Grass? A ham-shaped brick of tofu? Maybe some lettuce…and more grass?
Not so. Vegans can enjoy Easter dinner with their families with some proper preparation or coaching of the cook. Here are some ideas for vegan friendly dishes that even the most staunch carnivore will enjoy.
The appetizer to share: Baba Ghanoush with vegetables and pita.
Baba Ghanoush is a delightful dip made of eggplant and tahini sauce. It can be purchased at most major grocery stores, but making it fresh at home is not only easy to do but easy on the wallet as well.
Elephant Journal provides this easy to follow recipe for Baba Ghanoush.
2 Large eggplant or 4 smaller
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 of a small white onion finely grated
2 fresh cloves of garlic finely grated
Juice of 1 lemon
1 heaping Tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise — found at the health food store
1/4 cup of tahini (optional)
1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
Dash of ground cumin
Dash of smoked sweet paprika
Hot sauce to taste (such as Sriracha)
Sea Salt and fresh, black pepper to taste
Rub the eggplant with an even coating of olive oil and use a broiler. Let the eggplant grill for a long time. Much longer than you think. Turn occasionally to char all sides of the eggplant. When they are finished they will look burnt, but that’s where the delicious smoky flavor comes from, just like with roasted peppers.
Cool your eggplants.
Split the eggplant down the middle and scrape out all of the roasted flesh. Discard the skin. Mash drained eggplant in a glass or ceramic bowl with a fork. Some prefer to make baba ghanoush in a food processor, which is fine. Add the remaining ingredients, continue to mash with the fork until evenly incorporated and taste for seasonings. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.
To serve, pile the baba ghanoush on a plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and the extra chopped parsley. Serve with warmed pita bread, chips, crackers, veggies or whatever you like. It also makes a succulent sandwich spread.
Main course — think of spring and lots of color! The Veg Kitchen suggests this amazing tofu scramble.
Spinach, broccoli and tomato tofu scramble:
14- to 16-ounce tub firm or extra-firm tofu
2 teaspoons olive oil or vegan buttery spread
1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
1 to 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, to taste
Pinch of turmeric
3 to 4 scallions, sliced
2 medium firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional but highly recommended
Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste, optional
3 to 4 ounces baby spinach
Minced fresh parsley and/or dill to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Drain the tofu well and cut into 6 slabs crosswise. Blot away the water.
Heat the oil in a medium-large skillet. Add the broccoli and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until bright green.
Cut the tofu into small dice and add to the skillet. Sprinkle in the curry powder and turmeric and stir until blended.
Add the scallions and tomatoes; continue to cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened and everything is well heated through. Stir in the optional nutritional yeast, and if you’d like a spicier scramble, some red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce.
Add the spinach, cover, and cook until wilted. Stir the spinach into the tofu mixture. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley or dill. Season with salt and pepper, and serve from the skillet.
Take this dish up a notch and toss in some vegan friend Tofurkey sausages.
You can’t have Easter dinner without a dessert. All Recipes provided this amazingly easy vegan chocolate cake.
Vegan Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease one loaf size baking pan.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water and mix until smooth.
Pour into the greased pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. High altitude — add a touch more flour.
That’s it! Three food items to bring to the Easter dinner table.
Want to learn more about the origins of Easter? Click here.