Vegan Passover

This will be the fourth year we do a vegan Seder. I have honed our menu over the years and have taken great joy in veganizing many of the main dishes I grew up eating at Passover.

Passover can be a challenging holiday for vegans. Many recipes call for an inordinate amount of eggs. Additionally, many Jews of Ashkenazic decent forego the eating of kinyot (items like beans, rice and other legumes that "rise.")

There are three key components to a Passover Seder food-wise. The Seder plate contains the various symbols that are used to tell the story of our liberation from Egypt. Additionally, there are foods you eat during the course of the Seder before the sulchan orech or "festive meal."

Vegan Seder plate

  • Matzah - The bread of affliction we eat to remember that there was no time to allow our bread to rise when we escaped from Egypt;
  • Charoset - A mixture of apples and nuts and wine that resembles the mortar used by the Israelites in slavery;
  • Karpas - Parsley to symbolize spring and re-birth;
  • Fresh Beet - In place of lamb shank bone, which symbolizes the blood placed on the door of Israelite homes to spare their first born children. This way we are using the "blood" of the earth;
  • Maror - Bitter herb, like horseradish, to remind us of the pain and suffering of bondage;
  • Beitzah - Traditionally an egg, replaced with a small flower to symbolize spring and;
  • An Orange -"There's as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the seder plate."
This is an interesting story, and it is different than how we all think it happened! From the article by Anita Silvert, The symbolism grew to include people who feel marginalized from the Jewish community: the widow, the orphan, women's issues in general, but solidarity with the gay and lesbian Jewish community was at the core. It wasn't a navel orange; it had to have seeds to symbolize rebirth, renewal. And spitting out the seeds reminds us to spit out the hatred and ostracization of homosexuals in our community, and others who feel prejudice's sting.  The orange is segmented, not fragmented. Our community has discrete segments, but they form a whole."

Dinner - find these recipes in separate blog posts here:

Chopped "liver"
Ashkenazi Charoset
Sephardic Charoset
Matzah ball soup
Matzah/Spinach kugel
Apricot quinoa pilaf
Potato kugel