There can be no question that holiday meals typically, if not always, center around meat. Turkey, ham, roast chicken – animal foods are the stars of these foodie festivities. But what if you are vegetarian or vegan? While there are tons of recipes out there for vegetarian/vegan holiday meals, appetizers, and desserts it can be a challenge finding recipes that will appeal to everyone, including one’s carnivorous friends. In the spirit of this, we have poured through our favorite vegetarian recipes and have come up with some fantastic drink, appetizer, meal and dessert recipes for you to enjoy. The theme? European Comfort Food.
Fave Drink (Vegan and Non-Alcoholic): Pear Tree
Holiday drinks are often over the top sweet. Sugary egg-nog, syrupy apple ciders and decadent hot chocolates can leave one feeling exhausted and bloated before the feasting festivities even begin. The festively named “Pear Tree” (from the Christmas classic “The 12 Days of Christmas) is light and refreshing with lemon-lime juice, pear juice, simple syrup, and lots of ice and mint. It can be made with or without alcohol and is just as delicious either way. The juicy pear flavor balances out the tartness of the lemon and lime and leads us into our next recipe….
Fave Appetizer: Gluten-Free Parsnip-Pear Soup
There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup on an icy cold winter day. This thick and creamy soup made with protein-rich almond butter and coconut oil, fragrant pears, hearty parsnips, leeks and rich spices (cayenne, cracked black pepper and nutmeg) is not only delicious, but utterly comforting. It’s like the food equivalent of that oh-so-warm, hand-knit blanket your grandmother made you when you were small. Always wonderful, and more delicious the next day after the spices have mingled and developed.
Fave Main-Course: Sweet Potato and Edamame Shepherds Pie
With thick layers of baked, buttery mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and gravy (vegetarian in this case), Shepherd’s pie is pretty much the creme de la creme of all comfort food. Nutritious edamame, sweet potatoes and succulent mushrooms make this decadent meal just as delicious as its meatier counterparts.
Fave Dessert: Vegan German Chocolate Cake
Chocolate cake is a dessert loved by virtually all. A known aphrodisiac and endorphin booster, there is no dessert cozier than chocolate cake to share with those close to you this time of year. This vegan version of a German Chocolate cake is rich and yet light as air. Garnish with kumquats and chocolate cigars like the recipe says for a cake that is sure to impress (we feel cultured just looking at these cakes, let alone eating them!).
We hope you have fun trying at least one of these recipes! Enjoy and happy holidays xox