I trust everyone had a lovely Easter weekend. Mine was relaxed and uneventful. The week of Easter I came down suddenly with a horrible flu that had me in bed for three days. It took me quite by surprise since I’m rarely sick and haven’t had the flu since I was about 12 years old. In the past ten years I’ve only vomited twice, once due to excess of alcohol, and once due to nervousness, and so it took me some time to recover. Though I was mostly better by the time Easter came around I chose to stay home rather then celebrate with my husband’s family. I felt I needed a little more recovery time and so I enjoyed the afternoon reading in the sun, and made a nice, but small dinner for the two of us to enjoy when he returned from his family’s party.
You know how much I love to go ‘all-out’ for holidays but since I’d been sick - and my appetite hadn’t returned at all yet - I wasn’t in the mood for preparing a grand dinner. Instead I pulled out my copy of “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” by Nava Atlas and chose a few simple dishes to make for dinner.
|Moroccan Vegetable Soup|
The first thing that caught my eye in the book was the Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Matzo Balls Technically it’s from the Passover Chapter not the Easter Chapter but close enough I reasoned, and besides what better food to eat after being sick then a warm comforting bowl of soup? This particular soup contained leeks, potatoes, carrot, celery, turnip, tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, dill, parsley, and of course matzo balls which I made separately. The soup was also suppose to have mushrooms but for some reason the thought of mushrooms turned my stomach, and so I left them out.
|Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Matzo Balls|
I really enjoyed this soup and it was so easy to prepare. I loved the combination of flavors and it was a really hearty meal, but If I’m being honest I like Nava’s traditional Matzo Ball Soup better. I made that last year for Passover and it went over like gangbusters.
|Moroccan Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives|
For our main meal I made the Moroccan-Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives from the Rosh Hashanah Chapter. Since I made Moroccan soup I thought I’d keep the North African theme, and besides this sounded so good. Tofu with olives and apricots, I loved the idea of a sweet, salty, tart dish. The dish uses pre-baked marinated tofu, and so I picked up some Italian-style Baked Tofu from the store. Under normal circumstances I probably would have just baked my own tofu but since I was still recovering I was happy for the short-cut in prep time. In addition to green olives and apricots the dish also had onion, green onion, garlic, broth, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice, agave, slivered almonds and parsley. Nava suggests in the book to serve this over Quinoa which I did. Just a simple pot of boiled quinoa seasoned with salt, pepper, and parsley. Man was this dish fantastic, I can easily see making this regularly.
|Moroccan Flavored Tofu over Quinoa|
with Moroccan Carrots
For a side dish I went with the simple Moroccan Carrots also from the Passover Chapter. These were super simple saute carrots cooked in oil, garlic, lemon, parsley, chives, salt and pepper. I left off the sliced almonds, but loved the touch of lemon zest added to this dish. These carrots were beyond perfect, I only wish I’d had a bigger appetite so I could have eaten more.
For dessert I actually picked a recipe from the Easter Chapter and went with the very simple - but super delicious - Strawberry Snack Cake. This is basically a vanilla cake with a strawberry topping. You make the topping by cooking strawberries with sugar and water and cornstarch until it’s thick then pour it over the cake. Unfortunately my topping didn’t want to stay put and it kind of dripped and spread out all over the plate but the cake was nonetheless delicious. I especially loved the idea of it because it was light and fluffy, the perfect dessert for an early Spring day.
|Strawberry Snack Cake|
So that was our Easter. Perfectly peaceful and though I didn’t eat much, what I did eat I enjoyed. It was my first real meal for the entire week, as I’d previously only been able to keep down some watermelon and toast.
I hope everyone else had a great holiday and if you haven’t tried out any recipes from “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” you should give it a look, so far everything I’ve made out of this book has been fantastic!