Being vegan during Greek Easter is hard. In the weeks prior to Easter, when all the fields are covered with lush grass and beautiful wild flowers, you see lots of sweet little lambs frolicking around, enjoying the spring sunshine and trimming the ‘lawns’. They seem so happy and carefree and it makes me sad when we drive past one week later and there are no more lambs… 🙁 .
We used to get invited to traditional Easter lunches but we cannot bear to watch a poor little lamb rotating on the spit while everybody around us goes on about how juicy and delicious the meat is and how much they love lamb (clearly not the happy and carefree kind). They will also be utterly confused as to why we don’t want to eat it or not even a bit of feta cheese.
It is ironic that a lot of modern Greeks do not seem to grasp the point of being vegan (or what it even entails) as the idea of abstaining from eating animal products stems from ancient Greece and in its agricultural past.
In fact, Greeks used to eat lots of healthy, beautiful meat-free dishes. Even today devout Greeks typically consume these plant-based dishes in the 40 days preceding Easter, although you get the sense that meat abstinence is a bit of a chore for them.
Gigantes plaki is the best example of these plant-based dishes and one of our favourite ‘mezedes’ (small plates). It’s beautifully fragrant, simple to make and utterly delicious! It’s a nourishing and satisfying meal with plenty of plant-based protein. It may seem like it takes a long time to make, but it really doesn’t – the oven takes care of most of the work for you! 🙂
PS: If you make my gigantes plaki, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!