A Quarantined Vegan Easter 2020

A Quarantined Vegan Easter 2020

My extended family hopped on Zoom for a chaotic, 24-person-and-child Easter gathering, and later I whipped up a pretty decent Easter dinner for our little family.

Start-to-finish, everything you’ll see below took about three hours, though we did have frequent intermissions to get dressed, have coffee and play downstairs.

On the plate:

  • Ginger beets and carrots with candied walnuts
  • Homemade potato perogies
  • Homemade dinner rolls
  • Instant Pot Tofurky
  • 2-minute gravy
  • Lemon green beans
  • Garlic mashed potatoes

Getting the party started

Candied walnuts

Combine 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the nuts are fragrant and coated with the sugar and butter. Set aside to cool.

Dinner rolls

These are so easy! Heat 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons of butter until warm to the touch (should be hot, but not hurt your finger when you hold it in there). If you want to get precise, we’re looking at around 125 degrees F. Add 2.25 teaspoons instant yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. While it sits and gets bubbly, measure out 2 cups flour into a large bowl.

After ten minutes or so, when the yeast mixture is frothy, add it to the flour and stir. Get your hands in there and start kneading on a floured surface for a few minutes. Add more flour if it gets too sticky. Some people like to knead for 10 minutes, but I like dinner rolls with a cake-like texture. Plus, kneading is hard. Cover the mixture and let it rest for an hour or so. Move on to the next task (we’ll return to this dough later).

Perogie dough + filling

For the filling: Boil a couple chopped large potatoes until soft, drain, and mash. While the potatoes are cooking, Sautee a diced onion in butter until translucent but not browned. Mix the sauteed onions into the potatoes and add a little spoon of salt. Voila – perogie filling!

For the dough: Combine 1/2 cup warm water with 1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas), a pinch of salt and 2 cups flour. Knead the dough until it’s smooth, adding more flour if needed.

To make the perogies: Roll out the dough as thin as you can on a floured countertop and use a small circular cookie cutter (or drinking glass) to cut out dough rounds. Add a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of the rounds, and tightly pinch the edges shut. Put ’em on a plate, but maintain perogie social distancing or else they’ll stick together.

When dinner is about 15 minutes away, you’ll boil them for a few minutes, until they float, and then optionally pan-fry them with a bit of butter.


Take your (thawed for 1 day) Tofurky and place it in your Instant Pot with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Pressure cook on manual for 8 minutes. It can hang out there until you’re ready to serve the meal.

Homemade dinner rolls, part 2

Grease a 9×13 pyrex dish (or 9×9). Punch down the dough, which should have doubled in size over the last hour, and divide it into 9-12 balls, depending on how big you want them to be. Place them in the baking dish 3 to a row – they should have room to expand, but you want them to merge into each other as they do so. Let them sit for 45 minutes or so, until they’re lookin’ good. Once they’re there, bake them at 375 F for 20 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan.

Ginger beets and carrots

Boil several beets, whole in their skin, for about 45 minutes or until they’re fork-tender. Drain and when they’re cool enough to handle, rub the skin off with your fingers (I do this under running water). Slice the peeled beets.

Boil a couple sliced carrots until tender. Drain. Combine the beets and carrots with a tablespoon of minced ginger, a generous glug of agave or maple syrup, and about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Cook for a few minutes until well-combined.

Garlic mashed potatoes

Boil some russet potatoes (a combo of russet and Yukon gold is ideal) with a bunch of garlic (I used around 6 large cloves, left whole) until fork-tender. Drain, reserving a little cooking liquid, and mash well, adding in reserved liquid to get your preferred texture.

2-minute gravy

Heat 1 cup of vegetable broth in a small saucepan with a tablespoon of soy sauce and a splash of vegan Worcestershire sauce, if you have it. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a little water to make a slurry. When the broth is boiling, slowly add the cornstarch slurry, stirring, until you find your preferred texture (some like a thin gravy, others like a gloppy gravy).

Lemon green beans

Boil some chopped green beans. Toss with fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Assembly time!

Fry up your perogies, slice up your Tofurky, plate your beets/carrots with candied walnuts, and assemble your plate. Enjoy a little feast with your family, with enough leftovers to last a day or two. Smile fondly at your beet-dyed fingers – a small sacrifice for a delicious greater good.

Happy Easter!