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Next Wednesday evening at Sundown the Jewish holiday of Passover begins. The holiday commemorates the  enslaved Jews of Egypt who, according to the bible, had to flea their homes so quickly on learning they were freed that they were forced to snatch their bread from their ovens without giving it a chance to rise. In remembrance of the Jews of Egypt, modern-day observers of Passover spend a week without eating bread, pasta, cereal, cookies, crackers, cake–anything that has been “leavened,” or caused to rise during cooking.

For me, the real doozy when it comes to observing Passover is giving up my morning bowl of oatmeal. Like Passover, I observe breakfast religiously, and giving up my leavened breakfasts–oatmeal, cereal, waffles, toast– is never easy.  If you observe Passover and find yourself falling flat (pun intended…) when it comes to breakfast ideas, or if you’re just in the mood to mix up your morning meal, check out my seven original ideas for unleavened (and nutritious!) breakfasts.

1. Land of Milk and Honey

Jazz up a slice of matzah–the traditional unleavened flat bread Jews eat on Passover–with a spread of cream cheese, a drizzle of honey, and a few raisins. This breakfast is a little sweet, a little savory, and quick to prepare if you’re in a rush! (Recipe inspired by my Sephardic Jewish suite mate)

2. Hot Potato

If you can’t imagine eating eggs without toast, try this nutritious and unleavened alternative!  Cut a small sweet potato in quarter inch slices and microwave for about 4 minutes, or until the potato is  soft.  Meanwhile, poach a couple of eggs. (If you’ve never poached an egg before, it’s easy and nutritious!  Boil a couple of inches of water in a pot with a teaspoon of vinegar.  Crack an egg into a bowl, keeping the yolk intact.  Slide the egg into the water and cook for 2-3 minutes–you want the white part to be firm but the yolk runny.  Remove with a slotted spoon and season with salt and pepper).  Mash the sweet potato slices with salt, pepper, a little milk and butter if you like, and for a real kick, some sweet paprika.  If you have the time, a little diced, sauteed onion goes great!  Drop the egg on top of the potatoes and pop the yolk with the back of your folk so it drizzles down the potato mountain.  Mmmmm.

3. For a Smooth Morning

Everyone has their favorite smoothie recipe… here’s mine.  Combine one banana, a cup of vanilla yogurt, ice, a handful of frozen raspberries, and a cup of orange juice.  Blend away, and feel free to improvise, as long as the ingredients are unleavened!

4. Sweet Matzah Brie

Matzah brie, or fried matzah, is a Passover favorite.  I have two versions on my top seven countdown.  Here’s the first one: Break two boards of matzah into palm sized pieces and soak for a few minutes in a bowl of water.  Meanwhile, scramble two eggs in a large bowl bowl; add half a cup of milk, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and a dribble of honey. Mix well. Drain the matzah and add to the egg mixture.  Let the matzah sit in the egg mixture while you heat a frying pan with butter.  Add the matzah mix to the pan and scramble like eggs!  Serve with maple syrup or jam.

5. Savory Matzah Brie.

Like above, soak your pieces of matzah in water for a few minutes, then drain.  While it’s soaking, dice a small white onion and sautee in a hot pan with oil or cooking spray.  For the egg mixture, scramble two large eggs; add salt, pepper, and a dash of cumin or curry powder for some spice.  Add the matzah and egg mixture to the pan of onions and scramble.  Serve straight or with some plain yogurt or sour cream.

6. Israeli Breakfast

If you can handle salt in the morning, try this delicious and authentic meal.  Make a traditional Israeli salad, with one vine ripe tomato, diced, half a sweet red onion, diced, and half a large cucumber, peeled and diced.  Dress with the juice of one lemon and two teaspons of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and let marinate for a few minutes.  Serve with a board of matzah and a scoop of plain yogurt or some sprinkled feta cheese.

7. Egg McMatzah

Sprinkle some low fat shredded mozerella on a board of matzah and toast in the toaster oven until the cheese melts.  Scramble an egg or two in a pan and slice a tomato while you’re matzah is toasting.  Spread the scrambled eggs and slices of tomato onto the cheesy matzah.  Eat open face or break in half and make an unleavened breakfast sandwhich!

Regardless of if you observe Passover or not, these 7 Unleavened breakfasts are delicious and nutritious year-round.  Enjoy, and be sure to post comments with your favorite Passover breakfast recipes!

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