There are few kosher for Passover restaurants, even here in New York, where one can go for lunch, so us poor working folks have to brown bag our lunches. Those lucky enough to take off of work to care for children off from school often take staycation day trips. No matter what, Kosher for Passover lunch ideas are always sought.
Since keeping kosher for Passover means no sandwiches, we must be creative about lunch. How do you pack lunch for a day out with the kids? Really, even a one hour trip to the park requires snacks and some food. I always find someone is hungry and they hover, looking for food, so I like to be prepared. I don’t want a good afternoon out at a museum, the park, or anywhere interrupted because someone is hungry and there is no place to go eat.
First I keep typical comfort foods prepared and in the frig as ‘go to’ always – tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad, and bean salad. We eat these as a side to a toss salad or on matza. Most kosher people prefer to keep their lunches dairy.
A day out with the kids requires extra food prep. All of the salads above are great, but sometimes there are picky eaters among us. Before Passover, I will often prepare a vegetarian type egeh (fried or baked egg/veggy dish or a frittata, that can be prepared in muffin cups. These travel easy and can be eaten at room temperature and are the perfect size for children.
The Orthodox Union has added quinoa to its list as kosher for Passover. Any couscous recipe can me made with quinoa and these are GREAT as take alongs on a day out. The basic idea is 2 C water or stock to 1 C quinoa, the same as rice. Stir fry some onions in olive oil, then add water and some salt. After it boils, add the quinoa and cook like rice on medium heat. The quinoa will crack as the water is absorbed. Top with cut up dried fruits or nuts, the same was as you would a pilaf. Or stir fry peppers of assorted colors, add parsley and herbs, and use the stir fry to top off the quinoa. This is delicious and very portable.
When out for the day, you want to avoid things that might spoil, so I make my potato salad Syrian style, which has no mayo. At the same time, you need enough food to accommodate your individual work day or the taste buds of those in the family having a day out. So my typical lunch out for the day will include two or three types of salads, matzo of course, several types of pickup fruits (berries, grapes, and clementine oranges), and Passover cakes. I have not found a good cookie recipe I would recommend, even after all these years.
Now toss salads – it’s cumbersome to make a toss salad everyday so I have a shortcut. I typically will cut up the celery, cukes, peppers, red onions, radishes – those things we prefer in our salads – and keep them in a Ziploc as a salad base. When I want a salad, I put the base in and top it off with the greens of my choice. If I am making a bag lunch for work, I will put the salad dressing on the bottom of a container, add the base and lettuce (romaine is usually my choice) and then top it off with a sprinkle of feta cheese, and some nuts. Sometimes I will open a can of tuna or put in a cut up avocado and I have a nice balanced meal. When I make dinner, I always think about how it can be used for lunch. So I might make a large salmon for dinner and put leftover pieces in the salad for my lunch the next day. When I am ready to eat, I shake it up and the dressing spreads evenly among the greens.
When you are out all day, typically there is a need for a pick me up food, especially in the mid to late afternoon. This is the time of day for the chocolate craving, so throw into your day out bag some chocolate or a home made trail mix of nuts (slivered almonds or pumpkins seeds work well) , dried fruit (raisins, apricots, dates, figs, mango) and chocolate chips. Also, there are many many not so healthy snacks that are kosher for Passover, such as potato chips.
I don’t think any of my ideas are rocket science but they can help to have them all in one place. In many ways, packing food on Passover is similar to the picnic lunch or the day at the beach lunch. The big difference is that on Passover, there are limited eat out options and most of those are very expensive. We can’t run to the pizza store.
For families on a budget, having some options and affordable ideas is helpful. In the Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine App, we have installed a filter and tagged many Passover. Our Ashkenazic and Moroccan followers will know they can’t use our rice and bean recipes.