Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Eats!

My family is not religious, but someone many generations back must have been - because we still celebrate holidays like Easter and Christmas. Our celebrations are secular in nature, but filled with the warmth and love that we all share for each other. This year we had an Easter lunch together, in my grandparents' beautiful backyard. They have a very large garden - with raspberries, green beans, winter squash, summer squash, garlic, plums, oranges, lemons, apples, tangerines, nectarines, artichokes... you get the idea!

I made two things for the festive feast - This is the Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Fritatta from VwaV. YUM! I've never made this before, but I've seen Don't Get Mad Get Vegan raving about it many times... so I was finally inspired to make it for myself. It was a huge hit with absolutely everyone in my family - awesome! The only change I made to the recipe was to add a little bit more sundried tomatoes than Isa recommends, and a LOT more asparagus.

I also made hot cross buns, which I make every year. These turned out GREAT! Perfect amount of sweetness (not too sweet - but the frosting gives it that little extra sugary delight). I used candied citron, currants, and golden raisins for the fruits in mine this year. I also used half whole wheat pastry flour - and they were so delicious. I had two! ha ha. And, happily, I've got one more left for tomorrow. Hoorah!

Here's the whole feast - all vegan! How awesome is my family that they are all happy to celebrate with an all-vegan lunch, even though only my aunt L and I are vegans. We had a great fruit salad, strawberries, vegan english muffins with Earth Balance, Bruschetta (with tomatoes, basil & garlic), creamy roasted potatoes, the frittata, hot cross buns, and also some gimme lean sausage cooked up in little patties (not pictured here). I ate myself silly - and loved every bite! Healthy and delicious.

For dinner tonight I made up something fun and tasty. After seeing Susan's post about giant Lebanese couscous, I found some at a middle Eastern shop over in San Jose. They are so fun to eat! I followed the simple directions on the package (ratio of 1:1, add to boiling broth and simmer 10 min, let sit 10 min off heat but still covered). While the couscous was cooking - I decided to take a tip from this afternoon's frittata and cut up the other bunch and a half of asparagus in our fridge. I sauteed it with a little bit of spicy olive oil, some garlic, and some sundried tomatoes. I added in some veggie broth & a big splash of red wine & let it simmer away for a few minutes. When the liquid wasn't reducing very quickly, I added a little arrowroot, which did the trick. I mixed it all together with the finished couscous, added a big handful of chopped up fresh basil - and ouila! A fun dinner. I'm excited to eat more of this fun couscous.

Hope you all had a great day, whether or not you celebrated Easter!


  1. Happy Easter! Your feast looks so delicious & I would have shamelessly macked out on that meal.

  2. Hey, no fair--your couscous actually had instructions?! Mine didn't even say in English what it was! :-)

    Your couscous salad looks delicious, as does the frittata and everything else. What a feast!

  3. Happy Easter! Fritatta. I just like to say the word. Everything looks delish!

  4. Anonymous6:20 AM

    Wow! That Easter lunch looks awesome! Quite different than our family gathering where the only thing vegan was what we brought. Oh... I guess the plain white rice and microwaved frozen peas were vegan too but we didn't have any ;-)

  5. Easter brunch yum-o! I love the coucous too! I wonder if I can find that couscous online, can't find it here. I will have to do some searching.

  6. Oh the Easter Bunny definitely came to your family feast- eyeing up all the yummy veggie eats!

    I love that your family is so open to eating a vegan meal, of course it looks so great- why wouldn't they? But it's really nice and you are very lucky to have such a supportive family!

    Your couscous looks great-need to give it a try.

  7. Hi Vicki!
    :) yes, that's exactly what I did: "shamelessly macked out!" ha ha!

    Hi Susan!
    No, mine didn't say what it was either - it just said "Maftoul" in big letters - but your post had already tipped me off. But it did have some very sweet & exceedingly basic instructions with charmingly incorrect English. :)

    Hi Vincent!
    Yes, Frittata is fun to say - I agree!

    Hi Chris!
    I can't believe you passed up on the white rice and microwaved peas. :) Sorry your feast wasn't so veg friendly - but still your pot pie sounded very good.

    Hi Veg-a-nut,
    Yeah I think it would be worth looking for online. It's a fun and different product... and tasty too.

  8. You must share the hot cross bun recipe! Unless it's a family secret, of course. I want to make it next year!

    p.s. I am also non-religious but like the novelty of christmas celebrations with family, so I know what you mean : )

  9. Yum yum yum yum yum! Those pictures are making me drool. I've been meaning to try that VwaV frittata, too...

  10. Oh wow - everything looks so good! I love that recipe for the how you decorated it with the spears!

    I remember seeing a recipe that called for middle eastern couscous, but I didn't have any luck finding it. I appreciate your writing the instructions, since if I ever did find it, I'm sure I wouldn't have a clue how to prepare it! Thanks!

  11. Anonymous4:23 PM

    everything looks amazing!

  12. What a great family!

    I know what you mean about getting bored with reducing the liquid--that happens to me very, very often and I always end up chucking in some cornflour to speed up the process :D

  13. Wow, Amey, everything looks fantastic - a great array of vegan goodies! The hot cross buns are really pretty. Honestly though, your grandparents' garden sounds the best of all! We just got a new Middle Eastern restaurant with adjoining grocery that I'm just dying to visit. Your couscous sound delicious.

  14. Hi VKO!
    That's funny, you must have been leaving your comment at the same moment that I was responding to the earlier comments. I love the idea of the Easter Bunny delivering a vegan feast! :)

    Hi Jess,
    Yes, I'll share the recipe for the hot cross buns. I'll get it up in the next day or two. I don't really believe in secret recipes... it feels better to share! Anyhow, I got it off the internet years ago, so it's hardly a family secret to start with. :)

    Hi Jul!
    Yes, definitely try the frittata, it's so easy and yummy. I don't know what took me so long!

    Hi Sarah,
    I hope you can find some Middle Eastern couscous, I think it's really fun stuff. The package says "Maftoul" - and doesn't actually say "couscous" anywhere on the package... but get it anyway!

    Hi Johanna3,

    Hi Theresa,
    ha ha! I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who gets lazy about waiting for the liquid to cook down. Hee hee.

    Hi Diann,
    Oh I wish I could share my grandparents' garden with you. It's such a magical place for me. They've lived there my whole life, so I have special memories in that garden going all the way back to my earlist years... like getting wheelbarrow rides from my grandfather, Easter egg hunts, picking raspberries, feeding grapes to my cousin's old dog, so many... Wait 'til you see all the raspberries I'll be eating this summer - that's the most sacred crop of all!

  15. I'm so glad that you and your family had a lovely Easter lunch together. It's incredible that they are perfectly satisfied with a vegan lunch--what a blessing!

  16. Beautiful. I'm craving hot cross buns now! Your asparagus frittata is so so gorgeous. Such a wonderful way to celebrate spring. Your family celebrates very well!

  17. Your hot cross buns are just divine. Har har. I wish my family would be so open minded to vegan food!


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