Belly on the Rise: Pregnant Passover Recipes

The week of Passover begins April 14th at sundown. Holidays are all about the grub for me, and Pesach and I have a love-hate relationship. So many delicious foods, yet No. Bread. Or. Pasta. In. Any. Form. What?! Did I  mention this sacrifice lasts for an entire, very long week? My, hubby kids and I are a carbilicious clan, and this is one serious, yeast-free debacle. Oh, well, like our forefathers, we shall overcome. The Israelites didn’t have time to let their bread rise when fleeing Egypt… and that’s Passover in a leaven-free nutshell. I know, I shouldn’t complain – but I am just so good at it.

Oh, please don’t tell me how amazing tasty matzo crackers are. Bread they are not. Yes, they are a clear reminder of the suffering of the Israelites. Matzo brei, matzo kugel; Matzo slathered in delicious chopped liver (my Jewish pate); Matzo plastered the Ward Way in inappropriate amounts of butter: all ways to detract from tasteless, cardboard cracker itself. Yes, I said it. Do you still have matzo in your cupboards from last year? Point made. It has its place during the holiday; afterwards, it is cast away to the back of the cupboard; a lonely fate. Back to matzo brei and matzo kugel: one can only consume so much

There are, of course, other sources of carbohydrates in the world other than leavened ones. Really: no need to panic. During Passover, it’s fun and exciting to explore new grains that are Kosher for Passover, such as amaranth and quinoa. “Wasabi crusted salmon” is delicious paired with any ancient grain. I create an easy quinoa pilaf by combining cooked quinoa with sautéed, thinly sliced radicchio and Brussels sprouts and chopped red or yellow bell pepper and white onion. Then, add hits of zesty lemon, bright parsley; earthy, pungent garlic and wha-lah: a gorgeous side-dish that’s ideal for the holiday.

Of course, never forget your friends Mr. Squash and Mrs. Potato (or any of their  family members). Both are delicious when roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil, and completely Pesach approved. A root vegetable plus half an hour in a hot oven never fails to impress the pants of holiday guests. All are sensational sprinkled with a touch of chopped, fresh rosemary after plating. As New Mexicans, we rosemary growing out of our ears (really, my husband is a ENT doc, and you can vouch for this fact).

While developing recipes for the coming holiday, my cravings are taking hold. They take charge of each dish. I am expecting my third child, and my pregnancy food urges remain unchanged. Insatiable cravings for salmon and chocolate (no, not together! that’s gross!) cannot be muted. Avocados seem to haunt me dreams, as well. It’s common to find me preparing chocolate-avocado and chia seed pudding in the middle of the night. Now, that’s a story for another foodie therapy session (seriously, this lady needs help).

Fortunately, flavorful and delicate “wasabi crusted salmon” fillets topped with a gorgeous, oozing, over-easy fried eggs  is a dish that satisfies any human, with bump or without. My generous and kind friend Kiyo from the Hawaiian cooking blog My Lilikoi Kitchen sent me amazing wasabi sauce and Japanese Nori Komi Furikake seasoning blend. The two combined take ordinary wild salmon from run-of-the-mill (or sea) to out of this world (or ocean)! I agree: too many puns for one day. If you don’t have your own Kiyo (which, might Interject, is a sad life to lead), these ingredients can be easily ordered online or found in specialty food stores and Asian markets. The elegant dish packs a flavor punch, is easy to make and quick to cook. A home cook such as myself can’t ask for much more than that. Full confession: I gave my husband the small piece of fish the last I made this. I enjoy playing the pregnancy card and milk it for all it’s worth.

Rich, decadent and flourless “just chocolate brownies” are sinfully delectable: moist, dense, slightly sweet, chocolate crumbles of dessert heaven. And, get this: they Pesach approved and secretly healthful. I am not only referring to the healthy-fat and vitamin-rich almonds on top. You won’t believe how nutritious a chocolate concoction can be after the first glorious bite, or the twelfth. Still, it’s true: just take a peek at the recipe. Now, onto more important topics: how did I fit so much cocoa goodness in one 8×8-inch square pan? Oh, life’s great mysteries.

