Your First Vegan Christmas Menu

Not only is Christmas the happiest time of the year, it’s also the most delicious! No matter where you turn this holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or any other holiday, you’re sure to be surrounded by friends, family, love and most importantly, food. There’s a way to enjoy all of your favorite treats the vegan way this holiday season, and we’ve teamed up with our friends at Simply Organic to show you how! With over $1.5 million donated to organic and sustainable farming communities, Simply Organic embodies the spirit of giving and spreading Christmas cheer. In fact, this year they’re raising awareness for the Ceres Healing Meals Program via their #CookForAChange campaign challenge.

Speaking of challenges, creating a holiday menu when you first go vegan can seem challenging, but there are many ways of veganizing your favorite recipes using spices and fresh plant-based ingredients. We’ve prepared a sample Christmas menu for you that will taste great on any other occasion too, so even if you don’t celebrate this holiday, you can still enjoy these with your loved ones.

 

(All recipes serve 4)

Let’s start with the main dish. Instead of using meat, simply use any vegetable protein or legume and combine it with vegetables and condiments. We decided to keep it simple and use ground sage in addition to salt and pepper in order to highlight its unique flavor. For the sauce, we’ve added garlic powder and nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy touch without actually using dairy.

Vegan “Beef” and Potato Casserole

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves minced

4 ounces shiitakes sliced

3 stalks celery chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp Simply Organic ground sage

1 tsp Simply Organic pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 cup vegan beef crumbles

4 medium boiled potatoes

Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews

1.5 cups almond milk

1 tsp Simply Organic garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup Simply Organic nutritional yeast

1/2 cup bread crumbs to top

Directions:

  1. Remove the skin from the potatoes, then cut into quarters.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then set heat a medium and boil the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from liquid and let cool.
  4. In a pan set a medium heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil for 1 minute.
  5. Add the celery, then cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  6. Add the shiitake mushrooms, then cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Add the vegan beef crumble and the spices, then cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  8. Add the potatoes, then cook for 2 minutes and pour the cooked mixture into a casserole dish.
  9. Blend all sauce ingredients until you reach a smooth consistency, then pour over the casserole evenly.
  10. Top with breadcrumbs, then bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and enjoy!

As for Thanksgiving, sides are a great way to make sure there’s something for everyone during a holiday feast. Here are three of our favorite and easy to prepare sides for you to try.

Cranberry Garlic Kale

Ingredients:

5 cups chopped curly kale

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp Simply Organic onion powder

1/2 water

2 tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp Simply Organic pepper

Directions:

  1. In a pan set at medium heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the kale and water, then sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add all other ingredients and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

15 button mushrooms

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp Simply Organic Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp Simply Organic pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Simply Organic garlic powder

1/2 cup vegan cheese shreds

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 200C/400F.
  2. Remove stems from the mushrooms, leaving them hollowed out.
  3. In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, spices, olive oil and garlic thoroughly, then fill the mushrooms with the combination.
  4. Top the stuffed mushrooms with the vegan cheese, then cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Sautéed Green Beans

Ingredients:

16oz fresh green beans

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp Simply Organic all purpose seasoning

2 tbs oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp Simply Organic pepper

1/4 whole almonds

Directions:

  1. In a pan set at medium heat, sauté the garlic and shallot in the olive oil for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans, then sauté for an additional 8 minutes.
  3. Add all other ingredients and let cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Let’s not forget about dessert! Baked fruit is a great and easy way to include a sweet dish that doesn’t require animal based ingredients like eggs or dairy. Combined with nuts, spices and maple syrup or coconut sugar, it’ll be a healthier option that’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth. To give this recipe a special holiday touch, we’ve included Simply Organic’s “Cinnamon Sugar Trio” spice blend, as well as their ground cloves.

Baked Pears

Ingredients:

3 pears

1/4 cup chopped pecans

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp Simply Organic cinnamon sugar trio spice blend

1 tsp Simply Organic ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 200C/400F.
  2. Slice the pears in half, then scoop out about half of the pear.
  3. Fill the pear slices with the pecans, then drizzle all other ingredients over them equally.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from heat and enjoy!

 

 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Simply Organic. Join the Cook For A Change movement – explore new flavors, ideas and recipes that create change in the kitchen and in our hearts: www.cookforachange.com

All opinions expressed are our own.

 

 

Recipes and photos: Jessica Almeida

Text: Ryan Broems and Kim-Julie Hansen

 

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