Pat and I are trying something new. We are eating a plant based diet, which is basically a vegan diet but maybe a little more strict. It is the diet that President Clinton has been using too.
In addition to being a pretty healthy diet, it is automatically kosher which makes it really great.
There seems to be a lot of interest lately in plant based diets with a lot of great cookbooks out there and other books and videos such as the video called Forks Over Knives and the book called The China Study.
I haven't figured out yet how I am going to make potato pancakes without eggs or much oil, but I have asked one of the authors of the plant based cookbooks. I hope she'll come up with something. I'll let you know.
My cousin and her daughter went on vegan diets several months ago. She is not Jewish, but is married to non-observant Jew. Their kids are being raised as secular. They live less than an hour from us, so they have learned about Passover from seders at our house.
Just be careful to eat combinations such as grains with beans/nuts that give you complete proteins. You can eat a healthy plant-based diet, but you do have to be a little more deliberate in your choices than if you eat animal products.
Thanks for the website tip. I will forward it to my cousin. She is also a very "foodie" person. Some time ago before she had kids, she actually took a very intensive course for training professional chefs. She has lots of cookware and a big pantry to hold it all. Some years back she was asking my mom for advice on Chinese cooking and was amazed that my mom does all her cooking with just one relatively small traditional iron wok. And with that single wok (plus steamer) she has even cooked a few fancy dinner parties where she cooked about a half dozen different dishes. But my cousin had EIGHT different woks!
And the vegetarian website is useful to me as well. My family eats meat only about once a week so most meals are vegetarian, although ovo-lacto since we eat a fair amount cheese and we also eat eggs. We have a lot of vegetarian friends. That is why we chose to make our good china be "Dairy". We have a complete set of 16 settings and many serving pieces of gold-rimmed Lenox china that we got when we were married and have added to over the years. Because glazed china does not absorb and is really very similar to glass, it is generally accepted that in the case of heirloom china or china that would cause considerable financial loss to replace, one can set the china aside unused for a full year and then it can be considered to be kosher (some rabbis also require the plates to be dipped in boiling water). When this is done, the plates are considered to be "pareve" and so we had the chance to choose whether to use them as Dairy or Meat. My rabbi assumed that since they were our fancy dishes that we would use them for meat meals. But since we have a lot of vegetarian friends, we actually have many fancy meals that are Dairy and we felt that we would get much less use from them if we made them meat. Also, I am expecting to one day inherit a set of fancy dishes that my parents have with a design from my father's alma mater which is also where my husband and I went (but my sisters did not). The design is RED, so I can't imagine using them for anything but meat.