Passover, meet Chef Kelly Kalmanson; accomplished in creative kosher cooking, new-age culinary techniques, gluten-free, paleo and vegan diets…and the only reason I survive Passover without stuffing my face with sourdough bread and raw Mac-N-Cheese in a locked pantry at 3:00 a.m. That quiet time when nobody knows I’m breaking tradition, but myself and G-d.
I can do without pork, learned to handle fasts, and have reconciled with lamb-heads on my Rosh Hashanah table. Passover, the holiday with my least favorite regulations regarding what goes in my mouth, is my weakness. I write this to share Chef Kelly’s culinary expertise with my carb-craving tribe.
Do you feel limited in keeping Kosher for Passover? It depends on how you observe kashrut and Passover laws. Many Sephardim eat rice and beans, while Ashkenazis consider them chametz. That can appear limiting, but many kosher for Passover foods exist.
Enlighten us, because many struggle during Passover. Nowadays, especially with many unique diets, there’s a wide variety of available food. Quinoa, for example, is a full protein, kosher for Passover, vegan, gluten free… and healthy. You don’t have to feel like you’re constantly eating heavy foods and carbs all the time.
I’m craving Italian (typically heavy in carbs). What do I eat? Your options are endless. A favorite is “Matzo Lasagna.” Treat matzo like lasagna noodles—layer matzo, tomato sauce, cheese, your favorite vegetables, bake it, and boom—lasagna! Another fun “noodle alternative” is spaghetti squash. A squash which, once cooked, takes the form of spaghetti!
During childhood, I always made “Matzo Pizza.” Now, I’m on a wedding diet. How do I re-experience my childhood without reverting to chubby “Bar-Mitzvah-Adam?” Great question—I was also raised with Matzo Pizza! If you’re trying to limit carb intake or you’re sick of matzo, let me introduce you to “Cauliflower-Crusted Pizza.” It’s delicious and provides the same sense of pizza without the guilt! Pulverize cooked-cauliflower with mozzarella, parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs, transfer mixture to oven, allow 20 minutes, and add your pizza toppings for the last 10 minutes of cooking…you won’t be disappointed.
Everybody dreads Passover cookies. Save the world, one kosher dessert at a time. Flourless chocolate cake—simple, yet exquisite—even doubles as a dairy-free dessert year-round! Or, a personal favorite, deliciously rich dark chocolate pudding using avocados as your base. The kicker, nobody guesses you’re using avocados…Bon Apassovér!
I’m about to marry a kosher chef. To conclude, here’s three food-related discoveries I’ve made during our four-year relationship:
1. “Beef-Fry” is a wonderful substitute for Bacon.
2. “Kosher-for-Pesach” doesn’t need to mean “8-days-of-constipation.”
3. “Freshman-15” (gaining 15-pounds freshman year of college) has long been feared by high schoolers worldwide. Personally, I’ve been anxiously anticipating “Marriage-40” since the day Kelly cooked me my first Shabbat meal.
Adam and Kelly met at UCSD. Thereafter, Kelly pursued her dream of becoming a Chef by attending Le Cordon Bleu. They’re getting married this summer.