Important recipe note: do not freeze these. You will end up eating myriad, frozen squares of chocolate indulgence at odd hours, such as two in the morning. Leave the entire pan on top of your counter and sadly (or happily) accept defeat. Not that I know anything about such a sorrowful (or glorious) scenario. It is also recommended that this recipe is prepared when other in-house chocoholics are not within state boarders. The hubby happened to be on (another) surgical fellowship interview, this time in San Francisco when I made this batch of “flourless just dark chocolate brownies.”

Coincidence? I think not. What can I say? I am a soulless, pregnant chocolate monster.

These recipes and ideas alone are solid proof that there is no reason to sacrifice enjoying great food any day of the year. There is always a scrumptious, amazing recipe to fit any tummy, any holiday, anytime.

Chag sameach!



Wasabi Crusted Wild Salmon

Make sure your ingredients are Kosher for Passover, if desired.

Serves two. Double or triple this recipe to serve a crowd, if desired.

One, eight to twelve ounce fresh, wild salmon fillet
Wasabi sauce, such as the variety by Kikkoman
Japanese Nori Komi Furikake*
Two small, best quality free-range eggs, such as quail eggs or “silky” chicken eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 350•F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
  • Place the fillet of salmon on the foil.
  • Use enough wasabi sauce to lightly coat the filet, about two tablespoons.
  • Generously sprinkle the furikake on top of the wasabi sauce. Cover the sauce completely, about two tablespoons.
  • Lightly spray the top of the fillet with cooking spray. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly spray two small ramekins with cooking spray. Carefully break one egg into each ramekin and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the salmon and the eggs in the oven.
  • Cook the eggs for about five to seven minutes, just until the whites are set and the yolks still appear uncooked. Reserve. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that are fully cooked, about ten to twelve minutes.
  • Cook the salmon for about eight to twelve minutes, just until medium to medium rare in the center, per your taste preference.
  • Divide the salmon into two portions. Place the fillets on warm plates.
  • Place the eggs on top of the salmon pieces and devour. Bon Appétit!
*Available at Asian Markets and some specialty grocery stores


Flourless Just Chocolate Brownies

Make sure all of your ingredients are Kosher for Passover, if desired.

Makes 16, 2×2-inch brownies.

1 1/2 cups chopped, 70% dark chocolate
4 Tablespoons salted butter (or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure almond extract (optional)

1/2 chopped, raw or blanched almonds (optional)

  • Make sure all of your ingredients are laid-out. You will need to work efficiently when working with chocolate.
  • Preheat the oven to 300•F.
  • Line a standard, 8×8 inch metal, non-stick brownie pan with greased parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until lighter in color and fluffy.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter over a double-boiler. Or, microwave in fifteen second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted.
  • Allow to cool slightly and place in a separate bowl. Whisk in the yogurt and the cocoa.
  • Combine the chocolate mixture with the egg mixture until very well mixed.
  • Evenly press the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Press the almonds evenly on top of the batter.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the center is soft but the edges are firm. Avoid overbaking at all costs.
  • Cool pan completely on a wire rack. Then, refrigerate overnight (or several hours, if you just wait), until very firm.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy.
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.

86 thoughts on “Belly on the Rise: Pregnant Passover Recipes

  1. Congrats again on baby number three. I remember those days! Any excuse for more dark chocolate is always great! Enjoy it and use it for all it’s worth. Great looking recipe and photos. Enjoy the weekend.

      1. Well, many people (including us) now like to eat high-percentage cacao chocolates (70% for us). We usually mix the chocolates cubes with almonds. I read somewhere that such chocolates (taken in moderation) actually prevent overall obesity(?). 🙂

      2. Lovely! I use almonds and 70% dark chocolate in this brownie recipe. I have also read that both are heart-healthy, prevent obesity and increase longevity when consumed in moderation. Yum, yum.

