Vegan Holiday (Hallothanksmas) Ideas and Recipes
We barely have time to enjoy the fall before the stores begin the eternal push for seasonal decorations and sales, and then the holiday season is upon us once again. As a little girl, I was very excited by this time of year. It meant that Christmas was coming and the weather was cooling off. I had some pretty happy memories of the holidays filled with get-togethers of friends and families and lots of holiday goodies and specials on TV.
Today, I’m filled with worry about the approach of the holidays. I never seem to have enough money to buy gifts for all the ones I love and never enough time to make gifts for all. Even working all year long, I end up with only enough for the closest family members. However will I get through it all without turning to drink?
Then there are the concerns about decorating, cleaning, entertaining, cooking, and storing gifts and décor until the end of this season when things go back to “normal.” Will there be enough room to put family up? Will there be enough food to go around? Will I be able to create casseroles and side dishes to take to the family potlucks, work potlucks, art group potlucks, and more? Soon the baking begins in earnest, and much of it cannot be done in advance.
How to Stay Stress-Free
The key is not to get too many expectations for the coming season. It probably won’t turn out like a Norman Rockwell painting. Not that I mean that I should lower my expectations to nothing. Just don’t stress the small stuff.
I don’t know what it is about the holidays, but emotions seem to run very high or very low. I have an aunt whose only son was killed in a freak accident near Christmas, and she has never really gotten over it. She would spend days in a dark room around Christmas every year. I just don’t want that to be me.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.— JRR Tolkien
One of my main stresses is bringing something to these holiday get-togethers that I can eat. I know my family is not vegan and will have all kinds of traditional dishes on the table. Even the green bean dish is typically cooked with bacon and bacon drippings. Sad for me.
To overcome the disappointment, I have decided this year to look up some alternative recipes I can bring to the festivities.
- Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping
- Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie
- Sam's Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Mushroom Cranberry Lentil Loaf
- Oregano Rolls
- Vegan Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Being vegan is one of the most effective decisions we can make to bring about world peace.— Unknown
Have you tried any vegan dishes?
1. Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping
This Green Bean Casserole with Vegan Onion Topping from Sam Turnbull's It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken website is a great and tasty alternative to the traditional family green beans with bacon.
2. Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
This Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is also from Sam Turnbull's It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken website. She is such a cute, perky vegan cook, and she's a joy to watch on the YouTube channel making her dishes, too. This is one of my favorite "share it with everyone" dishes because it's so tasty.
3. Sam's Chocolate Chip Cookies
4. Mushroom Cranberry Lentil Loaf
This Mushroom Cranberry Lentil Loaf from the Virtual Vegan website really hits the spot and makes a nice sweet and savory potluck dish.
In search of fresh vegetable puns. Lettuce know.— Anonymous
5. Oregano Rolls
I have my own recipe for whole-wheat rolls that I created when my doctor said I should stay away from white bread. With my bread maker, I mix up the dough and then form it into rolls on a cookie sheet.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon active bread yeast
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons oregano or pizza seasoning (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground flax meal (as egg alternative)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place the warm water, sugar, and yeast into the bread maker mold and allow to stand for 10 minutes until the yeast has softened and activated.
- Add the remaining ingredients and set the bread maker for dough only.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. When the bread maker is done mixing remove the dough and form into softball-size rolls or smaller as desired. Place them onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and brush with vegan butter for a softer crust.
- These were really popular with my family. Everyone tried one and didn’t know or care that they were vegan.
Turning Vegan would be a BIG missed steak.— Anonymous
6. Vegan Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
This is basically a vegan pumpkin bread with whole-wheat flour, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds (or walnuts, if you prefer), and it's completely oil-free. You can even substitute sweet potato puree for the pumpkin puree if you like.
This recipe makes about 12 muffins. They're perfect for breakfast or dessert.
- 1 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
- 2/3 cup packed dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or walnuts
- 1 cup pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the muffin tins by greasing them with vegan butter or olive oil.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and stir until combined. Then scoop a well in the center and set to one side.
- Combine pumpkin puree and non-dairy milk in one bowl and stir until combined. Then pour into the dry ingredients.
- The key is to only stir until all the ingredients are moistened and no dry spots are left. Don’t use a mixer as this will over blend the ingredients.
- Spoon into the muffin tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Take from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
I may add more to this list before the holidays hit, but this is my plan so far. And it makes me happy to think I’m planning ahead.