Along with cozy sweaters and picturesque winter landscapes, holiday food is one of the best parts of the season. Enjoy your holiday season to the fullest—and impress your house guests—with the vegan-friendly recipes below.
Start your holiday party off right with the perfect side dish. Use a large saucepan to boil 2 pounds of halved fingerling or Yukon gold potatoes. Boil for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes fall apart when pierced with a knife or fork. In the meantime, mince and sauté 5-6 cloves of garlic.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash with a potato masher or electric mixer. Add the sautéed garlic, 3-4 T. vegan butter, 1/4 cup of sliced chives, and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a splash of soy milk for creamier potatoes.
Butternut Squash Soup
Try this as an appetizer for a meal with several courses, or let it stand out as a main course. First, add the following ingredients to 5 cups of water and simmer for 2 hours:
- 1 c. chopped carrots
- 1 c. chopped celery
- 1 c. chopped onions
- 6 sprigs of parsley and/or 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 c. white wine
Strain the solids out of the liquid, then return the broth to the pot. Add 3 cups of diced, peeled butternut squash. Return to a simmer and cook until the squash softens. Then, use a blender to combine 1 cup of broth with the softened squash. Add pinches of salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Add the puree to the remaining broth and stir to combine. Add a splash of soy or coconut milk for creamier soup.
Tofu Pot Pie
Use this recipe to create a hearty main course. Sauté 1 cup chopped celery and 3 diced medium potatoes on low heat. After 5 minutes, add 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas, and 1 cup of diced onion.
Slowly add 2 cups of non-dairy milk and 1/3 cup of flour (if you use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, use slightly more non-dairy milk). As you bring the flour, vegetable, and milk mixture to a boil, add 12 oz. of cubed, firm tofu. You can add in a variety of herbs for flavor, such as parsley, rosemary, thyme, and rubbed sage. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. Place 4 Phyllo dough sheets in a 9x13 pan, then pour in the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Hot Buttered Rum
No holiday party is complete without a delicious cocktail. To make this traditional beverage, simply swap out the traditional butter in hot buttered rum for vegan margarine. Use a whisk or electric mixer to combine these ingredients:
- 1 cup vegan margarine (try Earth Balance or a similar brand)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 to 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cloves
To serve, add 2 tablespoons of the margarine mixture to 1/4 cup of your favorite rum. Add warm water, then garnish with ground cinnamon, ground cloves, or cinnamon sticks.
Remember to drink responsibly, especially at holiday parties—drinking and icy roads don't mix well. As the host of a holiday party, you should make sure your guests have plenty of water and food along with their cocktails, and don't let any drunk friends drive home at the end of the night. An expert from Sessions Law Firm, LLC says the penalties for driving under the influence are often severe and can affect a person’s life for years to come. Don’t let your animal-friendly holiday be soured by irresponsible drinking—arrange for a taxi service to pick up your guests after the party if you plan to serve cocktails (even vegan ones!).
Cranberry and Pear Cobbler
Don't forget dessert! To make this one, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 T. cornstarch, and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Place in a saucepan on low heat and add 4 diced pears, 1/2 cup cranberries, and 2 T. lemon juice. Heat on medium-low heat until the cornstarch mixture thickens. Pour into a 9x13 casserole.
Combine the following ingredients to make the topping:
- 1 c. flour
- 3 T. vegan shortening
- 1 T. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Once combined, add 1/2 cup of plain or vanilla soy milk. Pour the topping over the pear and cranberry mixture, then bake until golden brown (around 25 to 30 minutes).
These delicious holiday dishes are perfect for every party and family get-together you’ll be at this season. Even if some of your loved ones aren’t vegan—or even vegetarian—they’ll appreciate the delicious, vibrant flavors in these plant-based dishes. Who knows-- you might even convince one of them to give veganism a try!