Menu Plan Monday: April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016

Getting ready for Passover, plus this week’s Link Love and Menu Plan Monday.

Nutritioulicious Menu Plan Monday week of April 18, 2016 including Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas @jlevinsonrd, Roasted Broccoli Radish Salad @jlevinsonrd, Indian Chili Tofu @carrotsandcake

This Friday starts the Jewish holiday of Passover, which celebrates the Exodus and freedom of the Jewish people from enslavement in Egypt. Passover is an eight day holiday that is celebrated with various traditions, the primary one being a change in our daily dietary habits, primarily not eating hametz – grains that have been leavened. This means any food or drink that contains wheat, rye, barley, oats, or spelt cannot be consumed. The mainstay of the Passover diet is matzo (or matzah/matza, depending on how you spell it!), unleavened bread made from flour and water.

Other than matzo, you could say that the Passover diet is very similar to a gluten-free diet, although for years there have been further restrictions on rice, corn, beans and other legumes, collectively called kitniyot. A few years ago quinoa was approved to be a Kosher for Passover grain, which opened up so many new possibilities for what to eat during the holiday, and this year I found out that the restriction on kitniyot has been lifted for Conservative Jews. I’m still not sure how I feel about that since a big part of this holiday is about traditions and what my parents and grandparents did for generations. Time will tell if I accept this change in customs.

As we get ready for the holiday we must clean out our cupboards, fridge, and freezer to ensure we have no hametz in our midst during the holiday. It’s actually a great way to force spring cleaning since I haven’t done that yet! So this week’s menu plan is based on what I have on hand or what’s lurking in the freezer that needs to be used up.

Over the years the Kosher for Passover options have expanded and thankfully there’s been a movement to more gourmet food on this holiday – not just the classic matzo pizza and matzo lasagna! Later this week I’ll be sharing a Passover recipe roundup for those of you who observe the holiday or are interested in learning more about what is and is not allowed to be eaten throughout the Passover week.

In the meantime, be sure to check out some of the links I loved from last week!


Are Frozen Fruits & Vegetables Actually Healthy? @ Be Truly Nourished

⇒ Great summary of this topic. Love using frozen fruits & veggies for out of season produce!

10 Cooking Skills Every Kid Should Know @ Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

⇒ This is a great resource for parents, especially those whose kids are getting ready to head off to college!

Satisfy Food Cravings, Don’t Kick Them @ Avocado A Day Nutrition

⇒ Denying yourself what your body truly wants will only make you crave it more.

Why You Should Love Carbs @ Nutrition A La Natalie

⇒ I love my carbs and so should you. Here’s why.


Sweet Potato Pie Greek Yogurt Parfait @ Shaw’s Simple Swaps

⇒ Love this recipe makeover from Liz!

Baked Brown Rice Risotto @ Whole Food Bellies

⇒ Risotto in the oven? I’m sold!

25 Healthy Takeout Recipes to Cook at Home @ Snacking In Sneakers

⇒ I love recipe makeovers, don’t you? Here are 25 better-for-you pizzas, pad Thai, curries, and more!

Arugula, Farro and Pistachio Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette @ Meal Makeover Moms

⇒ This salad is packed with nutritious and delicious toppings!

Thursday Three: Berry Compote Kefir Parfaits @ Chard In Charge

⇒ Love the theme of Dianna’s new series and this parfait looks delish too!

menu plan monday

Week of April 18, 2016

Monday: Sweetpotato Black Bean Quesadillas and Roasted Broccoli Radish Salad with Lemon Mint Vinaigrette

Tuesday: Veggie Baked Ziti from the freezer (an extra fully prepped and uncooked baked ziti I have in the freezer)

Wednesday: Indian Chili Tofu with Green Beans, Cauliflower, and Carrots over brown rice

Thursday: Mushroom Asparagus Pesto Frittata with Citrus Fennel Salad

Friday: Passover Seder

What’s on your menu this week?

Tweet me @JLevinsonRD with #DinnerTonight

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  1. I loved reading about the tradition of Passover and am excited to see your roundup and learn more the foods you eat during the holiday!
    Thank you for including my frozen fruits and veggies post in your link love! It looks like I missed some great recipes and posts last week that I’m excited to go check out now. Happy Monday! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Melanie! When I was writing it I was thinking this is probably so boring for other people to read, so I’m so happy to know you found it interesting! Happy Monday to you too!

  2. Thanks Jessica for including my parfaits! It’s so interesting to learn about Passover, thank you for sharing. I agree with you, it’s hard to change traditions in family, especially when it’s been the same way for so long! I hope you and your family have a great week, your menu sounds delish!

    1. You’re welcome Liz – can’t wait to make them! So glad to know you found the Passover info interesting! As I said to Melanie, I didn’t know if people would want to know about it! I hope you have a great week as well!

  3. Another wonderful Menu Plan Monday! You’ve definitely highlighted some of my recent favorites too. I really loved Katie’s “cooking skills for kids” article and I was drooling over Liz’s sweet potato parfaits! Hope you had a yummy dinner- it sounds delish!

    1. Thanks Sonali! Tonight’s dinner is one of our favorites, especially with the kids! You should try it for Sienna! Glad you enjoyed the link love too! Have a great week!

    1. Thanks so much Chrissy! I’m hoping the recipe comes out good and I’ll be sharing it after I make it tomorrow!