Food

Celebrate Spring with a Vegan Twist

Put a progressive spin on holiday traditions without foregoing the festive feelings of the season.

The symbols of spring—life, birth, and renewal—are everywhere we turn this time of year. But because of factory farming and the way meat is processed in this country, this natural ebb and flow is definitely not represented in chicken eggs, which become even more ubiquitous than usual at Eastertime. Here are some ways to celebrate the spirit of the season while honoring our values of compassion and kindness.

Reclaiming Traditions
Growing up, I relished our family’s annual egg-decorating ritual and the egg hunts that followed, but my fond memories have less to do with the eggs and more to do with the fact that the whole family was involved. The children were given full creative license, and we ran around with great anticipation with all the neighborhood kids. Painting wooden eggs or any wooden figure lets you enjoy the artwork year-round, including the winter holidays, when they can be hung on the tree. Other items (plastic eggs filled with treats, for example) allow for the same effect without contributing to unnecessary cruelty.

Holiday Feast
After drumming up an appetite during the “egg” hunt, children and adults alike can enjoy a compassionate spread complete with French toast and walnut maple syrup, drop biscuits with raspberry jam, tofu scramble, herbed hash browns, and smoked tofu. For a special treat, mix up some Mimosas, Bellinis, or Bloody Marys (virgin for the young ones, of course).

Put All Your Bulbs in One Basket
Our family always exchanged gifts this time of year, and the Easter basket was a veritable font of goodies. Create a special basket for a loved one by filling it with ingredients for your favorite coffee cake or muffins, along with a recipe or a cookbook. Festoon the basket with daffodils, or include Easter lily bulbs, the quintessential symbol of spring. Include egg-shaped cookies, carrot cake, or chocolate bunnies.

Reap What You Sow
What better way is there to honor the end of the winter and the promise of spring than to plant an herb or vegetable garden? Purchase heirloom and organic seeds from a local nursery and begin the process that embodies the true meaning of the season. A basic herb garden will thrive as long as you have sun, and basics like lettuce, kale, and collards will keep you in the green stuff for many months to come.

Bellissimo Bellinis
Are you ready for that Belllini yet? Try this updated recipe of the Champagne-based classic courtesy of Emily Barth Webber. Redolent of ginger and fruit, this refreshing elixir is spicy, effervescent, and downright delicious.

Serves 8
What You Need:
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup white peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bottle dry Champagne, chilled
  • 8 slices white peach for garnish
What You Do:
  • In a small saucepan, combine ginger, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain ginger syrup into a blender, and add peaches. Blend until smooth. Pour 2 tablespoons purée into the bottom of eight champagne glasses and top with champagne. Garnish each glass with a peach slice.
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