Pesach cookbook shuns the spuds

Viennese crunch

By Sybil Kaplan, Special to the Jewish Light 

The “No-Potato Passover” by Aviva Kanoff (BRIO Publishing, $29.99, available from or is “a journey of food, travel and color,” as the eclectic author demonstrates in writing it to “change the way we think about Passover food and to put an end to the cooking rut.”

Writing this as a challenge, she decided to have her cookbook be “an expression of artistic sensibilities.”

She introduces readers to spaghetti squash and quinoa as potential substitutes for potatoes and offers a wide variety of recipes using foods for Passover. There are 17 soups and salads, 18 side dishes, 11 meats, 15 poultry, 10 dairy and pareve entrees, and 12 desserts—83 recipes in all.

Colorful photographs are featured on every page; the ingredients are clearly written and the instructions are numbered. However, Kanoff missteps in not 

indicating whether a recipe is dairy, meat or pareve and there is no indication for how many people the recipes are made.

Among the recipes that give a different approach to Passover were: cabbage soup with matzoh meatballs, quinoa tabouleh, eggplant lasagna, honey-mustard schnitzel and chocolate chip biscotti.

One timesaver for several of the desserts is her use of Passover cake mixes.

Kanoff is an artist who gives painting lessons, a personal chef and a children’s author and illustrator. Her artistic ability shows in her interspersing of beautiful color photographs of the food with photographs from Havana, Prague, Jamaica, Italy, Croatia, England, Arizona, Israel and more.

It’s especially nice to know there is a new Passover cookbook on the market and hostesses will surely appreciate this as a seder gift for an “international culinary experience” with exotic cuisines.

Here are a few recipes from the cookbook.

Viennese crunch


  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup matzoh cake meal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put margarine in a bowl and beat on medium speed, adding sugar slowly until the mixture has a creamy texture. Add egg, coffee, cake meal, and salt.
  3. Spread mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, spreading them as they melt.
  5. Sprinkle nuts on top of chocolate.
  6. Cut into squares while warm. 

Cabbage soup with matzoh meatballs


  • 1 large diced onion
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 5 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp.  sugar
  • 4 diced tomatoes
  • 1 large chopped green cabbage
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cups tomato sauce

Ingredients for the Matzoh Meatballs:

  • ½ cup matzoh meal
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin


  1. Sauté onion and garlic in canola oil until brown.
  2. Add sugar and carmelize.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Let boil for 30 minutes then simmer.
  5. While the soup is boiling, mix all ingredients for the matzoh meatballs.
  6. Form into balls, then add the matzoh meatballs to the soup. Cook for 20 minutes. 

Reviewer’s note: this should be 6-8 servings

Coq au vin with saffron quinoa


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup water
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pour quinoa into a 9×13-inch pan.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and saffron.
  4. Pour water on top of quinoa and stir.
  5. Sprinkle mushrooms on top of quinoa.
  6. Rub chicken with paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil, place over quinoa in the pan.
  7. Pour wine on top of chicken.
  8. Cover and bake for 1 hour, then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through).

Reviewer’s note: This should be 4 servings