Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Celebrating a Vegan Passover

Our Vegan Seder Plate

Whew! Today was a huge challenge but it all turned out fine. We drove back to the city from the country as we do every week, and my husband dropped me off in Lower Manhattan for me to catch the subway to my office. I was crossing a street when I got totally distracted by a guy holding a boat-sized plastic bag filled with enormous helium balloons in primary colors. I lost my footing and went down like the proverbial ton of bricks, landing on my left hip, wrist and shoulder. Oy! Very painful, but nothing was broken and the little bit of blood from scraping the heel of my hand against the pavement washed away and didn't return. I went to work, then headed home.

After I got home I prepared a Passover Seder my husband's bubbe would have been proud of! The Seder plate you see above is a vegan one: the turnip stands in for the shankbone (the Talmud says a roasted beet can substitute for the shankbone, but I wasn't willing to buy 3 humongous beets when one was all I needed, so I bought a turnip). In place of the roasted egg, it is permitted to use an egg-shaped veggie or fruit, hence the avocado. Cool, huh? The other things there are charoset, horseradish and parsley. Each item on the plate features in the ritual of the Passover Seder.

I led our Seder by default, even though my husband is the one who had a bar mitzvah eons ago and I'm a convert. I followed a Haggadah (handbook) called Our Haggadah written by Cokie and Steve Roberts, an interfaith couple. I really like it and am glad they wrote it. This can be a very wearying experience and my husband bails before I get very far as a rule, but this year I was able to say the prayers and read the scriptures and stories about why we celebrate Pesach or Passover. Picture CB DeMille's parting of the Red Sea in "The Ten Commandments," our Jewish forebears hurrying across the suddenly dry land to safety and the waters returning to drown all the legions of the Pharoah's armies trying to pursue them. No, we aren't very religious, and I hope I don't offend anyone reading this blog who is, but this tradition is important for us to remember, and as we read, and eat, and pray and eat and eat, we are one with all the other Jews around the world doing the same tonight, more or less.

Here's What We Had Tonight for Our Seder

Seitan Chimichurri from Whole Foods (my husband had WF tarragon salmon, so did our cat!)
Garlicky Greens (WF)
Carrot-Cherry Kugel (WF)
Charoset (chopped apple, silvered almonds, cinnamon and grape juice) (I made this tonight)
Tsimmes (sweet potatoes, carrots, dates, raisins & apricots with a little sugar) (I made this tonight)
Earth Balance whipped buttery spread
And chocolate covered matzoh for dessert!

Despite my sticking pretty closely for the past 30 days to Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live way of eating, this was not a day to diet or restrict calories. This is the day we ask, among other questions, "Why is this night unlike all other nights?" The short answer is because we remember what our forebears experienced thousands of years ago.

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