Real Life Pesach Cooking Review: Pesach Food Everyone Can And Will Want To Eat

Sima Kazarnovsky April 20, 2024

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I was super excited to get Miriam (Pascal) Cohen’s new cookbook, Real Life Pesach Cooking. And that’s because good food is good food, regardless of the time of year. While all the recipes are devoid of wheat flour and instead include potato starch, almond flour, and tapioca starch, they are still completely original in their flavor profile.

Flipping through the beautifully photographed cookbook, you are privy to elegant images of recipes like white wine scalloped potato, silan brussels sprouts with toasted pistachio, and pulled beef sliders with matza balls as the bun. This cookbook combines ingenuity, style, and insane flavor. And of course, if you are gluten free year-round, this cookbook is gold. That’s right, every recipe is either gluten free or offers a gluten free adaptation.

Adaptation is something Miriam highlights in the special “Minhag modification” section, by the way, with notes on how to adjust recipes for various Pesach food customs.

Skimming the recipes, I gravitated toward the pastrami flatbread right away. An all-purpose Pesach dough? Meat pizza? I was intrigued.

 Well, the dough was a delight to make. It came together in seconds by simply throwing all the ingredients together in one bowl. The result was a beautifully smooth and sticky mass. I followed Miriam’s advice and spread it out on a baking sheet between two pieces of parchment paper to make the process easier. It worked seamlessly, and in less than a half hour, I had a beautiful crusty flatbread ready to be enjoyed! For Pesach, no less!

Now let’s discuss the pastrami. Incredibly addicting, you might find yourself eating that stuff straight from the pan. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and savory with smothered onions in each bite. Pair that with a creamy mayo base and a flatbread crust, and it’s the quintessential bite- the flawless combination of texture and popping flavor.  When I cut myself a slice, the crust upheld its structure, unlike many other alternative pizza crusts (I’m looking at you, cauliflower). It also presents so elegantly, the pastrami a striking jewel color.

Next, I needed to try the almond butter chocolate chip muffins. I am a pastry person. I love a good cake or cookie with my coffee, and I tend to have more than one coffee a day. The whole potato starchy, eggy, Pesach cakes never really do it for me. So, when I saw this recipe with almond butter and a mixture of almond flour and potato starch, I decided to go for it. I am so happy I did. The texture is just as a muffin should be; airy, but with a moist and dense crumb. And it seems like I wasn’t the only one impressed. After leaving these on my mother’s kitchen table, they were quickly snatched up by my husband, brother, father, and brother-in-law. It is important to note that this occurred before the need to eat wheat free muffins. And yet, it didn’t seem to stop them.

I love that Miriam writes Plan Ahead information for each recipe on how to make in advance or freeze. And the cookbook includes a genius section on what to eat while traveling on Chol Hamoed, which we all know is a whole different ball game to the more sophisticated meals we like to put together in honor of Yom Tov and Shabbat.

Miriam’s ideas are all so unique, and the pictures of all the foods had me salivating. As I looked through the whole cookbook, from apps to fish to chicken to dessert, I was itching for an excuse to turn the page to a new recipe. The great news is, Pesach is not my only opportunity. With dishes that are tempting for any day of the year, there is no question that I will be revisiting this cookbook on more than one occasion.

Honey BBQ Pastrami Flatbread

Meat pizzas are such a popular addition to the kosher food world, and there’s no reason not to enjoy them on Pesach as well, thanks to my Pesach dough recipe! 

Note that you will need only 1/2 a batch of the dough for the pizza.

Multipurpose Pesach Dough:

I’m not usually a fan of creating Pesach versions of all the year-round favorites, but I decided that I must include this dough recipe to be used in different forms. Mostly, I did it for people with picky eaters in the family, who struggle on Pesach as they miss their favorites. But as I made batch after batch of this multipurpose dough, perfecting it (with over 15 batches total!), I realized just how much we all enjoyed the delicious options it provides!

