Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Mini Egg-Free Easter. Whaaaaat?

Week the Thirteenth brought with it a unique challenge...my first vegan Easter.

Yah. The term Vegan Easter would have been an oxymoron for me three months ago. No Easter eggs? No Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs? No Polish sausage in the Easter basket to take to church for blessing?

Does not compute.

But that was three months ago. This Easter was a Very Vegan Easter for me. And it totally computed.

Before getting into that, though, a quick rundown of Kind Diet meal experiences for Week the Thirteenth...

Monday 13.0: Seitan Piccata with White Wine and Capers (p. 156) / Rustic Pasta (p. 147)

Not gonna lie...seitan does not look particularly appetizing coming out of the package, but lightly fried up and covered with white wine sauce and served with Rustic Pasta, it's pretty dang good.

The seitan itself is soft in texture and mellow in flavour.

 The white wine sauce took a while to get used to. My mom joined Rob and me for dinner, and none of us were totally on board with the first bite...it was very tangy and definitely not a flavour I was feeling. However, as the meal went on, it grew on us. Just took a few bites for the palette to acclimatize.

The Rustic Pasta was better the first time I made it during Week the Sixth. Something wasn't as insanely delicious this time around, and I can't figure out what, so I'm just gonna be extra super careful the next time I make it to try and replicate our first experience with it (when Rob rated it pretty darn close to that elusive 5)

Rob's Rating:
Seitan - 3.5 Happy Tongues
Rustic Pasta - 3 Happy Tongues (4.5 the first time)

Tuesday 13.0: Ginger Baked Tofu (p. 160)

Ginger and garlic together is always a winner, and these little tofu "steaks" were winners as a result of being marinated in such a bi-winning combination. Even Charlie Sheen would agree. A great option for a meal on the lighter side.

Rob's Rating:
Ginger Baked Tofu - 3.5 Happy Tongues (Rob wants the tofu bite sized)

Wednesday 13.0: Eggplant Chana Masala (p. 166)

Yay vegan Indian food! I love the texture of the eggplant in this dish, it was nicely complimented by rice and naan, and although it doesn't stand out as one of my absolute favourite Kind Diet recipes, it's pretty quick and easy and plentiful. It made excellent leftovers for lunch the next day, as well dinner for me on Thursday 13.0, paired with some steamed Baby Bok Choy with Ume Vinaigrette (p. 265).

Rob's Rating:
Eggplant Chana Masala - 3 Happy Tongues

I was actually still eating this dish on Good Friday (Friday 13.0). I always fast every Good Friday, and abstaining from meat wasn't an issue this year. We don't do the bread and water thing while fasting, but we do avoid any treats or elaborate food. I figured a third day of leftovers counted as un-elaborate.

After Good Friday mass, and because it was also Earth Day, we took the dogs for an epic walk to Rocky Point.

Curious George isn't much of a walker, so he was happy chillin' in the backpack.

For Holy Saturday (Saturday 13.0), I made a small family dinner and experimented with a vegan appetizer I was hoping to take to our friends' house for Easter brunch the next day...Artichoke, Mushroom, and Leek Crostini with Pesto (p. 204). 

Both my mom and Rob the Husband gave this an enthusiastic thumbs up, so it made the cut for the next day's Easter Sunday brunch. The mushrooms and leeks together are stellar (but I of course speak from an extremely biased mushroom lover's POV). I actually wasn't a huge fan of the pesto on top, which was very heavily saturated with the flavour of pine nuts, and I have discovered that I'm not a huge fan of pine nuts. I actually always thought I loved pine nuts, but it would appear that I am mistaken, and my affection for pine nuts was all a lie.

Saturday's dinner continued with Rice Waffle with Vegetable Melange (p. 221) and Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, and Edamame with Lemon Butter (p. 167).

The rice waffle was SO FUN and easy to make! Mush up brown rice with some miso and pastry flour and pour it in a waffle iron, then top with anything. The vegetable melange was pretty good (I substituted some marinated tofu for seitan), but the waffle itself was the winner here. I am totally looking forward to making this again and finding all sorts of crazy and delicious things to top the waffle with. I loved this concept.

The other veggie dish was fine.

Fine, but it didn't stand out to me as something I'd be excited to repeat.

My first vegan Easter meal :) Not an Easter Sunday spread by any means, but as a small Easter Vigil meal for my small family, it worked out just fine.

Rob's Rating:
Crostini - 4.5 Happy Tongues
Rice Waffle - 4.5 Happy Tongues
Peas, Radishes & Edamame - 2 Happy Tongues

And finally, the centre of the culinary portion of the Easter experience...Sunday 13.0...Easter Sunday Brunch.

I felt incredibly blessed that my family had been invited over for brunch by a friend whose daughter is a  vegetarian, and flirts with the vegan world more often than not. They were SO AWESOME and accommodating. Case in point...traditional Polish white borscht (zurek), but paired with a vegan Polish sausage option for us...

Why do we need the meat substitute at all? Because it would be blasphemous to have zurek without the sausage. The risen Jesus says so.

Yah, that's pretty friggen delicious.

**Side note...I was about to launch into a mini-rant directed at people who complain about vegans eating processed meat substitutes, but I'll save that for another day, as this is an Easter post and Easter is a time for joy and celebration, not rants :)**

So keeping consistent with joy and celebration, check out the spread...

I seriously love our friends :) I went to brunch expecting that I'd have to cheat with dairy or chow down on my vegan crostini appy to partake in the meal, but for almost every non-vegan item on the table there was a vegan version...sausage, potato salad, and carrot salad, along with tofutti cream cheese and vegetables.

And to make the day even better, Alicia's Mixed Berry Cheesecake (p. 192) made an appearance for dessert, made by my gorgeous friend Hanna :)


Speaking of score, just as I finish this post, THE CANUCKS WIN GAME 7 IN OT!!!!

HELLS YES!!!!!!!!!


No...no...I have a duty to finish this blog.

Vegan Easter was awesome.


GO CANUCKS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Sweet! The desserts and your blog entries. Seriously, the reading is hard not to enjoy. You're a very entertaining writer. Keep it up Julie...

  2. Thanks Anonymous Rob the Husband. You get a peanut butter cup.