Atheist Easter & Vegan Deviled Eggs

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Even though I’ve been an atheist for over a decade now, I still love, love, LOVE “Christian” holidays. (They are actually kinda Pagan holidays, but I digress.) I view them as an excellent time to enjoy delicious fattening foods without guilt and spread lots of love to my friends and family. In addition to the unorthodox way I already celebrate, my past six years of veganism have made my holidays even more controversial and strange. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

This year my grandmother that usually makes deviled eggs for my family’s Easter dinner was no longer with us. She passed away a few weeks after the new year began. In loving memory of her and her delicious addition, I decided to make my own version of these delights. I used to absolutely adore deviled eggs and eggs in general. Until now, I was under the assumption that a lot of egg dishes were simply impossible to recreate realistically in a vegan way. However, I recently went to a vegan restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA called The Onion Maiden where they serve vegan deviled eggs! I was overjoyed when I ordered them and discovered they were almost identical to the real deal.

After a quick Google search, I found that the secret ingredients to make a firm egg-like substance were Agar Powder and Black Salt. I was easily able to order both of these on Amazon for less than $10. Once I received these ingredients I was eager to taste the black salt because I had never heard of it before and I was very skeptical that these few ingredients that were called for would be able to produce something as egg-y as what I had sampled at The Onion Maiden. To my surprise, black salt is basically egg as a seasoning. Even by itself, it tastes exactly like a salted boiled egg!!! I am so blown away by this and the fact that I hadn’t known this as a vegan for all these years that I may make a separate post just about this incredible find. All vegans need to be aware of this!

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I used the recipe from BakedIn.com that was simple and took less than an hour. I have included the link to the recipe and a photo of everything I used above. (I didn’t want to buy more almond milk, so I just used what I had even though it was vanilla instead of plain. It didn’t seem to make a huge difference, but I’ll definitely use plain in my next batch.) I was quite pleased with the result. Even my non-vegan family members and friends were surprised at how similar my vegan version was to actual deviled eggs. These are definitely going to be a staple holiday food for me from now on. Let me know if you try them yourselves and what you think. Also THANK THE VEGAN GODS FOR BLACK SALT.

Hope you all had a lovely, cruelty-free holiday. ♥

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Surviving Holidays with Non-Vegans

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While most people welcome a chance to relax and enjoy time spent with family and friends during the holidays, for a vegan these can be trying times. I would hope that other vegans have a more pleasant and supportive experience with family members in regards to their lifestyle choices than I do. But I wanted to write some helpful words of advice and encouragement for those struggling to be understood by a less than understanding family.

When you are just starting out on your vegan voyage, the holidays can be hard enough just due to the temptations that abound. (I decided to go vegan when I returned from a vacation, and that day just so happened to be Easter Sunday.) However, once you have been vegan for a few years, the challenge instead becomes sitting at a table covered in body parts and watching those you love devour the innocent, poison their bodies, and decimate the planet. Good luck keeping your appetite at all.

The good news is that both of these issues can be ameliorated in the same way! The best thing to do to keep yourself sane and kindle some warmth in your soul during the holiday months is to find some new vegan recipes to try out. For someone like me who isn’t the most capable cook, it can sometimes be difficult to find recipes that don’t include dozens of expensive/uncommon ingredients or intricate instructions. Some of the simplest, quickest, and most delicious recipes that I have found recently are from The Minimalist Baker. This blog even has a special collection of recipes just for Thanksgiving that you can find here. (I am definitely going to recreate a few of these babies to enjoy this year!)

Creating your own buffet of vegan delicacies is a great way to eliminate the temptation of all the non-vegan dishes and desserts that will be right under your nose (and if your family is anything like mine, you may be pressured to take part in.) This is also a great opportunity to emphasize to those you love just how achievable and maintainable a vegan diet truly is. Some of my relatives regularly eat vegan alternative products just because I’ve shown them that they are so damn delicious!

Apart from the food itself, holidays as a vegan can also be difficult due to being misunderstood or even mocked by family members. Going vegan can turn a gathering that was once associated with warmth and togetherness into something dreadful and frustrating. Even after all these years my family never seems to get tired of poking fun at the vegans. (I’m lucky enough to have a vegan sister to share the harassment with.)

I don’t believe my relatives intend to be hurtful, but this just further emphasizes their lack of understanding. Somehow they still don’t comprehend how important this aspect of my life is to me. It makes me feel as if they haven’t even heard any of the things I’ve said on the matter. I truly hope that other’s have a more positive experience with this than I have, but I know there are certainly vegans out there that know this struggle all too well.

The best advice that I can give is to persevere.

It is highly unlikely you are going to convert anyone to a vegan lifestyle during a holiday feast or find anything other than aggressive opposition to your attempts for that matter. I have learned to just try my hardest to represent a happy, healthy, vegan lifestyle the best that I can, but not to press the issue too violently. I answer any questions openly and honestly. I try to stay positive and not let my disappointment, frustration, and anger get the best of me. I avoid letting myself get sucked into the negative spiral within my mind that any outright opposition to veganism tends to initiate in me. I try to keep my heart open and focus my mind on all that I am grateful for, because there is so much. I also try to think of who I was before going vegan and try to empathize with my unfortunate family members who still haven’t made the connection and are lost in the fog of carnism.

Finally, I would just like to extend an invitation to any vegans out there that need emotional support and encouragement for the upcoming months. Please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to help in anyway that I can. You are strong. You are compassionate. You can get through this.

Good luck, dear ones. ♥