The holidays are quickly approaching and you eat vegan, are trying to reduce your cholesterol or simply watching what you eat. What are you to do? Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to sneak wholesome plant-based or vegan ingredients into classic holiday recipes without anyone noticing. Now, the turkey is the exception to my last statement, but there are great options that cover that concern as well…read on.
We all have our special recipe that is a staple at the holiday dinner table. For our family it was my grandmother’s baked mashed potatoes. Man, were those things good! Seeing that grandma was born in Eastern Europe (where they make almost every dish with sour cream) her mashed potatoes were no exception. They were loaded with butter, sour cream, cream cheese, milk and cream. You name it, it was in there. That is what made them so darn good.
Although, many would argue that grandma’s baked mashed potato recipe should never be altered, I beg to differ. Not only can it be altered, it can be altered in a secret way that nobody will ever notice, thanks to dairy alternatives. There are so many dairy alternatives out there it is mind-blowing. And guess what? They taste pretty darn good too. Simple vegan substitutions to classic holiday recipes, such as my grandma’s baked mashed potatoes will not compromise the integrity of your recipe or leave you feeling unsatisfied. I promise.
9 classic holiday recipes with vegan substitutions
1. Mashed Potatoes: Sub in Earth Balance or olive oil for butter and plain almond or organic soy milk for dairy milk. Add in some vegetable broth for extra flavor and diced onions and minced garlic.
2. Stuffing: Use vegetable broth in place of turkey or chicken broth and Earth Balance in place of butter.
3. Veggies: Roast with seasonal spices such as rosemary and thyme and top with Earth Balance like these roasted carrots below!
4. Green Bean Casserole: For a shortcut, head to Whole Foods and buy their vegan mushroom gravy or soup (both are DELICIOUS) and insert into your recipe or follow this delicious recipe.
5. Sweet Potato Casserole: Use chia gel in place of eggs. Sub in Earth Balance (gosh I should get royalties from them) in place of butter, use vanilla or plain almond, coconut or organic soy milk in place of dairy milk and place dandies marshmallows on top. This recipe is delicious and easy!
6. Cranberry Sauce: Most all conventional sugar is filtered with bone char for color. If concerned, use organic, evaporated cane sugar and make a homemade cranberry sauce.
7. Cheese Sauce: No holiday dinner is complete without cheese sauce, right? Make this simple cheese sauce. It works beautifully and is extra comforting this time of year.
8. Turkey: Vegetarian turkey substitutes get better each year. Opt for a Field Roast or Gardien Holiday Roast. The Field Roast En Croute is phenomenal. Just saying. Pick one up at your local grocer and pop it in the oven with a little veggie broth (Field Roast’s Celebration Roast pictured above).
8. Pumpkin Pie: Use silken tofu for structure, chia gel in place of eggs and coconut milk in place of evaporated milk. This one blender recipe is fantastic (if I may say so myself!)
If you are new to eating plant-based or vegan, it get’s easier with time. Remember, it’s not all or nothing either. I eat mainly vegan, but don’t always follow a strict vegan diet. Just do your best, you are still making a difference. Here’s to happy, safe and joyous holiday season for you and your loved ones! Bon Appetit!