Holidays can be difficult to navigate as a vegan, especially if the majority of people at your celebrations are omnivores. So many of the big holidays revolve around a meal where meat is the featured dish, and Easter is no exception. With a little creativity and planning, you can take part in all the traditions, and the feast, without compromising your vegan values!
Eggs are a huge part of Easter, but vegan kids don’t have to miss out on the fun of dyeing, decorating and hunting for Easter eggs. These recyclable plastic eggs are inexpensive, and a package of a dozen eggs with non toxic dye can be ordered on Amazon. Easter candy is another integral part of the holiday, and there are so many great vegan Easter candies out there. Check out this Vegan Easter Candy guide from Spoon University for ideas. Many of these candies are available at your nearest Wegmans, and no one is going to miss out on their Easter morning sugar high with a basket stuffed full of these treats!
Whether your family tradition is Easter brunch or Easter dinner (or both) there are so many great options for delicious and healthy holiday feasts. All those Easter eggs feature prominently in many Easter brunch menus, but you can enjoy so many vegan twists on egg-based dishes. Chickpea flour can be used in place of eggs for fabulous and fluffy omelets and frittatas, either chickpea flour or tofu can be used to create an awesome quiche, and tofu (with a pinch of kala namak salt) or Just Egg both make wonderful scrambles. Our Easter brunch consisted of breakfast tacos stuffed with Just Egg scrambled with Don’t Be a Piggy sausage and potatoes, topped with avocados and Tofutti sour cream (and some fabulous vegan half moon cookies and cupcakes from Half Moon Bakery in Jamesville.)
Traditionally, Easter dinner is very meat-heavy, with ham and lamb taking center stage. There is really no meal that can’t be veganized (as shown by the Shannons in their Betty Crocker Project blog, and their Betty Goes Vegan cookbook) so if you want vegan ham or lamb, you can buy or make those dishes.
This year, we were invited to Easter dinner at a family friend’s home. We knew there would be ham, stuffing and buttery potatoes that we couldn’t eat, but we offered to bring a few dishes to share. Instead of traditional American Easter dishes, we looked to the cuisine of Greece for our Easter dinner menu. We made a spinach, sundried tomato and tofu feta pie wrapped in phyllo dough, and Greek Easter shortbread cookies flavored with vanilla, lemon and cognac. (We also had a plethora of rainbow carrots from our recent Misfits Market delivery, so found a recipe for a delicious French Carrot Salad with a Dijon dressing, to add some more color and nutrition to our holiday feast.) We brought our dishes and were pleased to watch our omnivorous friends devour first and second helpings of them, and rave about how good our food was!
Yes, holidays can be difficult to navigate as a vegan (especially the first holidays after you become vegan) but with some planning and thought, you can enjoy old traditions, create new traditions, and make wonderful memories of your kind and compassionate celebrations. Happiness and peace to you and your family this Easter!