  2. Congratulations, Darling Shanna!!! Another gorgeous child on the way! I am so excited that I almost forgot the recipes you’ posted. Delicious looking brownies and salmon both with unique ingredients. Happy Passover! Does Passover always fall around the time of Naw-Ruz? We are both celebrating for Holy Days, and a child on the way! 😀

    1. Thank you, Fae, for the lovely comments. You are the sweetest. Pesach falls on the Jewish (lunar) calendar, so the festival (one week) falls on different dates each year. Wouldn’t a Pesach/Naw-Ruz party be fabulous? :-)The hubby just texted me from the restaurant you recommended in San Francisco. I am having serious food envy (he insists on texting photos!). We appreciate the recommendation. Wishing you a wonderful Naw-Ruz, dear Fae.

  3. Clever idea with the egg on top, a barely poached quivering egg begging to release its yolk. I like poached eggs on a lot of things, but never thought of adding one to warm cooked fish. Thanks. Ken

    1. Well, thank you so much, Ken. Clever, me? 🙂
      I am quite curious to hear what you think of the flavors and textures of a runny egg over warm fish. I could see it also working with crusted, seared ahi tuna.
      I appreciate the kind visit. -Shanna

  4. Shanna! Congratulations to you, Greg and your family. Yes, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! That salmon looks delicious too. I love that fried egg……Have a Happy Aloha Friday!!!

    1. Happy Aloha Friday to you, dear Kiyo! Thank you so much for visiting and leaving me a happy, bright note. Chocolate: yes, yes, yes! I hope your weekend is as fabulous as the amazingly scrumptious My Lilikoi Kitchen fare. 🙂 -Shanna

  5. Oh you are prego! That’s amazing! Congratulations! By the way let’s not forget in all this excitement that salmon, delicious!

  6. I wish there was a “Love” button for this post! I laughed about the matzoh still in the pantry from last year. Once again we are on the same food wavelength–because I was seriously going to contact you about Passover recipes! I will most definitely be checking out these brownies. I do make a flourless chocolate cake for our big family dinner, and one of my daughters makes a cheesecake with a macaroon crust (using the kind you buy). She and I are the only ones in the family who actually keep Passover, and it is a looooooong week. I eat fish, but she is a true vegetarian, so I’ve decided we’re Sephardi and eat rice and bean dishes for that extra carb fill. Don’t even get me started on pregnancy cravings–but coffee ice cream was always in my freezer. 🙂

    1. Merril, My soul sister. Jewish, love of history, love of the same foods, etc.! Sephardic food sounds *awesome* for Passover. A lovely compromise. I am thinking that you and your daughter would enjoy mujaddara – a lovely dish with lentils, rice, spices and caramelized onions – and a complete protein source. 🙂 We should both choose some Passover recipes and have a blogging “Passover Party”! That would be fun. Thank you so much for your warm and lovely comments – and for reading. Coffee ice-cream; I may head out to our local gelato place for a cup (theirs has chocolate chips inside, oh no!). Have a great weekend, Shanna

  7. Congratulations, Shanna! Nice recipes, as long as they are not eaten together 😉 When you have another chocolate craving, try a flourless chocolate cake that as ingredient has only chocolate, butter, eggs, and sugar. I have one on my blog of course 🙂

  8. I think the fact that we are soo food obsessed is why we get along well 🙂 I am really obsessed with avocados lately, and your recipes here are making me hungry, I want to come for dinner at your place!
    Ok I’ve told you, but congratulations again 🙂 xxx

    1. Yes, food obsessed: is there any other way to live? 🙂 I am really thinking a transcontinental journey may be in order at some point! You are welcome to dinner at my house *any* night (though I wouldn’t mind eating your delicious steamed clams and Paella in Barcelona!). Thanks you for your warm and kind note, Sofia. Besos, Shanna

  9. very funny – a soulless pregnant chocolate monster 🙂 your poor husband! If you crave bread you could make irish soda bread, doesn’t use yeast, happily unleavened in that case? But it does taste of bread……great post today – must be all those avocados fuelling your brain!

    1. Hi, Polianthus, Thank you for your lovely comments! I love making Irish soda bread. Unfortunately, the baking soda acts as a leavener. Darn! 😉 Yes, me and my avocados… a mean, green pregnant monster. Enjoy your Sunday, Shanna

      1. true so it does, I was wondering if it doesn’t count because it’s instant and therefore you don’t have to wait. Oh well – I guess you’ll just have to survive the week…….some indian breads are quite tasty and unleavened. And I agree about the Matzo – I bought some a year ago, the reason why escapes me, and yes they are still in the cupboard and I cannot throw them away, but haven’t been tempted to find anything to make with them either. Congrats on your pregnancy 🙂

      2. oh cool a recipe, brilliant, thank you! I will check it out. I think I have regular, kosher in a brown cardboard box….they do last forever though 🙂 thanks so much for sending me a tip!

