My husband Rob and I are like polar opposites when it comes to our backgrounds. I am Jewish and I have a mostly Polish/Eastern European background. Rob is Catholic and he is half Burmese and half Scottish.
Our daughters, Leilani, 3 and Malia, 9 months are a cultural smoothie and because of their names and interesting features, they are often mistaken for being Hawaiian. One thing that Rob and I do have in common is that we both are not religious but we do love fun! So when it comes to religious holidays, it is always a blast!
This year, Easter and Passover happen to coincide at the same time! We will be having our own vegan Seder at home this year on the first night and attending a Passover Seder on the second night with my extended family. Oy vey are we going to accumulate some serious schmaltz by the end of this weekend!
For a vegan Passover
Matzo Ball soup is a Passover favorite. At home we usually make matzo ball soup using silken tofu instead of egg and a vegetable stock for the soup base. This is usually not kosher for Passover but we still eat Chametz at home; we more just do the Seder for the tradition. You can visit your local kosher store though and look for kosher for Passover vegetarian chicken style stock which is what my relatives use for us when we have a Seder, and for the matzo balls, which are usually omitted because of the eggs, you can perhaps try a vegan substitute such as the Vegg, or more standard substitutes, such as potato – I will get back to you on the results of that one!
As the traditional Seder plate contain animal products, we are making our own Seder tradition based on the ideas I found at Veg News’ Vegan Passover Guide. I Love the idea of using avocado or eggplant instead of an egg and a beet instead of a bone!
We will also be hiding an afikoman (which is a piece of matzo) for Leilani to find and her reward when she finds it will be a little cuddly toy animal (she LOVES stuffed animals!) Malia is a little bit too young to look for afikoman and I think she will be in bed before dinner is over anyway!
Main course for the Seder will be roast pumpkin Quinoa (Yes, Quinoa is KLP!) with a colourful salad and roasted root vegetables (potato, sweet potato, carrot ). And for dessert, because we LOVE dessert we are going to have two: Apple and blackberry crumble with a matzo meal topping and chocolate mousse.
For second night Passover at my cousin’s house, aside from matzo-ball omitted soup, we usually have lots of matzo with avocado, charoset, salads and roast vegies!
For a vegan Easter
Easter Sunday is traditionally spent with Rob’s family feasting away and gorging on chocolate! The last couple of years we have made Easter Bunny footprints from the front door to the kitchen leading to a basket filled with Sweet William chocolate easter bunnies. We then went on to eat chocolate chip and cherry pancakes for breakfast. This year we are also going to a friend’s house for the kids to partake in a vegan Easter Egg hunt. There is SO much vegan chocolate available these days that I am loosening my pants just thinking about it!
Easter Sunday lunch at the in-laws is usually done the Burmese way with a lot of curry! We usually get dhal with potatoes and saffron rice and all kinds of salads. Then it is dessert galore with chocolate cake and ice cream. Then we all roll home!
Being a mixed family as well as being vegan is so enriching! We get to experience the best of all the holidays in an ethical manner, staying true to our core beliefs while having fun! It is entirely possible to veganise any holiday – it just may take experimentation and a little research! We miss out on nothing, we enjoy ourselves fully!
Hag Sameach and Happy Easter to all!
Cover image: Shutterstock. Modification: TVW