The Top 5 Reasons You’re Not Eating Plant-Based Food for the Jewish Holidays
Since you’re already thinking about what you’re going to serve for Passover, why not include plant-based food in those pre-planning thoughts?
What I’ve heard from many people in the Jewish Food Hero community is that you would love to be able to serve healthier food, but you don’t feel empowered to do so because you feel beholden to traditional recipes or unsure of how to work with plant-based food ingredients or menus.
You’re not alone.
Let’s start with a definition. Plant-based eating is centered on minimally processed foods, which include vegetables, fruits, tubers, legumes, and whole grains (and excludes meat, dairy, eggs, and highly-processed foods).
The 5 most common obstacles to a plant-centered holiday meal:
“I have to follow tradition.”
Our traditions are so grounding and I’m grateful to how they shape our holiday experiences. And I also find that there is room for more personalization with menus than you may realize.
“It adds to my work during an already busy time.”
Actually, plant-based recipes and meals can be extremely simple, even more so than meat-based dishes. Can you think of one side dish for an upcoming holiday that you don’t look forward to making or often requires more time than the others? I bet that you can swap out a few ingredients to make it healthy, and simplify both the number of ingredients and labor involved.
“Unless I can make the entire meal plant-based/vegan/healthy, there’s no point.”
Having a plant-centered table for the holidays does not have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Rather, it’s easy to start experimenting in small ways that feel doable and exciting to you, like swapping out a single ingredient in your favorite dish or having one meal each day be plant based. Increasing health at your holiday table can be done one small ingredient or one small dish, at a time.
“My kids/husband/mother-in-law won’t like the food.”
Do you know this for sure, or is this simply your perception? I transitioned my own young daughter and meat-loving husband into eating mostly plant-based food, and they enjoy the taste of real food and ingredients in a whole new way now. Many of us are afraid or unsure about what’s not familiar to us. Start adding plant-based dishes into your meals before the holidays to smooth the transition.
Your takeaway for plant-centered holiday meals: Go at your pace, and follow what feels interesting or inspiring. The more you put on the table that’s healthy, the less room there is for food that isn’t.