggie Kugel, some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
- Sunday/2nd day lunch, April 8th: Cucumber Salad, Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Meat with Potatoes, whatever else is leftover, and (as you can probably guess) some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
Monday, April 9th
- lunch – eggs, salad (Romaine with cut-up veggies)
- dinner – leftovers from Yom Tov
Tuesday, April 10th
- lunch – hot dogs and spaghetti squash
- dinner – Meatballs and Smashed Potatoes
Wednesday, April 11th
- lunch – Matzah Pizza
- dinner – Salmon with Israeli salad and matzah brei
Thursday, April 12th
- lunch – eggs, salad and fried potatoes
Second Days of Yom Tov
- Thursday night/first night, April 12th: Roasted Eggplant Dip, Romaine salad with tomatoes, red onion and cucumber, Roasted Chicken, Dessert TBD
- Friday day/first day lunch, April 13th: Romaine salad, Tomato Dip, Carrot Salad, Beet & Carrot Latkes, Meat with Potatoes, Dessert TBD
- Friday night/second night & Shabbos, April 13th: Roasted zucchini and Eggplant Salad, Salmon, Roasted Veggies, Chicken, some dessert
- Shabbos day/second day lunch, April 14th: Egg Salad, Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant Salad, Pickles(?), Tomato Dip, Cholent, Potato Kugel, whatever else is leftover, and some kind of dessert.
And there you have it! The menu plan for the first Pesach I’ve ever really made. What’s the simplest thing on your menu?
30 thoughts on “Menu Planning for Pesach!”
You are my hero.
Aw, Joan, you’re making me blush.
Thank you. I’m SO glad it’s done.
Girlfriend, you put me to shame!!! I’m highly impressed. And hungry.
Ain’t no shame. Menu planning makes me hungry, too. I want to eat it all right now.
Wow sounds great! For yomtov/Shabbos lunches we’re having egg. salad, cholent and apple compote. Yeah the limbo thing is crazy…
I’d love to make a compote one of these days. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ll put it on my to-do list!
I lthink your blog is great!
I loke the beet and carrot latkes recepie,I will try them for sure.
What about yummy kids snacks? you know in between meals.
Thanks Rachel! They do look very yummy. For kids snacks, I’ll probably try the following: fruit – cut up grapes, apples, pears with almond butter. Matzah cracker with cream cheese and jelly. Our boys like Egg kichel as a snack. Sometimes they like red pepper slices and cucumber slices. Hard boiled eggs. I’m not sure how much they’re really going to snack, but generally, if they’re actually hungry, they will eat.
That’s amazing! Maybe I can just use this as my plan…
I see roasted cherry tomatoes on your menu. I have been obsessing over those. I make 2-3 batches a week, but roast them on a higher temperature for shorter time. I throw a lot of chopped garlic onto them also. They are good with everything–except chocolate maybe. Chag Kasher v’sameach!
I’m kind of amazed it happened. Amazed and relieved. Your roasted cherry tomatoes/garlic combo is making my mouth water. Perhaps they will find their way onto a regular rotation in my kitchen after Pesach.
chag samaech! make sure everyone can rest before the seder. including yourself.
Thank you, and chag sameach to you, too! I’m a big fan of resting up, so that is definitely on the agenda!
great except i just tried KFP couscous and its kinda gross-warning!
hope to play music after this craziness settles
Ha, I can’t say I’m surprised about the couscous. Hopefully my husband won’t mind! It’s really for him. :) I look forward to our eventual music playing!
Rivki, I’m impressed! I’m still figuring out my menu for the seder and first few days! I do love Passover, but oye!
Yeah, it was definitely overwhelming at the start. I’m really glad it’s done so I can go to the store tomorrow.
You sound very on top on things and you’ve got a gourmet flair. Do you want a simple recipe? Matzos Coffee. Hot steaming coffee with plenty of milk and sugar over cracked matzos. An oldie but goodie–this recipe is probably centuries old, It’s a no brainer, and my kids love it. Also matzo brei is great and just plain old matzo and butter. That’s what my family likes.
BTW if anyone knows of a recipe for latkes made with leftover charoset please contact me.
It’s funny that you mention that I have a gourmet flair, ’cause I was only picking recipes that I felt would be easy to make! I love the sound of Matzos coffee. Can’t wait to try it!
What do you do with the tomato dip? Usually we would dip challah in it, but matza really doesn’t soak up the dip.
We’ll probably just eat it as one of the salads, or spread it on the matzah and eat it as a topping.
I loved seeing several of my recipes on your menu plan — so glad my Pesach round-up was useful.
That limbo period right before chag can be crazy. We had some pasta until the last minute, so that worked for a meal or two. I think that next year I’ll try to have some nice sandwiches in the fridge for the really busy cleaning days. There comes a point where I just have to put the chametz pots away!
I love the idea of pre-made food in the fridge for the crazy cleaning days. Much better than the eating-out we did. Though it’s a treat to eat out, it’s rarely as healthy as homemade, you know?
Thanks so much for this! It’s clear, practical, and written with all of us in mind! Please continue such lovely posts. I’ll have to use it next year, cause this year we had a baby 5 days before chag :)
Eagerly awaiting your next post and hope you’re having a nice rest of Nissan :)
Mazel Tov!!!! So exciting! Enjoy your new addition (did you have a boy or a girl?), and what’s left of Nissan!
Came back to your blog just for this post. Really need it this year, thanks!
Do you have a shopping list, too?
So glad it’s helpful! Unfortunately, I don’t have a shopping list. But definitely save yours from this year, and then you’ll have it for the next time you make Pesach! Hatzlacha, and have a great Pesach!
Thank you. Great post. I have a Passover recipe to share with you – it is a gorgeous Pavlova http://alturl.com/zfip6
Last year, I have posted a few more seder ideas on my blog http://cuceesprouts.com/2012/04/passover-2012-menu-ideas/