A vegan passover seder is possible!
For Jewish vegans, a Passover Seder is much like all other nights – in terms of animal exploitation.
Commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, this Jewish holiday has many non-vegan traditions. With it just around the corner, the LA Times reports on alternatives for celebrating vegans who aren’t too keen on featuring a shank bone on their Seder plates.
“It’s important to remember that all of the items on the Seder plate are symbols — there to evoke the memory of the exodus,” Rabbi Sharon Brous, spiritual leader of IKAR, a politically active congregation in Los Angeles, told the paper. “I feel very comfortable that we can communicate that message without placing an actual shank bone on our Seder plate.” Creative vegans suggest a roasted beet in place of the bloody animal part, and a boiled potato or avocado in the place usually reserved for an egg.
Outside of the centrepiece Seder plate, gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, chopped liver, roast chicken and brisket are standard holiday fare, with the addition of some very egg-y traditions like matzo brei and matzo meal cakes. Rena Reich, author of “Vegan Start Passover Cookbook,” told LA Times that when she first became vegan, “I had no idea what I was going to do. The last thing that I wanted was to just eat matzo and jam all Passover.” For some, matzo pizza is another frequented staple over the eight days of observance.
In addition to kosher encouragement, additional dining restrictions include not consuming “chamtez,” foods that are leavened and made with wheat, rye, barley, oats, and spelt. “Kitniyot” is less commonly observed, but is another goodbye to seeds, rice, corn and legumes. Appropriately, Nava Atlas, author of “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” says “Vegans have to invent their own traditions.”
And invent, we have! Chef Chloe of by Chloe. fame shares her recipe for vegan matzo brei here, and in her restaurant. Vegan shops like the V Word Market have extensive Passover food categories, including hilarious “gefilte fish” gummies. Veg Kitchen has some incredible menu ideas, and Bee Free Honee is a great way to keep your bubbie’s Haroset recipe similar.
Chag Sameach to all who are celebrating!