The holidays are usually the busiest time of the year, and it’s also a great way to catch up with friends and loved ones over a festive meal. People also tend to consume more meat than usual during these months, and as you may know, eating meat often is not very eco-friendly. Even if you aren't vegetarian or vegan, reducing your meat intake during the week by 1 or 2 days is definitely a positive step!
Ashley, our Community Coordinator, has been vegan for the last 3 years. So we asked her to share some of her favorite vegan holiday recipes!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a casserole dish. In a large pot, bring salted water to a rolling boil.
- Make the cashew cream: Add the soaked cashews and 1 cup of broth to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Make the string beans: Once the water is boiling, add the string beans and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. When the beans are done cooking, drain immediately and then submerge the cooked beans into an ice bath.
- Make the cream sauce: In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and sauté until translucent. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Sprinkle in flour and stir until the shallots and garlic are well coated. Then slowly whisk in the broth to thicken the sauce. Add the soy sauce, white wine vinegar, and sea salt. Continue to whisk for about 3-4 minutes. Lastly, add the cashew cream and stir until well combined.
- Assemble and bake the casserole: Drain the beans from the ice bath and add them to the skillet with the cream sauce. Carefully toss until the beans are evenly coated, then transfer the mixture to the greased casserole dish. Top with the crispy fried onions and bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden.
Prepare the lasagna fillings:
- Boil lasagna noodles according to package directions, drain, and rinse. Put back into the pot with enough ice-cold water to cover the noodles (This stops the cooking process and keeps them from sticking together).
- Wash and slice the veggies. Sauté the mushrooms and zucchini in a frying pan with a little olive oil for about 2 minutes on each side. When they're lightly cooked, set aside.
- Make some vegan sausage crumbles or chop up some store-bought vegan Italian sausages into bite-sized pieces. (optional)
Make tofu ricotta (or use store-bought vegan ricotta):
- Drain and press a container of extra firm tofu, getting out as much liquid as possible.
- Crumble the tofu into a large food processor. Add salt, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and basil.
- Blend for 2 minutes. Add a splash of water or soy milk if needed for a smooth spreadable texture.
- Take a thawed 16 oz. bag of frozen spinach, put it in a colander to press out the water, then add it to the ricotta (optional). Pulse the food processor a few times to mix in the spinach.
Assemble the lasagna:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cover the bottom of the lasagna dish with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce. Then lay down the cooked lasagna noodles and slightly overlap them.
- Add another layer of sauce and create a layer of sauteed zucchini. Sprinkle with a layer of vegan sausage.
- Add another layer of noodles, then spread on a layer of ricotta cheese, cooked mushrooms, and another layer of sauce.
- Add another layer of noodles, then arrange fresh sliced tomatoes, basil, and some shredded vegan mozzarella cheese.
- Add another layer of noodles and press down firmly to flatten out the lasagna and remove any pockets of air.
- Drizzle spaghetti sauce over the top of the final layer of noodles and top with vegan mozzarella cheese.
Bake the lasagna:
- Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 50 minutes. Then take off the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes until bubbly.
- Let it sit for about 15 minutes after taking out of the oven before cutting into it and serving.
VEGAN MAC & CHEESE
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Drizzle olive oil over a garlic head and half an onion, then wrap them in foil. Prepare the sweet potatoes as well. Bake for 25-30 mins.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions and set aside.
- Add the ingredients for the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. If your sauce is too thick, add a little more non-dairy milk until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and add salt if needed. If you want more garlic flavor, use garlic powder (optional).
- Combine pasta and sauce in a large pot. Heat and stir over medium-high heat to warm up, and then serve!
- Toast bread: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place cubed bread on 1 or 2 baking trays and toast for 10-15 minutes until lightly crispy and browned.
- Sauté vegetables: Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in celery, onion, garlic, carrot, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. If you're not using butter/oil, heat the water or broth. Sauté the vegetables for 7-8 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Mix bread and vegetables together and serve!
VEGAN MUSHROOM GRAVY
- Add olive oil, mushrooms, and thyme to a large skillet and sauté mushrooms over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until soft.
- Add the butter and let it melt. Then add flour and all the seasonings amd whisk for 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil. Then reduce to heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened into gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. Prepare crust: In a food processor, add pecans, oats, sugar, and salt. Pulse until texture is fine. Add coconut oil and pulse until it turns into a well-combined dough.
3. Put mixture in pie plate and press into an even layer. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Blind bake (aka pre-bake) for 15 minutes. Then remove parchment and weights and bake for 15 more minutes.
4. Prepare filling: In a large bowl, add ingredients for filling and whisk together. Pour over crust and bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until slightly jiggly in the center. Cover the crust with foil if it starts to get too dark. Let cool completely.
5. Make whipped cream: Open can of coconut cream and scoop out hardened cream on top. In a large bowl, whisk coconut cream, powdered sugar, and salt together with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
6. After pie is chilled until completely set, you can serve it with the whipped coconut cream!
What are your favorite holiday vegan recipes? Let us know in the comments!