Susie Fishbein


Susie Fishbein says that during Passover, people are not celebrating the food, but the togetherness of families.


And why not celebrate by spicing up your traditional matzo meal?

The kosher food expert has just come out with her new cookbook Kosher by Design-Short on Time, Fabulous Food Faster just in time for Passover.

“Being a working mom with four kids makes me short on time. I’m travelling around the country and hearing from people ‘give us something faster’ because most people don’t have the time to cook but they don’t want to (short-change) their families,” Fishbein says.

During Passover, Jews cannot eat anything that is leaven – in other words, no foods with yeast, baking powder or any other substance that would cause fermentation and the expansion of dough.

Just as important, Jews are forbidden to eat anything that has chametz (fermented grain products such as bread, cake, pasta and cookies.)

Instead, they eat matzo, a flat, crispy unleavened bread that doesn’t rise – much like a cracker.

Rabbi Spalter, at the Lubavitch Youth Organization in Thornhill, says that during the seder, a ritual that takes place on the first and second nights of Passover, Jews should eat bitter herbs. “It reminds us of the bitterness of how the slaves suffered in Egypt. We eat matzo because when the Jews were leaving Egypt they left in a rush and didn’t have time to allow the dough to rise so they baked their crackers.”

However, Fishbein still wants people to eat well during Passover, even though they are not allowed to eat leaven bread. One of her easy-to-cook recipes is a salmon primavera with tomatoes, zucchini and squash. “It is a gorgeous, colourful food for spring,” she says, adding that it only takes 10 minutes to prepare.

Other mouth-watering dishes include tomato basil chicken, potato-crusted snapper with mushroom sauce and whole grain matzo pilaf, which makes a healthy side dish.

If, however, you are looking for a more upscale dinner, Fishbein suggests a braised rib roast with tomatoes, which make a beautiful counter piece. Asparagus and horseradish are perfect light side dishes to finish off the evening.

Salmon Primavera


  • 3 pounds Wild Pacific or Sockeye Salmon fillet

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Creamy horseradish sauce with dill

  • 1 small zucchini, with skin, thinly sliced

  • 1 small yellow squash, with skin, thinly sliced

  • 2 Roma or plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup of whole grain matzo meal

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

  2. Season the salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Brush an even thick coating of the horseradish sauce with dill all over the salmon.

  3. Place the salmon on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Place the fish horizontally in front of you. Starting at the left end of the fillet, lay a column of overlapping slices of the zucchini. On the next row, lay a column of overlapping slices of the squash; they should be overlapping the zucchini a bit as well. On the next row, lay a column of overlapping slices of tomatoes -- they should slightly overlap on the squash. Begin again with the zucchini, followed by the squash and the tomato. Continue until the whole fillet is covered.

  4. In a small bowl, mix the matzo meal, dill and olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the vegetables.

  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove one of the vegetables in the thickest part of the fillet and test to make sure the fish is done and then cover it back up with the vegetable.

  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.