Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.
To all the collegiettes celebrating Passover out there, chag sameach, and may you make it through your hiatus from carbs alive. I went to a Seder last night, and I love getting into the spirit (i.e., eating the traditional foods) of the holidays. While I am not strictly observing the rules of Passover, I do like eating matzo throughout the week. For those who don't know, matzo is unleavened bread that Jews observing Passover eat throughout the holiday in place of bread and other products that use leavened grain, which is forbidden. Watch the Rugrats Passover episode to clear up any further confusion.
The thing about matzo is that on its own, it is incredibly bland. It is kind of like a very dry, very tasteless cracker. The good thing is that it can be prepared in a number of ways, both savory and sweet, that make it delicious. So if you've been turned off by matzo in the past, give it another try this Passover season, because these recipes will change your mind. Whether you're Jewish or not, whether you're observing Passover or you have no idea what Passover even is, you'll enjoy these matzo meals.
1. Matzo Brei
Matzo brei, or fried matzo, is an absolutely delicious way to transform dry, bland matzo into a moist and fluffy breakfast delicacy. There are many different recipes for this dish, but the gist of it is frying matzo with eggs into a sort of scramble. It can be prepared savory or sweet. When my mom used to make it for my brother and me (he was especially obsessed), we always topped it with Aunt Jemima syrup. Yum. This particular version is from Bon Appétit.
- 1 sheet matzo
- 1 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Break matzo into 1/2 inch pieces; place in a medium bowl. Cover with very hot tap water. Let stand for about 30 seconds, then drain.
- Beat eggs in another medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
- Add drained matzo; mix until combined and a wet batter forms.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon scant 1/4-cupfuls of batter into skillet, making 4 pancakes.
- Fry, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, about 1 minute per side.
- Serve with jam, syrup or whatever topping you desire.
2. Banana and Nut Butter Matzo
I love the combination of banana and nut butter mixed into my oatmeal, spread on toast or just eaten plain. The smoothness of the nut butter and mushiness of the banana helps balance out the dryness of the matzo. Add honey and cinnamon to the mix to take it to the next level. This works great as a breakfast but could be eaten as a snack or dessert too.
- 1 sheet matzo
- 1 tablespoon nut butter of choice (e.g., peanut, almond or cashew butter)
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Spread nut butter on matzo.
- Top with banana slices and drizzle with honey and cinnamon.
- If desired, top with another sheet of matzo to make it a sandwich.
3. Matzo Pizza
Matzo pizza is probably the best thing about Passover, second maybe only to charoset, the sweet fruit-and-nut dish that rules the Seder, in my opinion. If you use a microwave to make your matzo pizza, it'll only take you about a minute to prepare this delicacy. Have one sheet as a snack, make two to three for a lunch or dinner or make a bunch to break up into bite-sized pieces to share with friends. Top with mixed veggies for a more substantial, flavorful matzo 'za.
- 1 sheet matzo
- 1/4 cup pizza or marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese of choice
- Additional toppings of choice (e.g., spinach, arugula, olives, mushrooms)
- Spread sauce on matzo and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds.
- Top with cheese and other additions; microwave again for 20-30 more seconds, until cheese is melted.
- Eat whole, or break into smaller pieces for shareable pizza bites.
4. Matzo and Lox
If you've ever been to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah brunch, a break-fast feast at the end of Yom Kippur or a Jewish deli, you know that we Jews pretty much kill the bagel-and-lox game. Replace the bagel with matzo and you're kosher for Passover. Until I wrote this post, I thought there was no difference between lox and smoked salmon since the words are often used interchangeably, but it turns out lox is slightly more specific than smoked salmon; it's the midsection of a salmon cured in a salt brine. Regardless, this recipe would work with either. Swap out cream cheese for a light Laughing Cow cheese wedge if you're looking for a lower-calorie, lower-fat option.
- 1 sheet matzo
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese or 1 Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss wedge
- Several slices of smoked salmon
- 2 tablespoons chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Seasoning of choice, if desired (e.g., black pepper and garlic powder)
- Spread cream cheese or cheese wedge onto matzo.
- Top with onions, smoked salmon and chives.
- Sprinkle with seasoning, if desired.
5. Fruit-, Nut- and Chocolate-Dipped Matzo
If anything can make matzo taste less bland, it's obviously chocolate. Chocolate bark is an easy-to-make, delicious treat, and incorporating matzo into it adds a nice crunch. There's no better way to satisfy your sweet tooth during Passover, except maybe these matzo s'mores. In this recipe I suggest topping your chocolate-dipped matzo with dried cherries, coconut and pistachios for a nice mix of salty and sweet flavors, but you can top it with any other nuts, dried fruits or candies that you desire!
- 1 sheet matzo
- 1-1.5 semisweet chocolate baking bars
- 2 tablespoons flaked coconut
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
- Break matzo into chunks big enough for dipping.
- Microwave chocolate on high in uncovered dish for 1 minute. Stir until melted; microwave for additional time if neeeded.
- Dip matzo chunks about halfway into chocolate to coat and shake off excess.
- Place coated matzo on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- Sprinkle coconut, cherries and pistachio onto chocolate-coated ends of matzo.
- Refrigerate until set.