Yield varies, see below


2 cups almond flour

1 and 3/4 cups potato starch

1 and 3/4 cups tapioca starch

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons sugar, optional

1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup water

5 eggs


Prepare the Dough:

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, salt, and sugar (if using) until no clumps remain.

2. Add oil, water, and eggs. Mix by hand to form a dough. At first it will feel somewhat sticky, but keep mixing until you feel no lumps and a smooth dough forms.

3. Bake according to instructions below. If not baking the dough right away, cover it with plastic wrap so it does not form a crust.

Baking Directions:

For Pizza or Flatbread:

Bake per instructions on page 18. Yields 2 pizza crusts.

For Rolls:

Fill greased muffin pans two-thirds with dough. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, until set. Yields 10-12 rolls.

For Sandwich Bread:

Place about three-quarters of the dough into a greased loaf pan; cut a slit through the center of the dough. Bake for about 50 minutes, until lightly golden and baked through. Use remaining dough to make one of the other options listed. Yields 1 loaf.

For Franks ‘n Blanks and Potato Knishes:

Bake according to instructions on page 12. Yield varies based on size.

Plan Ahead:

Items made with this dough can be frozen in an airtight container or bag.

Honey BBQ Pastrami Flatbread

Meat pizzas are such a popular addition to the kosher food world, and there’s no reason not to enjoy them on Pesach as well, thanks to my Pesach dough recipe! 

Yield: 6-8 servings

Pastrami Topping:

2 tablespoons oil

1 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

12 ounces deli pastrami, diced

1/2 cup BBQ sauce, homemade or store-bought

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder


1/2 batch Multipurpose Pesach Dough

1/2 cup mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought

Secret Sauce or Sweet Horseradish (recipes in the cookbook), optional for drizzling,


Prepare the pastrami topping: 

1. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add onion and salt; cook, stirring often, for about five minutes, until onion has softened. 

2. Reduce heat to medium low. Add garlic and pastrami. Continue to cook for another five minutes.

3. Add BBQ sauce, honey, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to combine. Cook for an additional two to three minutes, for flavors to meld. Set aside to cool. 

Prepare the pizza: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

2. Spread dough in a thin layer on prepared baking sheet, to cover most of the pan. (It’s easiest to roll the dough between two layers of parchment paper.) 

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; spread mayonnaise over the surface. Top with prepared pastrami mixture. Return to oven; bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy. 

4. If desired, drizzle sauce or dip over flatbread before serving. 

Plan Ahead:

This flatbread can be frozen, well wrapped, until ready to serve. Rewarm, loosely covered, until heated through.


You can bake the rest of the dough as directed on page 270, or you can use the other half to make a pulled beef pizza, using the Pulled Beef recipe on page 14. 


Use this pastrami mixture to top Doughless Potato Knishes (recipe in the cookbook) for a pretty plated appetizer.

Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Muffins

Ever have one of those recipes that when you serve it to someone, you just know that they’re going to ask for the recipe? That’s this recipe, for me. I originally made it four or five years ago, and have since shared these muffins with family and friends. What did each of these muffin exchanges have in common, you might ask? 

Every. Single. Person. asked me for the recipe. That’s right. 100% success rate!

Yield about 2 dozen muffins


1 cup oil

6 eggs

1 cup almond butter, homemade or store-bought

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1 cup potato starch

2 cups almond flour

1 (9 ounce) bag chocolate chips, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat oil, eggs, and almond butter for a few minutes, until fluffy.

3. Add baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, salt, brown sugar, and sugar. Beat to combine.

4. Add potato starch and almond flour; beat lightly just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.

5. Pour batter into prepared muffin pans, filling each one about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops are set. Enjoy!

Plan ahead: Muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or bag. 

Variation: Instead of chocolate chips, stir in one and 1/2 cups blueberries or frozen blueberries. Increase baking time by about five minutes.

Recipes and images are reproduced from Real Life Pesach Cooking by Miriam (Pascal) Cohen with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD.