Yid.Dish: Cut Fat and Cholesterol out of Pesach

By Daren Bulley

Published March 30, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

My family makes Passover a week of fresh veggies, but most of my friends will be filling up on meats and sweets and thus eating more fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol than usual. Here are some tips on lowering the fat and cholesterol in your own recipes, as well as two recipes of my own for which I reduce the amount of unhealthy ingredients.

In the field of calorie and fat reduction (the work I do for Rhode Island’s Public School System) we follow a four step system to make recipes healthier. Remember it is not necessary to eliminate all of the ingredients considered harmful. Small amounts of fat, sugar, salt, and cholesterol can actually be good for your system, so we are just looking to decrease the amounts of each, not remove them completely.

1) Identify the problem ingredients; look for nutritional issues like more than one egg per serving, or lots of oil and salt.

2) After you have listed the problem ingredients figure out what they do in the recipe. For example eggs may be used for leavening, or thickening. Don’t try making custard without the eggs, it may be healthier, but it won’t be custard. You can safely remove half of the egg yolks in almost any recipe; just replace every other yolk with one white. Look at the use of sugar, if it is for taste alone then it can be replaced or reduced, but if it is for moisture retention in baking, or for caramelization like in butterscotch there are very few things that will react like sugar so it may be best to leave it alone.

3) Modify the recipe, substitute other ingredients for the problem ones, or reduce them. Also, at this stage people will add spices and other flavor-enhancing foods to keep the food tasting good, even though fat and cholesterol have been reduced.

4) Evaluate the recipe, see how well it works. Does the finished product look, smell, sound, feel and taste good? If it does then you did it! Your family will have a delicious and healthy meals this Passover.

Here are two of my own Passover recipes that I have modified; these offer a good balance of pretty healthy and very tasty.

Austrian Mocha Peach Torte – yields 12 portions

7 egg whites

Three egg yolks

1 cup sugar

4 ounces margarine

1 ¼ semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate

2 teaspoons instant coffee

½ cup white chocolate chips

3 ripe peaches cut in thin wedges

1 fresh lemon

1) Preheat oven to 325. In a mixer bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form then add ½ cup sugar slowly while whipping to stiff peaks.

2) Melt margarine and semisweet chocolate together whisk in coffee, orange juice and sugar.

3) Remove from heat and add egg yolks one at a time to bowl, and then fold in egg whites.

4) Pour into an ungreased 10” spring form pan. Melt white chocolate in double boiler and pour over batter, cutting in with spoon to “marble”

5) Bake for 35 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. The center will fall when cooing.

6) Use a paring knife around the edges to release from the spring form pan and unmold.

7) Arrange fresh peach wedges on top and brush with fresh lemon juice.

8) Melt the remaining semi sweet chocolate chips and drizzle over the peaches.

Refrigerate before serving.

Spinach Mushroom Tomato Matzo Bake – Yields 4 entrée size portions

Requires overnight in refrigerator

1 pound of frozen spinach (thawed)

1 cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup fresh dill

salt & pepper to taste

at least 4 matzos

1 pound fresh mushrooms

2 tablespoons extra virgin first cold press olive oil

2 large ripe tomatoes

1 large egg

½ cup milk (skim is fine)

½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar works well)

1) Spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray

2) Squeeze water from spinach and mix with ricotta, dill and salt & pepper

3) Cover bottom of dish with matzos, breaking them to fit if needed

4) Spread spinach mixture over matzos then add a second layer of matzos

5) Sautee mushrooms with olive oil and place them on top of matzos

6) add another layer of matzos

7) slice the tomatoes very thin and use all of them for the third layer

8) Cover tomatoes with remaining matzos

9) Whip together the egg and milk with at least 1/8th teaspoon salt and pepper until blended and pour over all the ingredients in the baking dish.

10) Top with cheddar cheese and refrigerate overnight

11) Preheat oven to 350 and bake for one hour until golden brown and firm in the center.

12) Serve warm!


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.