  10. We are definitely in sync. My son and his family went to a Seder last night and are going to a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration on Sunday – go figure! My wife is on her way to San Francisco to help my daughter with her imminent lying-in. Beautiful images and a nice Passover study. I confess I have some matzo in the pantry that is even older than yours.

    1. Yes, indeed, we are in sync. Thank you for your wonderfully kind and truly funny comment. I enjoy your wit. Have a wonderful weekend (and get rid of that matzo!). 😉 Best wishes to you and your lovely family! -Shanna

  11. Shanna, many happy congratulations to you and your (growing) family! Plus, the salmon and brownies look amazing. I, too, rarely eat matzo crackers outside of the holidays, and even then, I only really consume it as matzo brittle (butter, chocolate, nuts–all masks the flavor of the cracker itself). Enjoy your weekend and an amazing pregnancy (I’m interested to see what you crave next!).

  12. I’ll put an egg on almost anything — but had never to thought to try one on seafood. Going to have to remedy that very soon! I also swooned a bit at those brownies, they look so rich and decadent. I love chocolate but my mom is obsessed with it. I’ll need to make a batch for her next visit! =)

    1. Hi, Jessica. I am loving your blog! Your last post was fabulous. 🙂 Thank you for your enthusiastic, warm comments, which are much appreciated. Chocolate obsessed? Your mom and I would get along splendidly. 😉 She will appreciate these brownies. They are guaranteed to cure any chocolate craving for a full 24-hour period. Hehe. Eggs and seafood… you make a good point. Maybe this is salmon nicoise turned inside out, upside down by way of Japan? My best, Shanna

  13. “Oh, please don’t tell me how amazing tasty matzo crackers are.” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Matzo brei can be good, though, for precisely the reasons you state.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Yes, Matzo is a good “vehicle” for delicious flavors… it’s void of tastes and embraces great ingredients. Have a wonderful Sunday. I sure hope your weather has taken a turn for the sunny side by now!

  14. OMG! What great news, Shanna. You’re pregnant! That’s fantastic. Congratulations, my dear friend; so glad for you 🙂
    I can see all those sacrifices you’re going through but you know they’ll pay off in a near future. On the other hand, watching at those amazing photographs I don’t quite find them the worst example of hard times. You do know how to treat yourself, eh? 😉
    Lots of love, precious!

    1. Thank you so much, Rosa. Your comments always make my day; you are so kind and thoughtful. Yes, we are very happy… and very fortunate. I can’t wait to expand our family: more kids, more fun. Enjoy your day. Besos, Shanna

  15. Oh my, Shanna…Congratulations to you and your hubby! I hope you’re doing well. It seems you’ve been quite busy in the kitchen. What a wonderful post…so many wonderful recipes. Take care of yourself! — Linda

  16. Oh, my dearest, Shanna! Congratulations! Celebration is definitely in order. The wasabi crusted salmon looks soo amazing and tasty I’m sure. I’m glad you created a collage to showcase your dish. You did a great job. I looove Japanese Nori Komi Furikake seasoning blend with rice. I used to eat steamed white rice topped with Furikake seasoning. Oh, goodness! I’m drooling over here. 🙂 Great recipe, Shanna! 🙂 Take care. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your wonderful note, Anna. Most of all, I enjoyed hearing about your delicious Furikake memories. What is better comfort food than rice and the seasoning blend? 🙂 Enjoy your day, PRCCSS. Best, Shanna

  17. Congratulations on number 3…what exciting and great news! I am terribly happy for you and wish you all the best in the following months. Chocolate and salmon? what a combo for craving…and avocado. We used to spread avocado on bread many years ago. I ate so much and then just stopped. I can’t remember when I last ate avocado. just chocolate brownies sound delicious and wasabi-salmon is a great combination. I wish you a wonderful week. Thanks for the many visits in Facebook! Best wishes to your family.

