Dyngus Day 2015: Celebrate the Polish holiday the meatless way

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By: Danielle Waldron
dwaldron@elkharttruth.com

Dalej1/Flickr

Holidays and the rich foods that come with them can be challenging for people with special diets — a true test of wills. 

Trust me, we all have one (for me, this was Easter and avoiding Reese’s eggs). So it can feel like you’re sitting on the outside looking in as everyone else chows down on sausages and pierogi. You’re definitely not alone. 

Northern Indiana knows how to celebrate — after all, it’s among the cities with the biggest Dyngus Day celebrations (with New York taking the top spot). 

Traditional foods lining the buffet table are sausages, pierogi (definitely not vegan, but usually vegetarian), sauerkraut, sweet and sour noodles and pickled eggs, according to previous reporting from Flavor 574, but that doesn’t mean vegetarians and vegans have to skip out on Dyngus Day altogether. 

If you’re heading out for Dyngus Day, be sure to ask about ingredients. Even if the food looks vegan or vegetarian, it’s impossible to know what it was cooked with or fried in without asking.

Here are a few items from BuzzFeed that are typically vegetarian or can be modified at home to be made vegan (if you and your family are celebrating at home):

  • Placki ziemniaczane: Potato pancake, just hold the sour cream, please!
  • Makowiec: Poppy seed pastry served for Christmas and Easter, BuzzFeed reports. 
  • Barszcz: This thick beet stew will cling to your ribs; just be sure it isn’t made with meat.
  • Paczki: There’s nothing vegan about these traditional pastries that are eaten on Mardi Gras, but vegetarians can indulge.

Three staples in Polish food are meat, cheese and potatoes. If you’re cooking at home, vegetarians and vegans can swap out meat for mock-meats, or double up on cheese (dairy or non-dairy). 

Wherever you’re celebrating, take some tunes with you and it’ll be a Dyngus Day celebration at home, work or in the car. 

 

Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron.
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