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Meat-free Easter dinner ideas

We are eating lots less meat these days, which I'm finding pretty easy to do most of the time.

For Easter, it will be just my family- husband & 2 small children. I would love some suggestions for a meat free, Easter dinner. We have access to amazing eggs & are still also using dairy products. I love to cook & would like some special ideas. We don't have any food allergies, thankfully, and we are all pretty adventurous eaters. I make home made pasta about once per week, but am willing to try a fun ravioli or other filled pasta for something different than linguini with whatever's in the pantry & fridge.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Start with beet-pickled deviled eggs which will be the appropriate color for Easter. You can celebrate the return of Spring with smart vegetables. Beyond a classic pasta primavera, I might go for gemelli with asparagus, boursin and lemon or pea and mint ravioli with a parmesan brodo. If you have access to morels, definitely go for those in an umami-rich cream sauce.

    1. What about a pasta with salmon and vegetables?

      1. Meat Free- are we talking nothing with a face.

        I would recomend things like Risotto with wild mushrooms and asparagus,

        1. I would think a quiche would be a perfect Easter food. Fill it up w/ veggies and cheese with a simple salad along side.

          2 Replies
            1. re: JerryMe

              Along similar lines, a vegetarian friend of mine has a yummy-looking recipe for a mushroom-greens torta that might do the trick: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

            2. Since you are still eating some meat, I would suggest that you include it for holiday meals. It makes them a more special occasion, and ham or lamb are traditional Easter main dishes. If you don't want a whole ham, Honeybaked Ham stores sell quarter hams and also by the slice. Their sliced turkey breast is also quite good. On the lamb front, if a whole roast is too much to deal with, braised shanks are wonderful.

              1. One of my favorite spring dishes is a Ragout of Baby Artichokes and early peas with Romaine lettuce.

                artichokes make great filling for ravioli. How about making one large Raviolo per person in a bowl with a bit of veggie broth? A beautiful and tasty first course.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChefJune

                  A quote from PIP, from Dicken's Great Expectations,

                  May I have some more.... sir?

                  Your suggestion sounds great.

                2. A vegetable primavera lasagne would work.

                  1. Are you wanting totally meat free as in no meat or fish? I would suggest making pasta less lasagna stacks with roasted tomatoes, whole red and orange peppers (peeled) zucchini, yellow squash, sauteed spinach and asparagus. Make two fillings; one of herbed cream cheese and the second with a lemon basil ricotta.

                    Build the stacks with the veggies and fillings alternating and garnish with a micro green salad or a small salad of baby greens, fresh or frozen & thawed peas & shaved radishes with a mint vinaigrette.

                    1 Reply
                    1. This is the Easter Menu from The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (by the way, one of my most favorite vegetarian cookbooks of all time):

                      Crostini w/ Eggplant and Olive Relish
                      Spinach, Green Garlic and Mushroom Pie (more like a calzone in style)
                      Painted Eggs
                      Beet Salad in Raspberry Vinaigrette
                      Onion and Thyme Flan
                      Roasted Asparagus w/ Herb-Roasted Baby Potatoes
                      Yogurt Cheese w/ honey
                      fresh strawberries
                      Hot Cross Buns
                      Easter Baba
                      Gypsy Mazurek

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: grubn

                        I'd love the onion & thyme flan recipe....

                      2. first thing I thought of was a nice eggplant parmasan or a savory roasted vegetable strudel with cheese. (always looks so nice too)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lexpatti

                          i was going to recommend parmesans... a fancy medley including eggplant parmesan, zucchini parmesan, portabello parmesan, along with
                          some garlic bread
                          leek, mushroom and gruyere tart
                          roasted cauliflower
                          salad of artichoke hearts, hearts of palms and tomatoes...
                          and/or a vegetable terrine
                          strawberry shortcake

                        2. Mushroom or onion bread pudding make nice sides, and I second the idea of a vegetable strudel. A cheese souffle--or if fish is OK, a salmon souffle. All of these are fragrant and puffed, shiny and golden. Like lexpatti said, "always looks so nice..."

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: blue room

                            mmmm, me too lovin a savory bread pudding. Last time I make them in individual cup cake tins - Mushroom and Fennel! Do you have a recipe for salmon souflle? I love salmon anything but I haven't done a souffle. This cute this store sells these awesome salmon puffs, almost like a salmon pot pie but in a puff.

                            1. re: lexpatti

                              This is the recipe I use for Salmon Soufle' -- it is on a 4 inch square of very yellowed newspaper from years ago.

                              4 large eggs, separated
                              1 1-pound can of salmon, drained (of course the cans are 14.75 ounces now! :(
                              1/2 teaspoon salt
                              1/4 teaspoon pepper
                              1/4 teaspoon paprika (I use celery seed instead sometimes)
                              2 tablespoons cider vinegar
                              2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                              1/2 cup fine cracker crumbs
                              1/2 cup scalding hot milk

                              Beat yolks until light, frothy. Remove bones and skin from salmon, add to yolks. Add salt & pepper,paprika, vinegar and lemon juice. Mix well to break the fish into small flakes, add crumbs and mix well, add milk and mix again.
                              Then do the egg whites--they should be beaten stiff, hold stiff peaks. Fold into the salmon mixture carefully--don't lose the airyness.
                              It goes into an ungreased 1 1/2 quart casserole, smooth the top a little with a spatula. Bake @ 350F for 55 minutes, until a knife into the center comes out clean.
                              Of course it should be served right away for looks, but I love it for breakfast the next day too!

                              When you make salmon croquettes/patties it's not such a problem to leave in some skin and bones, but with this it's nice to have just the salmon-colored fish in the pale souffle--little black bits don't look good.

                              1. re: blue room

                                very nice, thank you!! I think I'll love this.

                          2. I was thinking of a creamy pasta primavera with all the best spring vegetables. It's indulgent, meat free and seasonal. I believe Connecticutt Cooks II has a good recipe.

                            1. This is great, but more peasant-like than a gussied-up holiday meal
                              Have you considered vegetable paella or a good spring veggie risotto
                              Leek/onion tart might be nice (along the lines of the already suggested quiche or fritatta
                              )You could also do a brunch theme

                              1. Have you thought of ravioli in different colors (via paste mixes beets , greens yellows) in an oval or even better egg shape?

                                My family (since weren't much candy eaters) hid coins. Your bedroom got alot and the more community the room i.e. the living/TV room had harder to find coins.

                                I do think Easter explores the delight of finding the blooming of new growth. Maybe a baby salad mix served sans dressing, so it cam be eaten with fingers and "dipped:" in a salad dressing? Hide a secret something at the bottom so the "winner" gets to be "something special for an hour"?

                                Easter was always to me, the joy of new growth, finding. hidden stuff. So I think you can make it amazingly special.

                                1. Thanks to all for wonderful ideas.

                                  1. Lasagna I find to be a wonderful selection even if there are meat eaters at the table. Just layer the dish with lasagna noodles, marinara/sauce of your choice, Parmesan or Pecorino cheese generously, fresh mozzarella slices, and a thin layer of cottage cheese, repeat until dish is almost to the top. Cook at 375*F for ~35 mins covered and then an additional 10 mins. Adjust times/temp as necessary. Enjoy!!