Keep It Heart-Healthy for the Holiday


These low-fat, fiber-sprinkled dishes honor the spirit of Passover while being kind to the waistline and heart. 

I hunt for Passover recipes all year, juggling five folders of clippings and handwritten notes. Some of these recipes are tried and true; others come highly recommended by friends or magazines. Most of them are laden with cholesterol and saturated fat. 
An egg course is a symbolic element of seders. Passover cakes can call for a dozen eggs. Holiday kugels glisten with margarine and more eggs.
When you combine that with the chicken fat in matzah balls and the briskets so popular at seders, Passover is a festive but fattening week.
For that reason, I seek holiday recipes that are heart-healthy and lighter in calories. I intermingle them at seders with foods that are traditional but rich.
I also serve these dishes during the holiday’s eight days as a way to observe Passover while mirroring my usual health-conscious diet of chicken or fish, salads, and veggies that are steamed or sautéed in olive oil.
Because Passover is a spring holiday, I turn to light, bright fare, as I sprinkle fiber and low-fat foods into menus. These dishes honor the spirit of the holiday while being kind to my family’s waistlines and hearts. 
Frisée Salad With Radishes and Clementines
1 bunch of frisée
3 large radishes (or 6 small), sliced thin
2 clementines, peeled and broken into sections
1⁄8 cup chopped pecans, briefly toasted
kosher salt to taste
1 Tbsp. raisins
juice from 1⁄2 lemon
olive oil for drizzling
Rinse the frisée under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off the white part of stems and discard. Place frisée on a platter.
Attractively arrange the radishes, clementines, pecans and raisins on the frisée. Sprinkle with salt. Squeeze lemon over the salad and drizzle with oil. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Steamed Baby Artichokes
(Pareve or Dairy)
6 baby artichokes
2 wedges of fresh lemon
1-2 Tbsps. olive oil, or more, if needed
kosher salt to taste
1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, if using
Rinse the artichokes under cold water. Place them in a bowl of cold water. Squirt in the juice from the lemon wedges and stir. Remove after 5 minutes. 
Placing an artichoke in each hand, knock the artichokes together to get rid of excess water and open up the leaves slightly. (This needs to be done in three batches.) Using a teaspoon, gently open the leaves a bit more.
Pour a generous amount of water into the bottom part of the vegetable steamer. Set the basket on top of it.
Holding the first artichoke over the steamer basket, drizzle with oil. Using the spoon, push some of the oil into the leaves. Sprinkle the salt and garlic powder over the artichoke and push them inside the leaves as well. Place the first artichoke in the steamer basket. Prop it up temporarily with aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. The artichokes must be standing up straight because if they lean, the contents will leak out. Discard aluminum foil before steaming.
Cover the steamer and place on a high flame. Steam for an hour. Check the water level every 5 to 10 minutes, because if the water boils away, you’ll scorch the vegetable steamer and burn the artichokes.
Serve immediately sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, if using. Artichokes can be served at room temperature too.
Serves 6.
Roasted Carrots With Rosemary
3 Tbsps. olive oil and oil for coating the baking pan
1 bunch carrots
kosher salt to taste
1⁄8 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp. dried rosemary needles
Preheat the oven to 400˚. Coat an 8×11-inch oven-proof pan generously with olive oil. 
Cut the carrots into carrot sticks. Arrange them in the prepared pan. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and rosemary. Stir briefly to coat.
Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until edges brown.
Serve immediately.
Serves 4. 
Crispy Garlic Potatoes
4 Yukon gold potatoes
kosher salt to taste
1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄3 cup olive oil, or more if needed
Preheat the oven to 400˚.
Peel the potatoes and cut into one-inch chunks. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.
Pour olive oil into an 8×11-inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and sides. Place the potatoes in the pan and, using a long handled spoon, coat with oil. Place pan in the oven. Turn potatoes every 5 minutes. If they start sticking to the pan, drizzle on more oil.
Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, or until as crisp as if they were fried. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Fillet of Sole With Orange Sauce
Sauce Ingredients:
2⁄3 cup orange juice
1 shallot, minced
3⁄4-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. sugar
pinch of crushed red pepper
kosher salt to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1⁄2 orange
4 pieces of fillet of sole (4 oz. each)
kosher salt to taste
1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder
dusting of paprika
4 Tbsps. olive oil, or more, if needed
To prepare the sauce, place the ingredients — except the 1⁄2 orange — in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer on a low flame, stirring often, until the sauce reduces by half, about 20 to 30 minutes. Lower the flame if sauce bubbles up to avoid sauce boiling over the pot.
Meanwhile, peel the orange. Remove the pith. Separate into sections and cut the sections in half. When the sauce is reduced, add the orange sections and remove from heat.
Rinse fillet of sole under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Dust with paprika.
Heat oil in a large skillet on a medium flame. Place the fillet of sole in the skillet. Sauté until the bottom sides turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and brown the other side, adding more oil, if needed. Briefly heat the orange sauce on a low flame until just warm.
Move sole to a platter. Spoon the orange sauce over the top. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Linda Morel is a writer based in New York City. Email her at: [email protected].


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