Easy Gluten-Free Passover
Passover is a time when it’s probably not too hard to be gluten-free, given that four of the five grains Jewish people traditionally avoid during Passover are ones excluded from the gluten-free diet anyway. While everyone else is worried about wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats, you only have to worry about the last one!
You probably have plenty of recipes up your sleeve that will work. But this is a time of celebration and rebirth, so why not bless your table with new flavors and new traditions?
A braised chicken dish loaded with vegetables makes a light and colorful alternative to heavier main dishes, but still brims with flavor thanks to ras al hanout, a traditional North African blend of warm spices including (but not limited to) cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, and cumin.* The spices are balanced with tangy citrus, sweet carrots, and fennel for a truly unique taste. Not keen on spice? Feel free to reduce the cayenne. (A bonus of making the spice mixture yourself!)
For a stunning dessert, skip the heavy nut cakes and go for fluffy chocolate mousse instead. This mousse cake is not only gluten-free, but also vegan and naturally sweetened. The crust incorporates coconut to pay homage to the Passover-friendly cookie many of us grew up with: the macaroon. It’s especially delicious when topped with an indulgent (but heart healthy) blend of cashews, coconut milk, and cocoa. Far from an afterthought, this is one dessert you’ll want to save room for.
*Note: In addition to the five grains listed, some Jews also avoid foods that are thought to be similar to or contaminated with wheat. These foods, collectively known as kitniyot, include a variety of legumes, rice, and some seeds and spices. Some sources include cumin and coriander, but many do not. If you are unsure, check with your Rabbi or if you are bringing the dish elsewhere, ask the host if it’s okay.
North-African Spiced Chicken with Spring Vegetables
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , divided use
- 1 medium onion , sliced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1½ tablespoons ras al hanout*
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley , divided use
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4-5 ounces each)
- Sea salt and black pepper , to taste
- 2 cups fat-free, reduced sodium, gluten-free chicken broth
- 1 (12-ounce) package frozen artichokes
- 1 large fennel bulb , thinly sliced
- 1 cup baby carrots , sliced in half lengthwise
- ¼ pound green olives , sliced in half
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan (big enough to hold all the chicken pieces) or Dutch oven.
- When hot, add the onions and cook for about 8 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic, lemon zest, ras al hanout, and 3 tablespoons parsley (save the rest for garnishing). Cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and, working in batches if needed, cook the chicken until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate or rimmed baking sheet.
- Add the chicken broth to the pan, increase the heat, and scrape with a wooden spoon to loosen all of the browned bits.
- Return the chicken and onion mixture to pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the artichokes, fennel, and carrots to the pan. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add the olives and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so. The vegetables will be crisp-tender.
- Serve garnished with the remaining parsley.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake
For the crust:
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup pitted dried prunes
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
For the filling:
- 2 cups raw cashews , soaked for 3-4 hours or overnight
- 6 pitted dates , soaked for 3-4 hours or overnight
- 1 cup date soaking water
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chocolate raspberry flavored liquid stevia , such as SweetLeaf brand
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- Fresh raspberries , for garnish
For the Crust:
- Place the almonds and coconut in the bowl of a food processor and process until the nuts break down into small pieces.
- Add the prunes, cocoa powder, and salt. Continue processing until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- Add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Pulse several times until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened and stick together.
- Firmly press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Rinse out the food processor.
For the Filling:
- Drain the cashews and dates, reserving 1 cup of water from the dates. Add the cashews, dates, and water to the food processor along with the coconut milk. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, stevia, and salt. Blend again until thoroughly incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Lastly, blend in the coconut oil.
- Pour the filling mixture on top of the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight to set.
- Remove from the refrigerator and run a knife carefully around the edge of the mousse. Gently remove the sides of the springform pan.
- Garnish with raspberries.
Written by Cara Lyons
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