CLASSIC ESTONIAN POTATO SALAD VEGAN VERSION

This classic potato salad recipe is perfect for the weekend or a family get-together. We tend to make it every time we have a family birthday or holiday. Since Estonians really love potato in all forms, potato salad is a certain must have on the party table. A little known fact is that this popular potato salad in Estonia is originally from Russia - called the Olivier salad or more commonly Russian salad. 

Growing up I really mastered making the traditional Estonian potato salad. I remember myself chopping the ingredients sometimes into the early morning hours if there was some bigger event coming the next day. But every time it really was worth it. After going vegan this was the one dish that I missed the most, so I had to come up with a vegan version of it. And once again I proved to myself that there isn't anything you will miss out on when becoming a vegan. Almost everything can be veganised, and often times the end result may be even better than the original dish!

Down below I have written down two options for the salad. Some people tend not to like canned peas, so there is no need to add them. But when you really want to try the Estonian version I suggest to try it with the peas and some vegan sausage. 

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CLASSIC ESTONIAN POTATO SALAD VEGANISED

  • 1.5kg potatoes, boiled with skin until soft
  • 1 jar of your favourite pickles
  • 1 long cucumber
  • about 3 boiled carrots chopped finely (or if in a hurry use salad carrot sold boiled and chopped)
  • salt and dill
  • Your favourite vegan mayo for dressing. I usually use "Taimetoitlaste kaste" and "Alpro sojakoor" together. So I basically just mix the vegan mayo together with the vegan cream. 
  • If you want to make the real traditional version add a jar of canned green salad peas and 250g of vegan ham or sausage
  1. Dice all the ingredients as small as you can into one bowl
  2. Add salt and some dill.
  3. Add the vegan mayo dressing, mix very well and let set before eating (up to 4 hours)

Although there are so many jokes out there in the vegan community how veganism ruins family dinners, it really shouldn't be this way. Even when your family isn't supportive in the beginning, don't try to oppose them and embrace the fact that they just don't have adequate knowledge on veganism. Love creates love - and the perfect way to help them understand the nature of veganism is to be a good example yourself.

Prepare them some delicious vegan dinner or show them some documentaries if they're interested. The key is to be patient and not to drown them in information, but at the same time you should be prepared to answer some of the basic questions when need be. It's really important to be informed about veganism and proper nutrition before you go defending veganism. So nobody can get you blindsided or make you feel stupid. 

But in my opinion one of the best ways to maintain loving family dinners is to veganise your family favourites and let them see that there really isn't anything you will be giving up being vegan, quite the opposite - there is only more to gain. 

Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing nonviolence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable
— Gary L. Francione