What could be trickier than vegan Easter? I mean, really. It's about eggs and junk food, and honors imaginary animals while it feasts upon real ones. Strange. But isn't there something lovely about it too? I loved the frilly pastel dresses and silk gloves my grandmother would find for me when I was a girl. I loved the thrill of rummaging through nature looking for her treasures, spring suddenly brimming over with possibility. I want that for my own son. But it needs, ah hem, just the tiniest bit of tweaking.
Since Eben is creeping up on two, I stressed about this for days. It's the Spring Equinox, after all. I love that! And the pagan roots of Easter are kind of awesome—goddesses, fertility, life and birth—all ideas I can get behind. But how could I embrace all of this in a way that reinforces our veggie values? After hours of research and some quick creative thinking, I hatched our Easter plan. (Prepare yourself for an endless series of excruciating Easter-time puns.) Here's to sharing it with you, oh vegan community.
1.) A handcrafted fair trade basket. There are a zillion responsible merchants who sell these. I've chosen one from our local food co-op. The artisan who made it receives a good wage, and our wee one gets a gorgeous, well made, and enchanting little basket that will stand the test of time. One day he'll be able to give it to a child in his life. That's some bad ass basket weaving.
2.) Embrace egg alternatives for dying and discovering. You don't have to deny your little explorers the fun of the hunt. I'm wild about Eggnots. They're dyable ceramic Easter eggs that were originally created for kids with food allergies, but lend themselves perfectly to vegan Easter festivities. You can even re-dye them from year to year using the company's dyes, or make your own paints or coloring at home that is natural and food-based. The possibilities are endless.
Want to fill hollow eggs with treats for the kiddos, but shun plastic? Me too. But I've discovered the most gorgeous handmade hollow wooden eggs that can be painted and filled with food from your local bulk bins. The pricetag's a little intimidating, but you won't need many, they'll last forever, and you won't have to risk salmonella over them. Totally worth it.
Want to do something frugal and creative? Go heart-felt. I adore this DIY design for felt made hollow Easter eggs you can create at home with the kids. And most craft felts these days are synthetic, so I'm not pulling the wool over your eyes here (wink wink).
3.) Feast on, foodies. Never fear! Holiday vegan sweets are no sweat. It's incredible just how creative vegan chefs are. Want to impress the in-laws? Make some adorable cruelty free macaroons that'll make 'em swoon. The kids will love it, especially if you let them in on the cooking action. I love vegan goddess Chocolate Covered Katie's adorable recipe for Coconut Cookie Chicks, these too-cute Vegan Easter Nest Cupcakes, and the recipes for Scrumptious Vegan Easter Chocolates at craftfoxes.com.
And what about brunch? Check out this gorgeous and deliciously festive "Happy Easter Smoothie" recipe from lunchboxbunch.com. It just looks healthy and happy. Ah, but they're expecting quiche, right? Well who needs all that cholesterol when tofu can be super sexy? Eggless Brunch is easier than you think. I'm talking roasted potatoes and Tofu Fritatta here, along-side some toasted baguette, flirting shamelessly with a gorgeous bowl of beautiful ripe fruit. Something about frittata just feels so quiche-esque and Eastery. Here's how I like to make it at home:
Mushroom Arugala Fritatta
- 4 cups arugula, chopped & sautéed
- ½ c. sautéed Crimini Mushroom
- Approximately1/8 cup grapeseed or other high heat oil
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
- One pound extra firm or firm tofu
- 2 1/4 Tablespoons oregano
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon tamari or other low-sodium soy sauce
- Salt & pepper, to taste
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.) In a large heavy frying pan, (cast iron works great) sautee the garlic over medium-low heat until it is a light golden brown color. Stir often, careful not to let it burn or stick.
3.) Add in the green onion, mushroom and grapeseed oil. Sautee for about 2-3 minutes until the arugula is thoroughly wilted.
4.) Remove excess water from tofu by wringing it out a bit over the sink and/or onto a kitchen towel. Crumble it into a large bowl until it takes on the consistency of finely mixed scrambled eggs or ricotta. Now add in your seasonings, Dijon, and tamari. Stir well to incorporate flavor.
5.) Drain excess water/oil from your mushroom arugula mix and add the mix to your tofu. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6.) Firmly press this mixture into a lightly greased pie plate. Bake for 25 minutes, until your frittata has firmed up and the top is lightly brown.
7.) Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
And absolutely, don't forget Isa Chandra's incredible Devlish Potatoes. These amazing treats are reminiscent of the Deviled Eggs your grandmother made-- only (dare I say it?) a million times more awesome? It's true! Don't miss them!
Ultimately, spring is a re-birth to things that are ancient. What a beautiful time to re-create tradition in the image of our own evolution. What a perfect season to let compassion bloom. After all, I think that this lifestyle is about embracing and welcoming newness, not attacking the thoughts and beliefs of others. Engaging in that kind of behavior only alienates folks. I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in celebrating beauty wherever we can find it, even if that means working toward putting a sustainable spin on classic American tradition. Cheers to spring sunshine everyone—I hope you can take time out for the tulips.