springtime holidays

An egg, a basket filled with grass, a bunny, a lamb-what do they all have in common? They are symbolic representations of the time of year when life renews itself. The bunny and egg, while I have yet to figure out why the Easter bunny lays eggs, represent fertility. Spring is the time of birth for animals. The lamb represents a sacrifice, and the grass, new growth. Easter, and the Jewish holidays of Purim and Passover all take place within a few weeks of each others. They are all stories that out of hatred and oppression, new life and culture are created. I don't normally get political in my writings, but we are literally and philosophically at such a point today. Just today as I write this, there were 2 bombings in Brussels. With such hate in the world, it often seems difficult to see all of the good. But it is always there. We must work to build each other up and not take each other down. I believe that is the symbolism of these spring holidays. To renew, to celebrate life cycles, and to celebrate the coming of a new growing season. I know that always makes me feel whole.In plant-based cuisine, we forgo all of the egg and meat-laden dishes served this time of year. In their place-I recommend you focus on the lightness of spring, the beautiful green colors, and fresh bright flavors. Easter doesn't have to be such a heavy meal. In fact-in history past, while there was a sacrificial lamb, it was to feed a community. The focus of the plate used to be on seasonal vegetables and grains. When you plan your holiday or dish to bring, focus on what's in season where you live. For us, it's still this past fall's rich root veggies (cue the carrot for the bunny) and fresh spring greens that are just popping out. For those of you where spring is further along, maybe you're enjoying fresh dill, chives, garlic scrapes, and asparagus (you should be so lucky!). All things green this time of year! There's rejoicing that should come along, and it's no coincidence that the Spring Equinox and these holidays coincide. Pagan cultures always celebrated the changing of seasons. Judeo-Christian holidays utilized the same times of year for celebrations in order to best incorporate their teachings into pagan traditions.Now-for some springtime recipes:

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Fresh Pea Soup

Massaged Kale Salad

Buckwheat Tabbouleh Salad

Until next week....Happy Purim, Easter, and Spring!Jessica from www.gardenfreshfoodie.com

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