Here are some hearty holiday favorites that can accommodate even the most sensitive palettes. Every recipe is vegan, kosher, gluten free, nut free, and peanut free. Use this list to plan you entire holiday meal without worry; with dishes like spaghetti squash and warm chocolate cake, you are sure to please the vegan and omnivore alike!
Polenta Wedges with Tomato Tapenade
• 1 16- to 18-ounce tube prepared polenta, ends trimmed and cut into 12 slices
• Canola or olive oil cooking spray
• 2/3 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes (see Tip)
• 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 2 teaspoons rinsed capers
• 1 small clove garlic, chopped
• Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1) Preheat broiler. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2) Place polenta slices on the prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Broil in upper third of oven until starting to brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Turn and broil until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes more.
3) Meanwhile, pulse sun-dried tomatoes, oil, parsley, capers, garlic and pepper in a food processor (a mini food processor works well), scraping down the sides as needed, until coarsely chopped.
4) Transfer the polenta slices to a clean cutting board and cut each into quarters. Top each wedge of polenta with about 1/4 teaspoon of the tapenade.
Tip: For this recipe, look for soft sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil). If you can only find tomatoes that are very dry (and hard), soak in boiling water for about 20 minutes, then drain and chop them before using.
To Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate the tapenade for up to 3 days.
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup quinoa
• 1 pinch salt
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 3 tomatoes, diced
• 1 cucumber, diced
• 2 bunches green onions, diced
• 2 carrots, grated
• 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1) In a saucepan bring water to a boil.
2) Add quinoa and a pinch of salt.
3) Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.
4) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, carrots and parsley.
5) Stir in cooled quinoa.
Greek Mushroom Salad
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 lb mushroom
• 3 garlic cloves , chopped fine
• 1 teaspoon basil or 1 teaspoon marjoram
• 1 medium tomato , diced
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 pinch salt
• 1 pinch fresh pepper , ground
• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh coriander , chopped
1) Heat the oil on low in a frying pan, then gently fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook.
2) Sprinkle in garlic and basil, then toss the mixture for a minute or two so that mushrooms are well coated.
3) Add the tomato, lemon juice, water, salt, and pepper.
4) Stir together and cook until the tomato softens.
5) Remove from heat and let cool.
6) Garnish with chopped herbs.
Oven Roasted Squash with Garlic and Parsley
• 5 pounds winter squash (such as butternut, buttercup, kabocha, or hubbard), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1) Preheat oven to 375°F.
2) Toss squash with 4 teaspoons oil, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender throughout and lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes (depending on the variety of squash).
3) Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4) Toss the roasted squash with the garlic and parsley.
5) Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.
Yields: 10 servings, about 3/4 cup each Total Time: 1 hr Prep Time: 30 min
Vegan Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
• 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
• 5 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
• 3 tablespoons golden raisins
• Half of a 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (either discard or save to roast later). Brush the inside of the squash with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast the halves face-down on a baking pan or sheet for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh of the squash is fork-tender and has separated into spaghetti-like strands.
2) While the squash cooks, heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in spices, salt, raisins, and chickpeas and remove from heat.
3) When the squash is done, remove from oven and let it sit for five minutes, or until it’s cool enough to handle. Using a fork, scrape the squash flesh out of its skin into a bowl, separating the strands as you go. Toss the squash with the spiced oil mixture and cilantro.
NOTE: The photo of this dish shows the spaghetti squash being served over cous cous. Cous cous is not gluten free, so instead, opt to serve it over some leafy greens or quinoa.
Mushroom Gravy (Gluten-Free Version)
• 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
• 1 cup strong vegetable broth
• 1 small onion, diced
• 2 Tbs GLUTEN FREE flour
• 1 1/2 Tbs. margarine
1) Hydrate chopped mushrooms with about 1/2 cup boiling water.
2) Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
3) Melt margarine in a small-medium saucepan over medium heat. Saut the onion lightly. Don’t brown too much.
4) Add the gluten free flour, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until frothy. Do not let it burn!
5) Add the mushrooms and their liquid and your vegetable broth. Cook over medium heat to a boil, stirring constantly.
6) After it comes to a boil, turn the heat down a bit and let thicken.
Bean Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
• 1 head cabbage
• 12 ounces tomato sauce
• 6 ounces tomato paste
• 1 cup onion — finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic – crushed
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon basil
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1 pound white beans, canned
• 1 cup onion — finely chopped
• 1 cup brown rice, cooked
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1) Carefully remove 12 large outside leaves from the cabbage. Place leaves in a large pot of boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Remove leaves from water, place in a colander, and run under cold water for a few minutes. Drain.
2) To prepare sauce: combine all sauces ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
3) To prepare filling: place beans in a large bowl. Mash slightly with a fork or potato masher. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix well.
4) To assemble: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Divide filling evenly and place each portion near the base of a cabbage leaf. Roll leaves up tightly, folding in the sides as you roll. Place rolls stem side down in prepared pan. Spoon sauce evenly over rolls. Cover Tightly and bake 1 hour.
Vegetarian Mashed Potatoes with Fresh Herbs
• 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
• water for boiling
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 yellow or red onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup chopped green onion (scallions)
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
• 1 cup soy milk
• 1/2 cup vegan margarine
• 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
• salt and pepper to taste
1) In a large soup or stock pot, cover the potatoes with water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil.
2) Allow to simmer over medium-high heat until potatoes are cooked, about 30 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
3) In a separate pan, sauté the red or yellow onion, green onions and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, until onions are soft. Reduce heat to low and add rosemary and basil. Cook for just one minute, stirring constantly.
4) Remove from heat.
5) Add the onions and garlic, soy milk, and vegan margarine to the potatoes and mash until desired consistency is reached, adding a bit more liquid if needed. Add the fresh parsley last, and mix well. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
Vegan Chocolate Cake
• 1 1/2 cups GLUTEN FREE flour
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1/4 cup GLUTEN FREE cocoa powder (Check the label to make sure that it hasn’t been processed with nuts or peanuts)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
• 1 cup water
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2) Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Mix together until smooth.
3) Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Hot Buttered Rum
• 1 cup vegan margarine
• 1 cup maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 750-ml bottle Bacardi rum (Bacardi is a gluten-free brand)
• Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
1) In a small bowl, cream together margarine, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mixture can be refrigerated for up to a week.
2) For each serving, spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of margarine mixture into a warm mug, and add 1/4 cup rum. Top with warm water and garnish with cinnamon stick.