Jewish Veg has worked hard to educate others as to why a vegan Passover is ideal, according to the Torah, and how to celebrate Passover – the vegan way. Here are some tips on how to celebrate a vegan Passover!
A vegan passover seder plate?
Yes! A vegan Passover Seder plate is possible! Although you may have not been taught this growing up, a lamb’s shank bone and a hen’s eggs are not needed to fulfill the requirements of a Seder plate. This is what you need and why:
Karpas, or parsley, reminds us of our initial flourishing in Egypt and, when we later dip it in saltwater, our sorrow that it came to slavery. It also represents spring and the centrality of plants and life.
The charoset, a paste made of fruits and nuts, reminds us of the mortar we used as slaves to construct others’ buildings. In ours, we use no honey, as we refuse to take the labor and lives of others as our lives and labor were taken from us.
Maror, or bitter herbs, represents the bitterness of our time as slaves. We remember the pain we endured and vow not to inflict that pain on others.
On our Seder plate, we use a beet in place of the shank bone of a lamb. Precedent for this substitution dates all the way back to the Talmud and mimics the blood of the sacrifice, without causing actual harm to any animal.
As a symbol of spring and renewal, we use a flower in place of an egg, reminding ourselves to fully appreciate the natural cycle. Instead of contributing to the pain and misery of egg-laying hens, we bless our Seder plate with the beauty of the natural world in bloom.
VEGAN PASSOVER RECIPES
All the traditional foods for Passover can easily be made vegan with simple recipes that are delicious and avoid all the issues of consuming animal products. Here are some popular recipes to add flavor to any Seder table.
This recipe for vegan matzo balls uses quinoa flakes as a binding ingredient and they’re baked rather than cooked. There’s even a gluten-free option! The recipe is made available by Jewish Veg member Nava Atlas.
Breakfast becomes a joy when you have a tasty matzoh brie to entice you into the kitchen. The preparation can be as easy or complex as you choose. If you don’t have time to include all the vegetables, the dish will still be wholesome and satisfying.
Passover Turtle Bars
The recipe for these particularly decadent turtle bars comes to Jewish Veg from Rena Reich and her e-cookbook Vegan Start Passover Cookbook. The truth is it really is a pity to only eat them one week a year.
CELEBRATING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
In Jewish culture, food is celebratory. It’s a joyful reaffirmation of life. And what better way to celebrate life and liberation, the central themes of Passover, than with food that supports the life and wellbeing of all living creatures?
Guests might be surprised to see the creative cuisine that can make a Seder meal truly special in your home. And if you’re at a family member or friend’s table, bring some extra plant-powered dishes to share: you never know who might want to try something new!
Above all, try to engage in conversations around food with openness and kindness. For a lot of people, this will be the first time they’ve ever had a chance to learn about veganism or even met a vegan in their life. If you are patient and nonjudgmental, they’re much more likely to extend you the same courtesy in return—and maybe you’ll spark their own interest, too.
As we say in the recitation of Ha Lachma Anya: Let all who are hungry come and eat.
TAKING YOUR VEG JOURNEY TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Don’t stop your veg journey at Passover!
Whether you’re newly veg-curious or a longtime vegan, Jewish Veg is here to educate, guide, and build community.