By: Sara Zitin

We want to begin the holidays with healthy holiday foods, preferably vegan. Why? I believe in animal rights, and although I don’t judge others, I do try to help people understand how precious their lives are. I eat mostly vegan holiday foods because of it. 

Here are some delicious vegan recipes for the holidays:

DELICIOUS VEGAN VEGGIE MASH

Nut and Spice Blend from Egypt: Dukkah

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds

1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

chili flakes, to taste

big pinch of sea salt

Vegetable Blend:

1 medium celery root (1 ¼ lbs)

2 russet baking potatoes (1 ¾ lbs)

3 medium parsnips (¾ lb)

1 head roasted garlic 

2 inches horseradish root, finely grates

¾ cup non-dairy creamer

¼ cup olive oil, divided

sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions: 

Dukkah: in a food processor, combine the pumpkin seeds, coriander, and cumin. Pulse the mixture until pumpkin seeds are finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in the sesame seeds, chili flakes, and flaky salt. Set aside.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment .
  2. Peel the celery root, potatoes, and parsnips. Chop the celery root and potatoes into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a large pot. Chop the parsnips into ½-inch pieces and transfer to the pot as well. Cover the vegetables with water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover the pot and bring the vegetables to a boil. Boil the vegetables until all varieties are tender, about 12-14 minutes.
  3. Drain the vegetables and transfer to the baking sheet. Arrange vegetables in a single layer and place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the surface appears dried out.
  4. Squeeze the roasted garlic out into an upright blender. Add the horseradish, non-dairy creamer, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Blend this mixture on high until completely smooth. Transfer this to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  5. Place the dry vegetables back in the big pot and mash them up a bit by hand to break up the big pieces. Then, add all of the garlicky cream to the pot along with a lot of salt and pepper. Keep mashing until vegetables are smooth and slightly fluffy. Keep warm.
  6. Set a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan. Once hot, add ¼ cup of the dukkah to the pan and stir until fragrant and spices appear golden brown and toasted, about 3 minutes. Spoon fried dukkah and flavored oil over the vegetable mash. Serve immediately.

VEGAN PISTACHIO SQUASH

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 4 cups low/no-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 ¼ cups filtered water, divided
  • 1 ½ cups whole farro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced shallots 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves minced
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup raw pistachios, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Cut the butternut squash down the middle lengthwise. Lay both halves, cut side down, on the parchment lined sheet. Slide the squash into the oven and roast for about 40 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the vegetable stock and 1 cup of the water and place it over medium-low heat. Cover the stock, and let it simmer gently.
  4. Place half of the farro in an upright blender. Grind the grains on high until they are evenly “cracked” and resemble steel cut oatmeal. Set aside.
  5. Make the butternut and pistachio cream: Retrieve 1 cup of cooked butternut squash from the cooked halves, discarding the seeds. Save any extra squash for another use. In an upright blender, combine the squash, pistachios, miso, salt, pepper, and remaining water. Blend this mixture on high until it’s completely smooth. Set aside.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and stir. Pour the whole and “cracked” farro into the pot and stir. Keep stirring until you hear crackling sounds and there’s a toasty aroma, about 2 minutes. Pour the lemon juice and ¼ cup of water into the pot and stir until the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Transfer the warmed vegetable stock to the pot with the farro. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for 20 minutes. Stir the mixture a bit and cook it for another 20 minutes—keep stirring it here and there at this point.
  8. Transfer the butternut cream to the farro pot and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the farro to a boil and simmer, uncovered for another 20 minutes. You will need to stir this fairly often to avoid sputtering. The farro is ready when the grains look like they are lightly immersed in a creamy sauce. 
  9. Serve farrotto hot with freshly ground black pepper and extra thyme leaves/other greens on top.

OLIVE MINTED BEETS

  • 6 medium beets 
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 small shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the beets in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the beets to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Take the beets out of the water with tongs and let them cool a bit on a cutting board.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, slip the skins off of the beets. Transfer the beets to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently crush the beets until they break off into craggy fragments. The pieces will be all different shapes and sizes. Spread the pieces out in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle the crushed beets with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the beets with salt and pepper. Slide the baking sheet into the oven for 20 minutes, or until the beets have dried out on the surface.
  5. While beets are roasting, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the olives, shallot, garlic, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, and some ground black pepper. Use a fork to “whisk” and mix it up. Set aside.
  6. Transfer the roasted and crushed beets to your serving platter, placing them in one layer.
  7. Peel, pit, and dice the avocado, and scatter the diced pieces evenly over the beets. Quickly stir the mint and parsley leaves into the dressing,  then spoon the dressing over the crushed beets and avocado. Serve immediately.

VEGAN CRANBERRY FLUFFER

  • 10 ounce bag fresh whole cranberries
  • ¾ cup monk fruit sugar
  • 20 ounces of crushed orange, drained
  • 1 container So Delicious CocoWhip
  • 2 cups mini vegan marshmallows
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded

Instructions:

  1. Place the cranberries and monk fruit sugar in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Drain the crushed oranges in a colander, extracting as much liquid as possible. Add the cranberry mixture, crushed oranges and cocowhip to a bowl. Gently fold to combine. Add the marshmallows and gently stir in.
  3. Pour the mixture into a serving dish. Let sit for at least 6 hours and up to overnight. Top with pomegranate seeds.

VEGAN APRICOT CHAI LOAF

  • 2 apricots
  • 1 cup vegan milk of choice 
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2¼ cups almond flour
  • ½ cup nuts of your choice 
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tea bags Chai tea
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • a dash of fresh pepper
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Oil a silicone rectangular mold with a melted coconut oil
  3. In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda and combine
  4. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, sea salt and pepper
  5. Melt coconut oil in a small pan, add the milk, maple syrup and bourbon vanilla extract
  6. Cook on low heat and pour in a glass with the two chai tea bags
  7. After 8 minutes, remove bags and add the liquid mixture to bowl with the dry parts and combine
  8. Add the apple cider and quickly incorporate into dough
  9. Pour dough into the rectangular mold and decorate with sliced apricots.
  10. Drizzle coconut sugar over cake
  11. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

I bet you thought you couldn’t have delicious vegan meals! These tested and amazing recipes are proof that veganism is alive and well during the holidays! Try one or more of these recipes and let us know about your experiences. You can always change out one ingredient for another if you’re a creative cook, and make any one of these recipes exclusively  your own!