By Cecilia Smith
The Interfaith House (IF), the Newman Catholic Community (Newman) and “a dedicated group of vegetarians” collaborated to host a free vegan dinner for students this Easter Sunday.
The dinner, held at IF, featured mashed sweet potatoes, deviled potatoes, “Tree Rice,” a salad and lemon asparagus risotto. Students dyed eggs, ate Peeps and participated in an egg hunt put on by IF senior Amanda Boehme.
Junior Peter Reveles, Newman president, said the dinner was a good way to promote healthy eating and “giv(e) people an opportunity to spend Easter with a kind of family.”
Sophomore Kerrigan Boyd, one of the event’s organizers, said she was pleased with the diverse group of people at the dinner.
“I think there were a lot of friends of friends,” she said.
“(The) turnout was great, and we had enough food this time.”
Boyd co-organized a vegetarian taco night at the Tree House with junior Karli Amstadt earlier this semester. Boyd said she and Amstadt wanted to do another dinner and Amstadt had the idea to collaborate with IF.
Amstadt said she thought holding the dinner on a holiday at a different location than the last meal helped attract more people. She also said she’d consider holding more dinners on holidays.
Amstadt said traditional Easter foods inspired the menu. She said deviled eggs were switched with potatoes, and butter was not used in the mashed sweet potatoes; instead, Amstadt said, the vegan version of the recipe required mixing in orange juice, maple syrup and olive oil.
“We had a couple of snafus with the risotto,” she said. “We mixed the rice in water instead of broth and I caught the mistake too late. We accidentally invented Tree Rice. That’s a secret recipe.”
Amstadt said the meal added up to $60 instead of the budgeted $100.
“People think that being vegetarian is expensive, but you can also be cheaper a lot of the time because beans and rice cost less than meat,” she said, adding that she and Boyd are planning a vegan ice cream social with the extra money.
Senior Rachel Tallmadge, IF moderator, said Boyd contacted her with the idea to have an Easter dinner at the house and her housemates took care of the rest, including the egg-dyeing kit.
“IF House is happy to co-sponsor an event with any religious group and any special interest group—especially one that involves food,” she said.
“…(E)very time there’s a religious tradition, a family tradition, we want to be a