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Putting the Pace in Pesach

Styling and photography by Sara Goldstein

In my last article, we explored a new mindset around food. As the most basic and frequent physical pleasure, eating is an opportunity to train ourselves to elevate the mundane into an act of serving Hashem. We do that by first wanting the food and then channeling that want to enjoy it when, where, and how the Torah allows us to. The outcome is a composed and dignified attitude toward eating, where it isn’t willpower that dictates our choices, but an appreciation for our role and responsibility as an ovedes Hashem.

Soul Food

While even regular eating can become a spiritual act, Rav Tzadok Hakohen teaches that because the seudos of Yom Tov are seudos mitzvah, they don’t just satisfy and support our physical bodies, they satisfy and support our nefesh.

The seudos of Pesach add another layer of spiritual opportunity. The Sfas Emes writes that Pesach derives its name from the term “peh sach,” a mouth that speaks. Until leaving Mitzrayim, Bnei Yisrael were ruled by the framework of physicality. Freeing us from the shackles of slavery and taking us as His own, Hashem elevated us beyond the realm of nature. We became spiritual beings who have the “power of the mouth” — the ability to sing Hashem’s praises.

We’re so much more than physical beings. And our seudos are so much more than physical meals. The seudos of Pesach are a chance to elevate our peh — our mouth that’s free to praise Hashem, tell the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim, drink the Arba Kosos, and eat matzah and maror — by transforming them into nourishment for our souls.

The Three P’s of Pesach

Practically, an elevated meal has three ingredients: pleasure, pacing, and pausing.

Pleasure: Yom Tov food should be beautiful and delicious! Elevating the physical begins with wanting it. Savoring the pleasures Hashem gave us enables us to thank Him from a deeper place.

Pacing: Dignified Torah eating calls for leaving a meal before you feel too full to move. We want to enjoy our food but only to the point that we feel comfortably satisfied.

Pausing: In order to pace ourselves, it’s really important to pause between portions. That pause affords us the time we need to connect with our higher selves and make a mindful choice between continuing to eat and taking a break.

Getting Practical

While the pleasure part is surely taken care of (thanks, Family Table!), let’s take a look at some tips for pacing and pausing.

Appraise your appetite. Coming into the meal starving can make it hard to notice how full you’re getting. If you find yourself overeating often, consider having something small in the morning that takes the edge off your hunger without ruining your appetite.

Calculate the courses. When you know you’ll be having two to four courses, think ahead. Having a little less at each course lets you enjoy them all without getting overfull.

Prioritize your preferences. The many options we make to accommodate our families’ different preferences can fill plates fast! Either choose your favorites or take smaller tastes of more variety.

Balance the bounty. Try to include some lighter dishes in your menu so you can fill up a festive plate with balanced options. (If your freezer is already packed with meats and kugels, check out the stir-fry on the next page — it’s so easy, you can even make it on Yom Tov to lighten up your menu!)

When we employ a more mindful way of eating, we’re not just supporting our bodies, we’re supporting our nefesh. As you sit down to each meal this Pesach, remind yourself of the incredible opportunity you have to elevate your peh through a seudah that nourishes the soul.

Wishing you a chag kosher v’samei’ach,

Rorie Recommends: Heaven & Earth’s Coconut Aminos: Kosher for Pesach!

I use coconut aminos all year round. It’s a lower-sodium, gluten- and soy-free alternative to tamari and soy sauce, and I rely on it for adding umami flavor to everything from marinades to roasted veggie dishes. Until now, there were no KFP-certified coconut aminos on the market. But this year, Heaven & Earth’s new KFP coconut aminos has opened the door to almost all my year-round recipes! Not only is it kosher for Pesach, but it’s also rich and flavorful, unlike some of the runnier options out there. If you have my cookbook Food You Love, flip through it. You’ll be amazed at the possibilities. Let me know which you try!


Easy Pesach Veggie Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is one of my favorite ways to add color, crunch, and flavor to Pesach meals. There are so many great combos of veggies to choose from, so you can adjust this stir-fry based on your family’s minhagim and preferences. If you already planned your menu and want to add some lighter options, you can easily make this on Yom Tov.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 8–10 oz (225–280 g) fresh broccolini or frozen and thawed broccoli
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, cut into strip
  • ½ of the thicker part of a carrot, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  • scallions, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms; sauté until browned and most of the liquid has cooked off.

Add broccolini or broccoli; stir-fry for 4 minutes, tossing every minute. Add bell peppers and carrot. Sauté for 3–4 minutes until veggies are almost tender.

Add coconut aminos and honey, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for another 2 minutes.

Top with scallions, if desired.


Rorie Weisberg, CHC, is the author of the newly released cookbook Food You Love: That Loves You Back. Her passion? Making a healthy lifestyle doable and delicious, favorite foods included. Rorie is the health ambassador of Kosher.com, a popular health columnist and lecturer, and founder and CEO of Full ’N Free, LLC, an exclusive line of better-for-you baking essentials. To learn more about Rorie’s story, product line, courses, and live demos, visit www.fullnfree.com.

All statements are suggestive only. Please consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 890)

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