Well, Passover is over peeps – and I managed to stay wheat-free the entire time! And let me tell ya, I thought it would be a lot easier than it actually was. I really feel for those with gluten intolerances, or really anyone with dietary restrictions in general. I never really realized how large of a role wheat played in my diet until it was no longer there: no cereal for breakfast, no sandwiches for lunch, and you can forget my beloved Trader Joe’s tofu salads (tofu is out too).
So how did I bide my meal-time?
Well I made quite a few matzo pizzas (bottom left – like normal pizza but broiled for only a few minutes to avoid burning the cracker) for dinner and lunch, and then most of my breakfasts consisted of either fruit and peanut butter, or matzo brie (upper left).
Now I think matzo brie is traditionally a savory dish, but I learned to make it as a sort of French toast substitution, which was quite delicious. Throw together some broken up matzo, a few egg whites, cinnamon, and vanilla; let it all soak; then pour the mixture into a frying pan until the eggs are cooked. Top with syrup and enjoy!
Other than matzo, I used this as an opportunity to try and pack more fruit and veggies in my diet with chicken salads (I made a Thai chicken salad in the upper right); veggie omelets (upper right); and lots of grapes, clementines, and bananas. I also whipped up a few variations of my favorite dish (sesame seared tuna steak) and snacked on LOTS of pickles (the spicy kind is delicious!)
So after a week of wheat fasting, what did I want more than ever for dinner tonight??? You guessed it – carbs galore. And I had the perfect recipe to test out in honor of our carb celebration: Reuben Mac & Cheese. Nothing screams carbs and comfort food like mac & cheese, right? I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray last week and knew I had to try it – a Reuben AND mac & cheese!? I altered the recipe a little bit to my own taste – let me know what you guys think!
Reuben Mac & Cheese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 1 pound any short cut noodles (elbow noodles are fun)
- 2 slices of rye bread
- 3 tablespoons of butter, plus some for buttering toast
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of fat-free milk
- ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- 1 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
- ¾ pound thickly sliced deli corned beef (about ½ inch thick)
- 1 pound sauerkraut
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
- While pasta cooks, toast rye bread then butter with extra butter. Coarsely chop bread and place bread in food processor. Add in parsley and paprika and process into bread crumbs.
- Rinse half of sauerkraut and drain well. Mix back together with un-rinsed half. Set aside.
- Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter to pot and melt. Whisk in flour slowly over 1 minute, then mix in milk. Season sauce lightly with salt and pepper. Let sauce thicken, about 5-6 minutes, then stir in mustard. Melt 2/3 of the combined cheeses into the sauce.
- Preheat broiler.
- Drain pasta and return to pot. Toss hot pasta with chopped corned beef and sauerkraut, then stir in cheese to sauce to coat.
Transfer mac and cheese to a large casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Brown under broiler for 3-4 minutes and then serve and enjoy!
Anyone else have any fun “Passover’s Over!” recipes they love? I’d love to hear about them!