Do you have a vegetarian in your family? Don’t despair. Vegetarian Seders have become quite popular in the past 20 years or so. This year, instead of offering separate food for the veggie or vegan in our life, try doing a meat-free Seder!
Kosher Jews Embrace Vegetarianism
You can find several organizations for Jewish vegetarians on the web. I wasn’t able to identify how many Jews embrace both the kosher and vegetarian lifestyles but the number indicate they like to organize, here (in North America), in Europe, and in Israel.
I have at least three friends from my childhood and college days—all married with children—who are kosher vegetarians. It’s certainly made it easier for them to keep kosher. I admire their choices even though they don’t inspire me to follow their choices. I am, however, cognizant of their lifestyles and do my best to adapt when I visit them, and likewise when they visit me.
Toronto Catering for Vegetarian Seders!
Mitzuyan Kosher Catering offers a special Passover catering menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options. Some of them, like potato leek soup, are quite traditional. And thanks to my veggie friends, I’ve become a huge fan of butternut squash soup, which we also offer. And of course, matzo balls are perfectly kosher and can be served in vegetarian broth.
We’ve thought about offering vegetarian seder entrees, but found that our side dishes and salads can be combined to make up more interesting options. In fact, all these offerings are vegan. Here’s a sample:
- Grilled or seasonal vegetables
- Two kinds of meat-free kugle
- Oven roasted herb potatoes
- Several kinds of salads
- Mushroom crepes
If you do want a full-fledged vegetarian or vegan entrée, contact us and we’d be happy to discuss a suitable menu that meets your needs.
We are aware that some people avoid meats but will eat fish. We have three fish entrees this year:
- Miso glazed salmon
- Moroccan style tilapia
- Grilled salmon with mango salsa
And of course, we have gefilte fish.
What About the Paschal Lamb and Egg?
The first thing many people will think is, what do vegetarians do for a shankbone on the Seder plate? And what about vegans who eschew eggs?
According to Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), eating the Paschal lamb is no longer required since the Temple is no longer standing. Various opinions support this, and substitutions can include mushrooms or beets, which have a fleshy appearance. Either one can also take the place of the egg. The Vegetarian Times suggests an avocado pit to substitute for the roasted egg.
The rest of the Seder plate includes vegetables and herbs.
Try This Vegetarian Main Dish for Your Seder!
If you enjoy foods with lots of herbs, this vegetarian recipe may really appeal to you. It’s Greens and Quinoa Pie, from Vegetarian Times, which notes that quinoa is not a grain (Sephardic Jews eat grains at Passover).
This recipe does call for eggs and cheese. One-quarter cup of soft tofu can be substituted for one egg. There are also vegan versions of the cheeses you can use.