Nava Atlas

10 Healthy Passover Short Cuts! Just for you!

If you’re looking for Passover shortcuts, read this blog post!

I take pride in the fact that my guests leave my house full, but not sick to their stomachs. Passover should be no different! I’m in full recipe gathering mode. This time of year I’m less inclined to work on developing my own recipes. It’s already complicated enough to kasher the house for Pesach, plan healthy plant based Passover food, and cook it all myself.

I have received a couple of potential reprieves! Shalom Kosher


has lots of great vegetarian options for takeout this year and


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the healthy kosher vegan place, is going Star-K kosher for Pesach (and thereafter)!

In addition, see this article: Whole Foods expands its Passover offerings this year.

Here are a number of Passover shortcuts, recipes and resources I’ve already gathered for this year.

First, the best $4.99 I’ve ever spent:  e book by Rina Reich of She lives in Israel and has been vegan since 2010. With a number of vegan Passovers under her belt, she has the traditional foods down. That’s not something I’ve focused on for Passover, but she has vegan Pesach recipes for everything from mayonnaise to carrot kugel and kishke. I feel like I have a cheat sheet or a playbook without doing any work. Vegan or not, a week of only traditional foods like kugel and kishke is a little much for me. But I do want to have those options and be able to incorporate more traditional foods into my Seder menu and now I have the tools at my finger tips. I can’t recommend this book enough. If you don’t care about vegan but you have an egg allergy, making Passover complicated, this is also an amazing resource for you.


Not surprisingly the author is a web developer, which is probably why she thought to land the awesome URL

You can always count on my buds over at Joy of Kosher!

joy of kosher

Raw Date Brownies by Chana Schottenstein

Spaghetti Squash with Vodka Sauce by Whitney Fisch

Cauliflower Couscous by Judita Wignall


Nava Atlas’s book Vegan Holiday Kitchen is always my go-to, as is the Passover section on her website.

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Kosher on a Budget

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18 foods that don’t need special pesach kosher certification


I’m going to do gorgeous things with veggies like I did last year. My new veggie noodle maker, mandolin and chip maker from Stevie Friedman at Pampered Chef will help me tremendously. Order before Sunday at 8pm, with this link for reduced shipping costs. After that, order here.

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My other healthy Passover tricks of the trade:

Sorbet truffles

Using silicone muffin cups, layer three different colors of sorbet (This is an idea from a Susie Fishbein cookbook). My own take: Even better than the chemical filled Passover sorbets, puree your own fruit and layer it. When the contents have frozen and you’re ready to serve, simply peel away the silicone muffin cups and you have a beautiful three color layered dessert. It doesn’t get too much easier than that.

Well, maybe it does. My other

Easy Pesach desserts

Chocolate dipped bananas and strawberries and chocolate bark.

Melt chocolate chips. Dip banana chunks in the chocolate, place on a tray covered with wax paper and freeze. For strawberries, you’ll want to put them in the refrigerator, not freezer. And for chocolate bark, you can use pomegranate seeds, nuts or even candy. Line a cookie sheet or a container with parchment paper. Pour in melted chocolate and press toppings into the chocolate. Place in the freezer until ready to serve.

For starch, skip the matzo and matzo meal at each and every meal.

Instead, use sweet potato and butternut squash. You can also use your food processor (Get a cheap one for Pesach. I promise it is worth it!) to make rice out of cauliflower. Then saute it on the stove top, with the flavors and vegetables you prefer, such as spinach, onions and garlic.
You can also check out last year’s Passover post and my general healthy holiday advice.

I look forward to hearing about your challenges and successes this Pesach! Go to my Facebook page to share or get advice or email me at any time.

Chag Sameach!




Call me a lunatic…or call me for help! Part II!

Call me a lunatic…or call me for help! Part II!

And now…the fun part! Just say you believe me about all this vegan stuff. What are you supposed to eat?! It’s actually not that hard. I have so many resources. For Part II of the Call me a lunatic…or call me for help! series, I’m going to share some of my favorite cookbooks with you. In Part III I’ll provide online resources.

Almost all of the books mentioned in Part I include a number of recipes in them. Also, some of the authors have created an accompanying cookbook.

Rip Esselstyn is vegan royalty, being the son of Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., a former cardiac rock star at the Cleveland Clinic, who has his own books and worked with T. Colin Campbell of The China Study on Forks over Knives (which we will get to in a minute…). His focus on tough-guy fitness has influenced many a beef-eating man. He also created a line of food products carried at Whole Foods.

Product DetailsI love this book. It is quick and clear, with easy recipes. Definitely a good intro for guys or those who don’t always relish cooking. (I’m sorry if that sounded sexist. It’s not that woman are naturally better at cooking. It’s just that most of the time they work at it. And some don’t. And some guys are great multi-taskers and very detail-oriented. Just usually not when it comes to cooking.) I just have this ongoing joke with so many of my girlfriends about how painful it is to watch men make one thing at a time in the kitchen… It’s kind of sad.

T. Colin Campbell of The China Study also came out with an accompanying cookbook. Actually, he only wrote the Foreword. His daughter Leanne Campbell, PhD, (mother of two hungry teenage boys!) wrote the cookbook.

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One cookbook that I don’t have, and looks like it is from back in the day…1999!…looks good.

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How can you not try a cookbook that promises 15 minutes or less for meal prep? The McDougall’s are also long-time rockstars in the vegan doctor arena. Lots of the doctors’ wives partner with them for cookbooks and/or cooking classes around the country. I’m just realizing that most women who are big in this community are educated in nutrition and not medicine. Interesting… And just fyi, all of these doctors talk about how they were not taught anything about nutrition in medical school. They had to figure it all out themselves.

Dr. McDougall and his wife wrote a more recent cookbook together:

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Forks over Knives is a movie profiling some of the doctors trying to heal their patients through diet. There is an accompanying cookbook to it. Although I have not seen it myself, I learned a lot from the movie. There is also a book version, apparently. Click on the picture below to see all the bonus material (including success stories and recipes) included in the print version.

Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to HealthProduct Details

Nava Atlas was a successful vegetarian cookbook author before she turned Vegan and transformed her cookbooks too.

These are the ones I have:

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I like the greens cookbook because she doesn’t just give her readers recipes, she gives you the information you need to improvise on your own. The holiday kitchen book is genius. She covers Jewish, Christian and secular American holidays – plus brunch! This book was covered a lot in the Jewish press – on and off line – before last year’s Jewish holidays. I am still fielding requests for dishes I made last Rosh Hashanah from this book. I use them for everyday, Shabbat and holidays. I cannot recommend this enough!

I also rely on recipes from many of the books I mentioned in Part I, such as:

Product DetailsDisease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right

If you look under Dr. Fuhrman on Amazon you’ll find many more resources, like DVDs focused on cooking.

If you’re concerned about diabetes, I’m told Dr. Barnard’s diabetes book has great recipes.

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This is older but I’ve also heard good things about it:

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I haven’t read these, but they look helpful (Come on, I can’t buy ALL the vegan books out there! Although, after researching this blog post, I’m going to have to buy a few more!):

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Stay tuned for Part III of my Call me a lunatic…or call me for help! series, where I will provide you with online resources.

In Part IV I will introduce you to several brand new and upcoming books by some of the aforementioned authors. Finally, in Part V…well, you’ll just have to read to find out! Coming Soon….

Happy eating!