Get to Know Your Grains – Yes, even on Passover

passoverDuring passover I struggle to find what to eat.  The meals are typically meat and matzoh based which leaves a vegetarian who dislikes matzoh at a loss for 8-days as to what to eat.  Fortunately, there is one grain that I found to be passover friendly, depending on your Jewish denomination.  I believe if you are Ashkenazi you cannot have Quinoa and I imagine the possibility of being Orthodox, you may not want to have quinoa during passover.  But, after doing much research on the topic of quinoa, I found the Torah prohibits us from owning or consuming any foods which are made of wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt, or their derivatives, which has leavened (risen) or fermented. The flour from any of these five grains that comes into contact with water or moisture will leaven unless fully baked within eighteen minutes.  Quinoa is not one of these grains, nor is it related to any of these grains and botanically it is part of the beet family.

Try this recipe which is passover and vegan friendly, yeah!Quinoa

  1.  Rinse then soak 1 cup of quinoa for an hour, then drain – you want to rinse quinoa or any grain you are cooking thoroughly to eliminate dust and toxins, soaking increases nutrient content and absorbtion.  For brown rice specifically, soak 8-12 hours, all other grains can be soaked 1-5 hours.
  2. Combine quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes
  3. Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork, and leave quinoa covered for another 5 minutes to absorb any of the remaining water
  4. Transfer to a bowl and add your favorite chopped veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, scallions, spinach, carrots or use your imagination
  5. Add a sprinkle of EVOO and some sea salt and/or pepper

FriendsI know that the ultimate Jewish Holiday is Yom Kippur, where we fast for the entire day to ask for forgiveness, but I also feel that Passover is a holiday where we suffer by eating unleavened bread and, although a lot of people enjoy Passover Seders, I personally find I’m suffering through that as well.

This past week I had two “friends” let me down in a big way.  One is more of an acquaintance than a friend, who crossed the line with me, and because she is an acquaintance, I was offended by some of her statements to me.   Another “friend” who I consider one of my best, recently let me down in a big way.

Letting go of a hurt can be hard and Passover is just another reminder to wipe the slate clean. When we feel wronged we think the other person should apologize and acknowledge what they did wrong. When we don’t find  any apology, we often bear a grudge, which is kind of happening to me.

I am finding the best way to deal with this right now is in the following prayer which is found in the Jewish Prayer Book and is something we say during Yom Kippur.

“I forgive all those who may have hurt or aggravated me either physically, monetarily, or emotionally, whether unknowingly or willfully, whether accidentally or intentionally, whether in speech or in action, whether in this incarnation or another, and may no person be punished on account of me…”

By saying this prayer it helps in putting it behind me.  Will I be close friends with two individuals, probably not, but I won’t be holding a grudge either.

It’s never too late to start things with an open mind because for all the heartaches you will find over the years, you will know true friendship that lasts, new friendships that are exciting, and some friendships that will fade away.   For this year’s Passover, I look forward to spending time with family and friends and suffering through another seder, however, I’ll have my quinoa handy to get me through the week.

Take care everyone and no matter what springtime religious holiday you celebrate, take time to evaluate your relationships and see how you are able to improve your friendships.


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