If you are vegan, the return of the holiday season brings the return of the oft asked question….”What do you eat on (fill in the blank)?” Whatever holiday it is you are celebrating, trust there are limitless plant based options to appease the plant based palate. Personally, I like to take family favorites and turn them up a notch with fancy ingredients I might not normally splurge on and fragrant holiday spice. As much as I enjoy cooking, I do not enjoy spending entire days in the kitchen so sticking to recipes I am comfortable enough to play around with is key.
I am not a fan of meat substitutes so the meal does not revolve around a faux turkey or any such thing. Each dish is nutrient dense and balanced so there really isn’t a need for a “protein” (and if you know anything of the plant based world you know protein is in everything!) For instance, this year we had pumpkin sweet potato soup, pan stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry-apple sauce, a superfood-rich fall inspired salad with apple balsamic dressing, and a peanut butter chocolate torte for dessert. Needless to say, we did not go hungry.
If you are vegan or just entertaining the idea of adding more veggies to your holiday table, the following are some ideas to get you started:
-Spices make the meal: To me, sage screams holiday season. Depending on your particular holiday tradition you may lean towards something else. When all is said and done, herbs and spices are what bring us back to our senses and initiate holiday nostalgia.
-Only make what you truly enjoy: We all have that one so-so dish that somehow makes it onto the table year after year because it’s “traditional”. When preparing a celebratory dinner, make sure to concentrate on foods and flavors that you really love, not just those you think you are “supposed to” make.
-Embrace the versatility of fruits and veggies: Isn’t it cool how things like pumpkin, sweet potato, and apples can be used in everything from appetizers to desserts? Make traditional flavors fresh by adding apple to a salad, experimenting with pumpkin ravioli, or veganizing your sweet potato pie.
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