Review: Vegan Start Passover Cookbook

passover-vegan-chocolate-dessertI’ve been stressing about Passover cooking. My 18-year-old son became vegan a few months ago, and I’m afraid my usual menu plan might leave him hungry. Because of the prohibitions against seeds and legumes (kitniyot) in the Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish Passover tradition, vegan staples like lentils, beans and sesame are off the table.

Fortunately, my friend Rena Reich came to the rescue with the publication of her new cookbook, Vegan Start Passover Cookbook. You can read my interview with Rena from a few years ago.

The recipes in this vegan cookbook do not contain animal products such as eggs, dairy, fish, or meat. They also contain no seeds or legumes. Although many Ashkenazim today do eat quinoa, Rena decided to leave that out too. So these recipes will be acceptable to most Passover-observant guests you are likely to host.

Several of Rena’s recipes answered questions I have been asking myself. How can you make vegan matza balls (kneidlech) that won’t fall apart? What about kugels (vegetable pudding), mayonnaise, and matza brei (French toast made with matza)? Rena provides solutions, without eggs, for all of these.

Vegan Start Passover Cookbook includes a vegan Seder menu, with ideas for vegan substitutes for the egg and bone on the Seder plate. I found the recipes for soups, sides and salads to be similar to those throughout the year, since most vegetables are kosher for Passover. She bases the main course recipes on mushrooms, and potatoes, and other vegetables, like Mushroom Burgers, Gnocchi and Ratatouille. I suggest adding herbs to spice up some of the savory recipes.

Passover desserts create a special challenge for vegans, but Vegan Start Passover Cookbook does not disappoint! Choices include Apple Cake, Almond Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Torte, and Chocolate Truffles. The chocolate mousse contains a surprise ingredient.

Two specialty recipes that I definitely plan to try, or have my son try, are almond milk and mayonnaise. These high-priced items are expensive when ready-made, and often full of additives. Rena’s mayonnaise is based on oil and almond milk (or another vegan milk).

Rena has offered to give away 3 copies of the book to readers. Here are three ways to enter:

  1. For one entry: Leave a comment on this post.
  2. Earn two entries: Share this post publicly on your personal Facebook profile, and leave a comment below with your profile name.
  3. Earn two entries: Share this post on Twitter and leave a comment below with your user name.

Giveaway ends Sunday, March 22 Wednesday, March 25, and winners will be chosen at random.

Update: Congratulations to the winners, Rachel, Aviva and Yocheved! Thank you to all who entered. 

You can order Vegan Start Passover Cookbook for your Kindle via Amazon, or as a PDF directly from the website.

Want more recipes for both vegans and carnivores? Check out Passover Recipes and Cooking Techniques.


  1. This would be an awesome thing to win! Thanks for the entry!

  2. I would love to win a copy of this – So useful ESPECIALLY give all the traditional Pesach limitations! I’ll share this on FB too –
    –adina sherer

  3. hope to win

  4. Miriam Rudnick says

    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win this awesome looking cookbook!

  5. My son is allergic to dairy and eggs. This would be so helpful for pesach !!

  6. I would love to win!!!

  7. I would love to win!

  8. Sounds like an interesting cook book. I would really love it.

  9. Would love this…looking for a healthier way of eating, passover & year round!

  10. N Davidson says

    This would be amazing!!!

  11. I’d love to win! Thanks for the entry!

  12. Bia Klein says

    My son and daughter-in-law are vegans. Pesach is a nightmare. I’m desperate!

  13. Must share immediately with a vegan friend!

  14. CArol Labelson says

    The perfect cookbook for all the Passover guests allergic to eggs and seeds.

  15. Sounds great – I’m wondering what to give our vegetarian daughter and since we’re fleishig for most of yomtov, vegan foods will be ideal.

  16. my daughter has an egg and dairy allergy. Pesach is so difficult. This cookbook would be so helpful.

  17. Marna Becker says

    My husband has dietary needs that fit these criteria and I’m super excited to have a chance to win Rena’s book! Thanks for doing this giveaway 🙂

  18. Please enter us to win! And meanwhile can we see a sample recipe?

  19. Shared on Facebook!

  20. This sounds like a wonderful cookbook.

  21. Have mercy on my mother, she really needs this!

  22. Hope to win!
    -Ruth Kilner

  23. Shared on facebook.
    FB ID is ruth.kilner

  24. Tweeted too.

  25. Gill marks green says

    I would love to win this book, as my daughter is vegan too. Challenging days ahead! I shared on facebook

  26. This would be awesome to win!

  27. Looking forward to reading this cookbook

  28. My husband and I are vegan and I’d love to win this! Nothing beats a parve kitchen 🙂

  29. Gillian Kay says

    My daughter is vegetarian with vegan leanings and we don’t eat kitniyot, so this would be a great help.

    • Gillian Kay says

      My daughter is vegetarian with vegan leanings and we don’t eat kitniyot, so this would be a great help.
      (Shared on facebook and tweeted too)

  30. It is so hard to go through Passover with a limited and meat-free diet. Any help would be appreciated!!! Thanks for your compilation!

  31. I am a vegan with Celiac Disease, so this cookbook for Pesach would be super helpful. Thank you!

  32. Rivkah Adler says

    A vegetarian in my family is on an elimination diet – no eggs, no dairy – the timing of which coincides with Pesach. It would be great to have options from this cookbook.

  33. Vegan dining can save lives and prevent agony. I owe my life and the quality of my life to going organic vegetarian. I took on veganism after I understood how much more it can improve and protect human health. And I do book reviews!

  34. Sarah Bronson says

    I just recently decided to go vegan, and this book would be a life-saver! Pick me!

  35. oh this would be a great help for me, too! My nephew’s gone vegan and I wouldn’t want him to be stuck on side dishes only this seder… 🙂

  36. I extended the contest until Wednesday. Good luck, everyone!

  37. I’d love a chance to win this cookbook-sounds wonderful!

  38. Devorah Shaked says

    Your Passover cooking experiences, while meeting your needs as a vegan, has apparently led to good results. Most interested to see if many of your recipes would meet the needs of diet required for those who need to watch cholesterol levels. And the diet needs of those who can not eat gluten. Continued success in vegan cooking.

  39. I would love a copy of this vegan cookbook. Thanks.

  40. My email is all in lower caps but my keyboard won’t let me do it any other way right now, so as long as you know, just in case I win….but if I don’t win how much is your cookbook anyway? I think I would like to buy it since my two year old twins still cannot have dairy and my hubby is allergic to chicken and eggs so Pesach is basically meat and potatoes at night and jam on matza in the morning! B”H my kids are easy going about food! Pesach Samayach! Chava

  41. Deena Kleinman says

    Recipes sound awesome! Thx!

  42. As a vegan, I’d really really love to win!!

  43. The winners, picked via a random number generator ( are Rachel, Aviva, and Yocheved. I will let Rena know your email addresses and a copy of the ebook will be on its way!

    Thank you all for participating!

    If you didn’t win and would like to purchase the book, it’s available at

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