Posts tagged vegetarian holiday recipes
Christmas is a time when we think of family get-togethers, memories and traditional treats and meals. With many of the traditional ingredients: white sugar and flour, dairy products, trans and saturated fats, and refined carbs, on the “no-no” list you may be wondering what you’ll eat this holiday season. We don’t want our families to feel deprived of the traditional treats they’ve come to associate with the holidays, yet we want to provide healthier choices.
You might want to try some raw food desserts and see how friends and family respond. Most people make faces when you tell them you’ll bring something raw, but once they’ve tasted it, they come away grinning and smacking their lips. With just a few simple kitchen appliances you can put together a great dish. Jenny Cornbleet’s book called Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People is a great place to start. I’ve tried a number of recipes in this book and they’ve all be delicious. In it there are dessert recipes for cakes, cookies, fruit crisps, pies, tarts, puddings, mousses, shakes, and ice cream. All of them are totally raw. Guess what? They taste better than their sugar-laden counterparts.
One recipe is for a Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce. It calls for 1 ½ cups walnuts, dash of salt, 8 pitted medjool dates, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder, ½ tsp vanilla extract, and 2 tsp water. For the raspberry sauce you use 1-cup fresh or frozen raspberries (thaw and drain if frozen) with ¼ cup pitted medjool dates, soaked for 30 minutes and drained. Place the walnuts and salt in a food processor with the S blade and process until finely ground. Add dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla … process until mixture becomes sticky. Add water and process briefly. Transfer to a serving plate and form a 5 inch round cake. Place the raspberries and dates in a blender and mix until smooth, pouring over the cake just before serving.
You don’t need to give up all your comfort foods, just find a healthier recipe for it. The taste may be a bit strange to you the first time, but after you’ve switched to healthier ingredients for a while, you’ll find the original recipe inedible. Should you choose to nibble on a few old favorites, don’t go down the guilt trail, thoroughly enjoy those few bites, but use moderation. Over time you’ll replace the unhealthy treat with a healthy one and start a whole new set of traditions for you and generations to come.
Maybe this is your first holiday as a vegetarian, or your college age child just announced they’ve gone vegetarian. Maybe you’ll be having some vegetarian guests, or you just want to eat less meat yourself. Whatever the reason, having several options for a holiday meal is a good idea.
For main dishes there’s the mock turkey recipe from my last post, but you can also have winter squash. I remember attending my first vegetarian Thanksgiving. The people had cooked a huge, and I mean gigantic squash. They’d taken zucchinis and turnips and made legs out of them and made the whole thing look like a giant turkey. It was really fun!
You can still have your usual sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, and stuffing (made outside the bird, but it still tastes great!) You’ll have to buy vegetarian marshmallows, though. Bean casserole is OK, too, as long as you make sure the sauce doesn’t have any meat or meat broth in it. Use honey or evaporated cane juice for sugar, as some white sugar is processed using bone char, which they may object to. Everything will have a nice earthy sweet flavor and will be good for you, too!
You’ll have to substitute something for your usual Jello salad, as gelatin is made from animal hooves, maybe a green salad. Gravy can be done, but not from the bird drippings, and you’ll need a good pumpkin pie recipe that doesn’t use eggs.
You can also ask a vegetarian to bring one of their favorite dishes to share, as well. Most often they’ll be happy to oblige. I’ve even offered to cook several dishes when I’ve been visiting family. That way they get introduced to new and delicious altrenatives and I have more than one dish to eat!
Here’s a good vegetarian pumpkin pie recipe. It may not taste exactly like what you grew up with, but it is darn good! This is a recipe from a friend of mine, who likes to bake.
Tofu Pumpkin Pie from Anna
Servings: 1 – 9″ pie
Cooking Time: 55-60 min.
- 1 16 oz. can pureed pumpkin
- 3/4 c Sucanat
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1 10-12 oz. pkg. firm tofu
Blend tofu until smooth. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and place in a 9″ pie crust. Bake at 425˚ for 15 min., then lower heat to 350˚ for 40 min. Cool and serve.
When I first became a vegetarian I didn’t miss any meat, except turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had it every single holiday that I could remember and the first without was interesting. What was I going to fix? At that time there was no Tofurky available. For a number of years we just ate butternut or acorn squash to replace the turkey. Then I found this recipe from Ann Gentry. I first used it about 15 years ago. I was amazed to find her sharing it in a recent blog post.
I’ll tell you, if you want the taste of turkey without having to kill one to eat it, this is the recipe for you. I love this recipe. It does take a little bit of prep time, but it’s delicious. The recipe also makes a huge amount, so I usually halve it, because there’s only two of us. Even then we can have “turkey” leftovers for several days afterward, just like we did in the “olden days.”
I serve it with my own herbed gravy, which I’m sharing below. So, here’s a great base for holiday meals without the meat. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Prep Time: 20 min
Servings: 1.5- 2 cups
- ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup rice milk, unsweetened
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp safflower or sunflower oil
- 1 tsp dried, crushed sage
- ½ tsp dry thyme
- ¼ tsp dry marjoram
- pinch black pepper
In 2 qt. saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add flour and stir often for 2 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Whisk together with the flour/oil, half at a time to avoid lumping. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10-15 min, stirring occasionally. If gravy seems too thick, whisk in additional water, 1 Tbs. at a time until desired consistency is reached. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
You can substitute soy or almond milk for the rice milk.