This year for Passover, I am preparing a completely vegan Seder, except for the matzoh ball soup (more about that below). This is a big deal for me – serving all Passover vegan Seder recipes to non vegan guests. I am a people pleaser and although I am loud and proud about my vegan lifestyle, I am can also be a bit insecure about shouting it out when it comes to entertaining. Over the last five years, I have made big strides towards hosting my guests with vegan meals and now only serve plant-based food to my guests. However, last year, I allowed a few friends to bring their own dishes to add to the Seder table…and those were not vegan. Chicken, brisket, and a few desserts and kugels complemented my carefully crafted vegan menu. I knew what I planned would be more than hearty and delicious to feed the carnivorous crowd, but I didn’t want to “deprive” anyone. I thought people would not want to come if they didn’t get their traditional favorites. So, I caved and said “yes” when people asked to bring meat and other non vegan dishes. They were trying to be helpful, I reasoned.
After a lovely Seder last year, my mom took me aside, showered me with compliments for an incredible meal and suggested that I go plant based altogether for next year’s Seder. “We didn’t need the meat with everything you cooked.” She was right, but I knew that already. I just didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Never mind that I was uncomfortable with all of the additional plates of animal flesh on my beautiful Seder table! This year, I have decided “to be the change” I always profess. I tell people that good food is good food no matter what it is, and that vegan food can be just as delicious as non (and more!). This year, I am proving it! I have planned a beautiful vegan meal and am breathing easy about it. When I shared the menu with some of my guests who wanted to help bring a dish or two, they lovingly agreed to make one of my vegan Passover Seder recipes or bring a vegan version of something on the menu. Read on for the menu.
Appetizers during the Seder
Matzoh Ball Soup (Read more about this below.)
Kale, Vegetable and Spelt Berry Salad (Candle 79 Cookbook)
Spring Vegetable Salad (Candle 79 Holiday Cookbook)
Main Course and Sides
A word about the matzoh ball soup. Last year, (finally!), I found the perfect matzah ball soup recipe (thank you, Mayim Bialik and your cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours). After 5 years, I have tasted many vegan matzah balls. These are hands-down my favorite! I am so confident about these balls that I was super excited to serve them to everyone at the Seder this year. But then, my husband piped in. He wanted to approve them. Now, I have to give him props for supporting the 100% vegan Seder. I met very little resistance when I proposed my plan. I think it took him less than 10 minutes to agree with little persuading, and he even suggested a Gardein main dish for the menu. Because of all that, I agreed to make a sample matzoh ball batch for him to judge. Unfortunately, he wasn’t convinced. At first, I was angry. Why couldn’t he have his matzoh balls on the 2nd night at his sister’s Seder? Why couldn’t he just eat these one night? I pouted. I was short with him. After about 10 minutes, he retreated and told me that if it meant that much to me, I could make them for the Seder. But then, I acknowledged that it meant that much to him to have the egg ones there.
With that realization, I compromised. I am making a batch of vegan balls, while a friend brings the non vegan balls. Baby steps. If I look at where we were 5 years ago, we have come so far. Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say, and my vegan Seder won’t be either, but this is the most aligned we have ever been in our vegan/omni marriage. I am so proud of how far we have come in our communication about my lifestyle and diet. This would have been a huge argument lasting days in the past. Instead, it was now a side conversation and a minor disagreement that was resolved in record time. With all of the delicious Passover vegan Seder recipes, my menu won’t be diminished by the other matzoh ball soup. Progress is being made! For more about how I navigate my omni/vegan marriage, be sure to check out my article in the Spring issue of Chickpea magazine, available now here.
What are you serving at your Passover Seder this year? Please share. I love adding recipes to my Passover Pinterest board.
Photos: worldofvegan.com, gardein.com, two-tarts.com, whatjewwannaeat.com, chocolatecoveredkatie.com, tasty-yummies.com, blog.sporkfoods.com