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Plant-Based Meals for the Holidays

December 6, 2022

So I don’t end up eating just sides.

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I had my first plant based Thanksgiving. And it was honestly great. I made a roasted cauliflower with a smokey almond butter paste and a cilantro and cashew cream on top. Then there was all the other veggie friendly sides.

Since I wasn’t the one cooking the entire meal I let things like butter and chicken broth slide.

But looking ahead to all the festivities coming up I’m starting to prepare myself. I honestly can say that there are so many soups and curries and buddah bowl options, plus I’m drawn to anything Mexican that I don’t feel deprived of food. Ever.

Really all I’ve taken out of my diet is meat, fish, dairy and eggs. That still leaves all fruits, all vegetables, all grains, all beans and legumes.

But it is kinda a bummer when everyone else around me is eating roasted something or other and I’m noshing on tofu. I’m not complaining exactly it’s just that I notice I am the odd man out. But when I am energized and my GI system is working well and my face is clear of zits I’m beyond happy to be a plant-based eater.

And luckily the internet is teeming with plant-based options! My favorite might be Minimalist Baker.

Not only are her meals packed with flavor they’re often 10 ingredients or less and can be made in under 30 minutes. Yes ma’am.

We’re back to our Christmas Travel Schedule after two years off because of COVID (in 2020 we quarantined over Christmas between seeing one side of the family the weekend before and the other side the weekend after and in 2021, welp, I had the Vid so we stayed home).

And again, since I’m not cooking for or hosting these gatherings I am not expecting my hosts to accommodate my diet choices. I’ll make do with what I’ve got and pack an extra snack or two for myself.

Our day will start with a Christmas Brunch.

Brunch is one of the tougher times to eat plant based because most dishes that feed a crowd have eggs, dairy or meat or all of them mixed together. I’ll make something from this Mother’s Day Brunch Roundup and bring it with me and then do my best to stick to fruits and baked goods. (Baked goods are my biggest exception to the plant-based rule)

Then we drive from one side of the city to the other for Christmas Eve dinner. This side of the family has more dietary restrictions to consider so I’ll find more plant-based options. I’ll also bring with me this Italian Herb, Tofu and Winter Vegetable Sheet Pan Supper which can quickly be reheated and added to the traditional lasagna buffet. (Maybe lasagna on Christmas Eve is just our tradition).

I’m in charge of the desserts for Christmas Eve and I’ll be bringing Clementine Slices Dipped in Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate, Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and a Gluten Free and Vegan Gingery Pear Tart. (I also have several Gluten Free and Vegan dessert recipes flagged in my various cookbooks so this menu might change.)

Christmas Morning is at our house and we’ll make up some French Toast after tearing through the presents. (We’ll probably start our morning with coffee and milk and cookies to sustain us during the opening frenzy.)

Then we head over the river and all that to my parent’s house for Christmas Day. Again, there will be more presents to open before we sit down to a Christmas Dinner. Since I won’t be eating the beef tenderloin I’ll be enjoying Roasted Butternut Squash or Stuffed Shells (I’ll decide as it get closer).

I was nervous at Thanksgiving that I’d miss the turkey but I can honestly admit that I didn’t miss eating it one bit.

You don’t have to be Vegan to eat vegan food. I’ve been eating out of the Minimalist Baker Cookbook for years, long before this plant-based eating thing of mine took hold.

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