Passover at Work

It is no secret that Passover is a difficult holiday to keep.

If you work full time, the challenge is even greater.  The temptation to get lunch out often leads to forgetfulness that the holiday is still going and adherence to its rules oftentimes goes right out the window.

If you do plan to keep the holiday, an obsession with food occasionally develops.  You may spend quite a bit of time planning a meal, only to begin planning the next as soon as you’ve cleared the table.

This obsession with food is unhealthy and often leads to overeating –  for many – during Passover.

Meal planning is something that I tend to do fairly easily, and as someone who avoids wheat and soy, this holiday isn’t too much of a stretch.

Nevertheless, many of my usual favorite ingredients are out of the question:  corn, nutritional yeast, pea protein, brown rice, oats… and the list goes on.  These items play small roles but they are protein sources and a great way to bulk up meals.  Their absence is noted.

Having worked in the same office for nearly six years, the temptation to eat lunch at nearby restaurants is nearly non-existent.  I’m sick of all of them.

But packing lunch during the holiday requires some strategy and planning ahead.

Think of quinoa as manna.

It can be used in so many different ways and different types of dishes — anything from hot cereals in the morning to satisfying salads and lunch and savory sides (or centerpieces!) at dinner.

I like to make a huge batch early in the holiday and I stock my fridge with plenty of fruits and vegetables, which I rinse and chop before storing.  When I am packing lunch, I just pour in a little of this and a touch of that and I’m ready to go.

Here are a few quinoa-based packed-lunch ideas:

Quinoa + leftover Charoses (chopped apples and walnuts mixed with wine and cinnamon) + baby spinach + goat cheese (optional)

Quinoa + roasted cherry tomatoes + baby spinach + pine nuts (microwave at work to steam the spinach)

Quinoa + Israeli salad (finely chopped cucumber, tomato and onion tossed with olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper) + handfull of almonds on the side

For a post-run breakfast you could try:

Quinoa + dried cranberries + chopped pear + pecans + maple syrup + cinnamon (serve warm)

And this was the vegan entree at our Seder:

Quinoa + pesto sauce + assorted chopped and roasted vegetables (onions, zucchini, eggplant) + halved red pepper (stuff the pepper with a mix of quinoa, pesto and vegetables and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes)

Bete Avon!

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