Thursday, April 21, 2011

Four Vegan Easter Recipes

I love Easter. I love the biblical story of Easter- the miracle of Resurrection. It doesn't matter what your personal beliefs are about the actual holiday: Easter is a time of renewal. I like to think of it as the official doorway to Spring. We finally begin to see green grass, flowers in bloom, and the sights and sounds of life after a long, hard winter. Easter is the season of hope and the promise of better, warmer, happier days. We color eggs, fill baskets with treats and prizes and gather together with family and friends. And of course, we eat. Our tables are covered with all kinds of goodies: homemade bread, traditional Italian grain pies, cold meat pies, roast lamb, lasagna. And don't forget the chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow chicks, and those irresistible Cadbury Creme eggs.

Every Easter Sunday,  my mom prepares a feast. She serves her delicious homemade lasagna. It must weight at least ten pounds. We sit, we eat, we laugh, we enjoy our time together. After literally gorging ourselves for  hours, we are stuffed, lethargic and bloated. We swear we will never eat again!

This is my first Easter as a full-fledged Vegan. I no longer eat any animal products, including cheese. This means that ten pound lasagna oozing with ricotta and mozzarella is a big no-no! Of course, no one in my family is going to understand this. In order to avoid arguments at the dinner table, I will allow Dad to slide a small square of that offending food on to my plate. I will sit there, push it around on my dish and when no one is watching, most of it will miraculously end up on my boyfriend's plate. I will feed the rest to the dog. My mother's dog is a smart little fellow. At every holiday dinner he parks himself at my side, rests his furry head on my leg and looks up at me with those big brown eyes. He knows I can't resist him or say no. My Vegan/Vegetarian lifestyle is the best thing that ever happened to him.

You might think I am a complete pushover. I should stand firm in my beliefs and my personal choices regarding meat and animal products. Usually, I do, but not this year.  I have my reasons.  And yes, I know I shouldn't be feeding the dog table food. But it's a holiday and I hate arguing on holidays. The subject of my eating habits always comes up at the dinner table each time I refuse a slice of ham, a chicken wing, or a meatball. 

Here is my logic: right or wrong. My mom is Italian and loves to cook. She  puts time, effort and love into the preparation of her lasagna and everything that goes along with it . Over the years, she has converted her delicious meat-flavored tomato sauce to a marinara sauce and much to everyone's disappointment, no longer adds that layer of chopmeat or sausage to her lasagna recipe. All for the sake of her Vegetarian daughter.  I appreciate the effort and sacrifice on my behalf.  My family doesn't get it. They don't get it at all and I know they will never understand if I refuse a piece of lasagna this year.  My refusal will escalate into a heated discussion. My dad is currently battling colorectal cancer. This very well could be his last holiday with us. I don't want to spend it arguing or defending myself. So go ahead and serve me a nice big piece of that lasagna and I'll figure out what to do with it from there.

If dinner was at my house this year, I would be serving a Vegan meal.  My family would have no choice but to eat it and I am sure they would enjoy it.  Vegan lasagna is absoutely delicious. But until my mother is too old to host family holidays and passes the baton to her daughter, it is what it is and I will make the best of the situation.  Of course I need to eat something, so I will be contributing a few of my own special Vegan dishes to the family table. I've spent some time searching for recipes to bring to dinner that everyone will enjoy. I was delighted when I found these Four Vegan Easter recipes. I would like to share them with you.

Vegan Easter Menu

However you choose to celebrate this coming holiday, I wish you peace and love. I hope you embrace the promise of new life and allow it to take root in your heart and soul. Feed it, water it, and share it with others.

And this is my Daily Cyn......

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