Today is the first day of my 30 days of vegan series. It’s also Easter Sunday. I realize that it’s also April Fool’s Day, but it’s no April Fool’s joke that Patty Cake’s Pantry will be vegan for the next 30 days. I hadn’t really thought about Easter when I agreed to spend the next 30 days blogging about Vegan recipes. Our traditional Easter fare includes a ham, mashed potatoes or augratin potatoes, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole. None of these recipes are vegan. That was a problem. My family was not happy. The decision to begin Vegan blogging forced me to recreate my menu. I needed to find vegan recipes that would be good enough to pass muster not only with my nuclear family, but with our guests, too.
We have a unique way of planning our holiday meals. I ask each family member to select one item that they would like to see on the dinner table, and I always include those items.
Macaroni and Cheese
Food Critic always requests macaroni and cheese, I found vegan macaroni, but no vegan cheese. What’s a mother to do? Fortunately, there were some friendly vegan bloggers who came to my rescue.
This recipe for One Pot Vegan Mac & Cheese is simple, and delicious. Did it taste like my usual macaroni and cheese? No, but it was delicious. Who knew that it was possible to make something so cheesy without using cheese? The recipe, as written was gluten free, but we used regular noodles because that’s what we had on hand. We will definitely be making this again, and you should give it a try.
If you’re looking for a more adult version of Vegan Mac and Cheese, this recipe for Secretly Superfood-Packed Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is perfect because it’s loaded with vegetables. This recipe is unique because it doesn’t call for nutritional yeast like so many vegan macaroni and cheese recipes. This recipe is also gluten and nut free as written, and because it’s made in the slow cooker, it “practically cooks itself.”
Bus Boy is a huge fan of potatoes. He likes them baked, fried, boiled, and especially mashed. The problem with mashed potatoes is that most recipes call for butter and milk, and when I’ve made them with broth, they just don’t taste right. This recipe came to my rescue.
This recipe for Rustic Rosemary Thyme Mashed Potatoes proved to be the solution to my problem. The use of herbed olive oil in place of butter and coconut milk in place of dairy milk, provided the creaminess that Bus Boy craves. The addition of herbs and spices elevated the taste of these potatoes to a higher plain. Unfortunately, Bus Boy is a purist, and didn’t like the rosemary and thyme, so we made a second, smaller, batch without them for him. The rest of us really enjoyed the added herbs, so these potatoes may be making regular appearances on our dinner menu during our vegan month. Yum!
Sweet Potatoes are frequently requested by both Baker’s Man and Sue Chef. Whoever I ask first, chooses sweet potatoes, and the second person picks something else. Once again, my usual recipe isn’t vegan.
Dairy Free Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Candied Pecans are rich and creamy. These are so creamy that it’s hard to believe that this casserole is dairy free. The candied pecans on top of the casserole add crunch and some extra sweetness, and they’re the perfect compliment for the sweet potatoes. This recipe is simple to prepare and tastes delicious. This is another recipe that I want to have again during our 30 days of vegan.
This is a very simple way to prepare sweet potatoes. This recipe, as written is not completely vegan because the marshmallows contain gelatin. All that’s needed to make this recipe vegan is to switch out your regular marshmallows for vegan ones. Give this recipe for Pineapple Sweet Potatoes a try.
Vegetable Side Dishes
Fortunately, I have a few vegetable side dishes in my repertoire that are already vegan. Grilled, or roasted, asparagus is a delicious option, and in my childhood home, we frequently had asparagus with Easter dinner. We have some other vegetable recommendations, too.
Roasted Baby Carrots are very simple to prepare, and roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots. This recipe requires only 3 ingredients, and very little hands on time which makes it a great side dish for a holiday meal.
If you want to elevate your roasted carrots to a new level, this recipe for Citrus and Thyme Roasted Carrots is the recipe you’ve been looking for. The combination of the citrus flavors and the carrots is amazing, and it tastes great even if you don’t have the pretty rainbow carrots. Use coconut oil in place of the butter or ghee and maple syrup or agave nectar in place of the honey to make this recipe vegan.
We love green beans here at Patty Cake’s Pantry. They’re one of the vegetables that we can all agree on. This recipe for green beans and tomatoes is delicious, and it’s so pretty. We also love our garlic green beans, and our green beans with onions and garlic. Each of these recipes is unique and goes great with a variety of entrees.
Green beans are a popular choice among my family members, and this recipe for blistered green beans is very simple and delicious. This recipe contains only four ingredients, and it’s sure to become a favorite with my family We love roasted vegetables, so loving these green beans shouldn’t be a surprise.
Sue Chef loves brussel sprouts, and while this recipe for Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts isn’t vegan as written, it can be transformed by simply using maple syrup or agave nectar in place of the honey. This swap works well. The combination of herbs, spices, vinegars, citrus, and sweetness from agave nectar (in our case) make these brussel sprouts taste great. Sue Chef said these made her mouth happy.
If you’re looking for a different way to prepare brussel sprouts, give this recipe for Spicy Brussel Sprouts and Tomatoes a try. The best part of this recipe is that it can be prepared in only one pan. It’s simple and delicious, and adds a taste of the southwest to your usual brussel sprouts.
Our Easter Tradition includes ham, and there are vegan ham alternatives available. Most notably the Tofurky Ham Roast. This ham is made largely from gluten. It’s the second ingredient in the list, but this company uses organic, and non-GMO ingredients. If you’re looking for a vegan ham for your Easter table, this might be a great option. There’s a great review of the Tofurky Ham written by a meat eater if you’re interested. We seriously considered having “Pham” as my husband calls it. (Short for Phony Ham.) Instead, we decided that if we were going vegan, we should go all the way. We opted for meatloaf for Easter dinner, but it should probably be called “meatless loaf” since it’s vegan.
The combination of cauliflower and lentils is a good one. I’ve used it to make taco filling before, and it was surprisingly delicious. This recipe for Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf is a definite winner, too. It doesn’t taste like my mom’s meatloaf, and there are some textural differences since it’s made from vegetables instead of meat, but this recipe is a definite keeper, and I will be making this again during the month.
In spite of the fact that there are Easter baskets loaded with candy, no holiday meal is complete without dessert. My personal favorites for spring desserts are lemon and strawberries, so my vegan dessert selections reflect those preferences.
I haven’t published my strawberry shortcake recipe on this site, but I have a recipe that used cookies in place of shortcake. The cookies aren’t vegan, nor is the cream, but if you prepare this recipe for vegan strawberry shortcake that’s topped with a vegan coconut whipped cream, you will have a delicious treat.
Lemon desserts are one of my favorites, and this recipe for No-Bake Paleo Lemon Bars didn’t disappoint. Rich, creamy, and loaded with citrusy goodness. I could have eaten the entire pan by myself. I may prepare a second pan, and do just that. With vegan desserts this good, I don’t think I will be losing any weight during my 30 days of vegan.
We’ve made it over the first hurdle, and survived day one and Easter Dinner as vegans. What do you think of our recipe choices for our first vegan Easter dinner menu? What do you think your family would think if you decided to change their diet right before a major holiday? Would they be good sports, or would they stage a kitchen mutiny? I managed to avoid a mutiny today, but there are still 29 more days to go.
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Which vegan recipe do you think would be your favorite?
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