Many people celebrating Passover find they become servants to the foods prepared for the traditional Passover seder — spending hours in the kitchen cooking recipes that can be high in fat, calories, cholesterol, and sodium.
“From a nutrition standpoint, Passover is an extremely difficult holiday. Many people I speak with diet the weeks before the holiday in anticipation of the inevitable 5 to 7 pound weight gain they will incur over the eight-day Passover holiday,” says Dr. Tamar Schwalb. “Passover weight gain is usually due to the consumption of an inordinate amount of eggs, potatoes, and some form of matzoh, which serve as the basis for the traditional Passover recipes.”
Those who have special dietary needs or are just interested in enjoying Passover in a more healthy way can find innovative and delicious recipes in a new book, “Passover the Healthy Way,” by Bonnie R. Giller, a registered dietitian who is certified by the New York State Education Department as a dietitian-nutritionist.
Giller says she wrote the book after hearing common concerns from clients regarding popular Passover foods, including lack of variety, complicated recipes, unhealthy ingredients and resulting weight gain.
“With proper planning and recipe modification, your Passover recipes can be low in fat and healthy,” offers Giller. She has compiled more than 100 taste-tested kosher recipes that may limit or substitute ingredients to make them healthier. Each recipe has the “exchanges per serving” listed. The figures used to calculate the exchanges are based on the American Dietetic Association and American Diabetes Association Exchange Lists for Meal Planning. Nutritional information was calculated using professional nutritional software programming.
“I am committed to improving the health of individuals through positive lifestyle changes and healthier eating habits,” Giller says. “Enjoying Passover in a healthy way doesn’t mean you have to compromise the foods and traditions you love.”
“Bonnie’s cookbook provides those of us who are health and weight conscious with delicious healthy alternatives to the standard Passover fare. As both a mom and a physician, I am always conscious of preparing nutritious meals that my kids will love,” says Schwalb.
“Passover the Healthy Way” is available at www.passoverthehealthyway.com and from online retailers nationwide.
Matzoh Stuffed Chicken Cutlets
10 (5 oz.) boneless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 whole wheat matzoh boards, finely broken
1/2 cup medium dry Concord wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 egg white
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon honey
Saute onion in olive oil until tender, but not browned; add broken matzohs and toast lightly. Combine wine, egg white, seasonings, and chicken broth to matzoh mixture. Mix well until matzoh is soft and mixture is heated through.. Take 3/4 cup of stuffing, place in the middle of the chicken cutlets and roll. Secure with a toothpick, if needed. Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, and honey in a bowl. Mix well. Spread on top of chicken cutlet rolls. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
Serving Size: 1 (4 oz.) stuffed chicken cutlet
Exchanges per Serving: 4 Meat, 1 Starch, 1/2 Fat
Calories: 266 Cholesterol: 83 mg Total Fat: 4.5 gm Protein: 36 gm
Saturated Fat: 1 gm Carbohydrate: 17 gm Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 gm Dietary Fiber: 2 gm Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 gm Sodium: 198 mg