    1. Thank you for your sweet words. Speaking of sweet, your latest recipes look *outstanding*, especially those chelsea buns. I loved hearing about your pregnancy memories, as well. Enjoy your evening; my very best to you and yours. – Shanna

    1. Thank you, Dedy. Oh, and do no worry, Dr. Pardede, my egg was fully cooked (which, in my book, is pure travesty!). I appreciate the caring note, truly. Best, Shanna PS Your last post on steak looked amazing. I promptly went out to buy some nice meat! 🙂

  18. I’m on a no-baked carbs kick at the moment. I can do without the bread. But not the pies. I like, indeed love, a good pie – sweet or savory – no matter what!

  19. there’s always rice, not necessarily sushi, but rice noodles 😉 congrats dear. and glad you’re eating fish even though you’re preggers. My friends wouldnt’ touch the stuff at all until afterwards but I think if it was my turn, I will be a rebel! BTW, the challah recipe you gave me was AMAZING. First time I have made successful bread ever. Oh…and i played with it and added some saffron/cinnamon and it was heaven hitting my mouth. Thanks again love, xox*

    1. I love salmon; we had it yet again in a pesto pasta with red bell pepper and asparagus. I am very glad to hear that you enjoyed the challah. The saffron sounds *so* good. I love Persian flavors like saffron, turmeric, cardamom, etc. Feel free to ship a few slices my way, Vera. Best, Shanna

  20. Congratulations, Shanna! How exciting. Your wasabi salmon looks and sounds spectacular. I hear you on the carb cravings — I tried to do a cleanse once, cutting out all gluten and other stuff, and I went near bat-crazy. But with this menu, I just might make it through. Happy holidays and all the best to you & your growing family 🙂

  21. A baby? Oh, Shanna, such wonderful news!!! I bet your household has been filled with joy.
    This post was such a great read and you shared 2 wonderful recipes. I’ll likely make the salmon, however, before the brownies. The salmon comes with portion control. The brownies, sadly, do not — and I’ve no one to blame for their disappearance. I have only so much self-control when there’s a pan of nut-covered chocolate before me.
    Oh! Congratulations!!!

  22. I’m so glad I read this post! Congratulations Shanna! I’m a little late in my visit but so happy to hear your news. And what a salmon recipe. Sounds great with an eggs on it! And a perfectly cooked one at that. 🙂 Your quinoa pilaf sounds quite delicious too!

  23. Hooray about the little one on the way, Shanna! And what a great set of cravings you have – every recipe looks amazing. I am predicting that baby #3 will have a certain flair for great food, and become a talented chef like her mom later in life 🙂
    All the best to you and your family!
    ~ Melissa

  24. Shanna, you are right, no need to sacrifice flavor just because it’s Passover. I’m giving those brownies a try. Happy Holidays to you and your family, and congrats on the 3rd baby!

  25. Congratulations, Shanna! How exciting 😀
    What a delicious just chocolate brownie and wasabi crusted salmon! Bookmarking these recipes 🙂 I love the picture of the egg yolk oozing out on top of the salmon–so mouthwatering!

  26. Looks like you have managed to create a wonderful leaven-free menu! Everything looks just so wonderful! Congratulations on the little one on the way! I don’t know why avocado is so satisfying during pregnancy but I too would love to place some on bread with a little sprinkle of salt…and it tasted just perfect!

  27. Congratulations on expecting your third child, that is wonderful. I can just imagine how good your salmon with an egg is…great idea.

  28. Ah, congratulations Shanna! I know everyone’s saying the same thing but I am so excited for you guys! All of the recipes in this post are well and truly drool-worthy. Yum, my favourite is the wasabi salmon with that deliciously runny egg. Drool-worthy. I think my husband would be happy for days if I cooked that for him! Hope that the rest of your pregnancy goes really beautifully my dear xx

  29. It sounds like you are getting by just fine without leavened bread. I’ve recently given up wheat and making sure there are plenty of other things for me to eat including the things you have mentioned. Salmon cravings are good. I often crave salmon and I’m not pregnant. Salmon is packed with so much good stuff.

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