While all holiday dinners can be costly, the Passover Seder tends to be more expensive. Most Jewish people opt for Kosher for Passover products that have been specially blessed for the holiday which can cost double the amount of a non-Kosher item. Kosher delis offer pre-made dishes for Passover, but they usually charge a small fortune. This makes it difficult to host a Passover dinner with limited funds.
This Passover, why not add some vegetarian dishes for your Seder dinner? A vegetarian Passover uses lots of regularly priced fresh vegetables and cuts costs considerably. Besides saving money by creating a vegetarian Passover dinner, vegetarian dishes make the holiday healthier.
These 5 ways to save money for the Passover Seder are inexpensive, vegetarian friendly and are healthier for all.
Omit the pre-made side dishes. Most Passover Seder dinners include an array of traditionally side dishes that come from a Kosher for Passover box. Frozen or deli made alternatives are even more costly that the specialty boxed dishes. Offering a large variety of vegetarian dishes on the side is cheaper and healthier. Instead of making heavy Potato Kugel or greasy Noodle Pudding, use the money to create several fresh vegetable dishes. Four or more vegetable sides can be made using the same amount of money it would cost to make just two of the standard boxed Passover sides. Roasted vegetables are a great vegetarian side dish that adds color to the Passover Seder dinner table, and potato-mushroom croquettes breaded with matzo meal are a delicious option adored by both children and adults.
Instead of meat, make a Passover casserole as the main course. Every holiday dinner needs a main dish as the centerpiece of the meal but unfortunately this usually means a large cut of expensive meat. Instead of a piece of meat, create a special Passover casserole as the highlight of the meal. Lasagna made from matzo crackers instead of pasta is ideal, and since no meat is served it is okay to eat cheese. Traditionally it isn’t Kosher to eat meat and dairy products together, but this is not a problem when a vegetarian Passover Seder dinner is prepared. Forgoing the meat not only saves money, but is very vegetarian friendly.
Skip the chopped liver. Chopped liver is a classic part of the Passover Seder dinner that is very expensive. A small pint sized container can cost at least $10, and will only serve 4-6 guests. To cut costs and simultaneously make Passover vegetarian friendly, skip the chopped liver and create a mock version using mushrooms and onions. For a more authentic texture, add two cups of mashed lentils. Vegetarian chopped “liver” tastes great on matzo, is very inexpensive and is completely animal free.
Make your own desserts. Store bought Passover desserts look nice, but are at least twice the price of a non-Kosher dessert. Cookies and candies seem to be a requirement for Passover dinner, but they can really cost the hosts a lot of unnecessary money. Homemade Passover dessert recipes are rich and delicious, cost much less to create and are sure to please everyone. In fact, most guests will enjoy a homemade Passover dessert more than the typical Kosher boxed variety everyone is so used to eating year after year. If serving Passover desserts to vegetarian guests, be sure to disclose whether or not eggs were used.
Use a fake shank bone on the Seder plate. The Seder plate that sits on the Passover table typically includes a shank bone that represents the sacrificial lamb. Unfortunately this symbolic gesture is not very vegetarian friendly and requires the purchase of an expensive piece of meat, lamb. Instead of a real bone, use a fake one or opt for some other type of representation. In addition to costing money, a real bone can be quite offensive to an animal lover, especially if it is sitting on the table during the meal. If you use the same fake lamb shank every year it can become part of the family’s Passover tradition and add a special touch to the holiday. Not to mention the money saved by recycling the same “bone” every year.