Adding An Extra Pinch Of Health To The Passover Seder

by on April 3, 2014


Like the 10 commandments, the passover seder menu can seem like it’s written in stone. Passed down through generations and laden with family tradition, it feels almost sacrilegious to deviate from what our grandparents served their guests. But it’s that very menu, with all the starch, fats and sugar coated desserts (most often eaten for two nights in a row) which can make you feel as if you actually at the stone tablets of the commandments for dinner.

Don’t let the tradition of the seder weigh on you. This year start your own traditions with a lighter and healthier version of two seder classics–Matzo Ball Soup and Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake.

Serves 10


4 carrots, peeled. Cut each carrot into 3 pieces
2 medium parsnips, peeled.  Cut each parsnip into 3 pieces
4 stalks of celery – including the leaves. Cut each celery stalk into 3 pieces
2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
3 lbs. free range / grass fed chickens – thighs and drumsticks are less expensive and are great for soup
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch dill
3 bay leaves
2 T whole black peppers

Add to soup in second cooking – dice each of the following into bite sized pieces:

3 carrots sticks, peeled
3 stalks of celery
1 or 2 medium parsnips, peeled – optional, but a nice addition


  1. Put chicken in the bottom of a large pot.
  2. Cover the chicken with water and add salt. Your pot should be around two-thirds full.
  3. Bring to a full boil over high heat. Using the edge of a spoon, skim off any foam/fat that develops on the top of the broth.  Discard the foam.
  4. Add pepper and all the parsley, dill and bay leaves.
  5. Add the large pieces of carrot, celery, onion, and parsnip.
  6. Add extra water as needed to keep the pot around two-thirds full. Bring back to a boil. Cover pot; turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmering two to three hours (3 is ideal).
  7. With a fat skimmer or spoon continue to skim off the fat/foam that comes to the top of the pot. (Note:  If you are not up for skimming — make the soup the night before you plan to serve it.  Refrigerator the soup overnight and by the next day the fat on top will solidify and is easily removed).
  8. Again- add extra water as needed to keep the pot around two-thirds full.
  9. After the stock has cooked for two to three hours, turn off the heat. Then carefully remove everything from the liquid. The liquid (now stock) should go back into the soup pot. Discard the chicken, vegetables and spices.
  10. Add the second round chopped vegetables to the pot with the liquid. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 35 more minutes. Check the seasoning. You may want to add more salt and ground pepper.
  11. If you’re going to make matzo balls, prepare cook them outside of the soup — recipe follows.
  12. You can add the cooked matzo balls directly to the stock to reheat and serve.
  13. For an added touch, top with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley or dill just before serving.

Makes 8 to 10 balls

Quinoa is a blossom, not a true grain and is considered by most to be kosher for Passover. With 6 grams of protein per serving, Quinoa flakes (often used as a hot breakfast cereal) are a delicious and low carbohydrate substitute to matzo meal.


2 eggs – beaten until fluffy, about
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup vegetable broth
¼ cup seltzer water
1 cup quinoa flakes
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley – finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste


  1. Beat eggs. Add water and/or soup and oil to the eggs and mix well.
  2. Combine the xanthan gum with the quinoa flakes and add to liquid ingredients. Add salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Mix well.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Use oil to cover your hands (this will help the quinoa batter from sticking to your hands). Form 8 balls, about golf ball size and set on a plate until all the balls have been formed.
  5. Drop the quinoa balls into the boiling water. When the balls rise to the surface of the water, turn down to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Though 30 minutes seems long time, resist the urge to take the balls out early. The cooking time is essential to make sure the center of each ball is completely cooked.
  6. Remove with slotted spoon and place in bowls with hot soup.



Sweet and healthy, this recipe for Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake id delectable!
See Recipe >>




One thought on “Adding An Extra Pinch Of Health To The Passover Seder

  1. Mara Langer

    Made these Quinoa no-Matzo Balls for both nights of Passover. They where a hit and tasty. Although not too firm, any suggestions on consistency?


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