“What do you eat for Thanksgiving?” is probably the third most popular question I’m asked when people find out that I’m vegan, right behind “where do you get your protein?” and “well, what do you eat?”. The holidays can be a rough time for vegans, as they’re almost always centered around eating a large feast containing at least one dead animal. I’ve been eating meatless for all of my adult life, so I have my holidays under control now, but it did take many years for me to get things figured out, soI know how difficult it can be for people new to the vegan lifestyle. Questions about handling Thanksgiving and Christmas with family are pretty common from people transitioning to a plant-based diet in my health coaching practice, and they can sometimes be tricky to answer, depending on the family in question. Fortunately, I can now refer people to the new book Vegan for the Holidays by Zel Allen.
Vegan for the Holidays is packed with recipes for holiday feasts from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day with Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza in between, but these dishes are so delicious that you don’t need to wait for a holiday to make them! The recipes are easy to follow and don’t contain any crazy ingredients, so those new to cooking will have no problem finding something to make in Vegan for the Holidays, but there’s enough variation and creativity that seasoned cooks will enjoy it as well. Since holidays are the times that people gather around food, these recipes are very omnivore friendly – in fact, I doubt people will even notice that the meat is missing from the table if you load it with dishes made from this book! I’m a big fan of of giving vegan cookbooks to non-vegan family members so that I don’t have to deal with that “well, what do you eat?” question, and Vegan for the Holidays is the perfect gift, especially to those that you’re spending the holidays with.
Because of my recent apple picking excursion, my fridge is overflowing with apples, so the first thing I made was Apple Crisp. This was easy to make and very tasty. It’s just not fall until I bake an apple crisp!
I belong to co-op, so I get two giant bags of produce every other week. I have no control over what I receive, which I kind of like because it’s sort of like vegetable Christmas when I open my bags. A recent share contained carrots and broccoli, so I made this Hanukkah Gelt Stir-Fry. This healthy dish was packed with delicious vegetables and tons of nutrients.
I picked up a kabocha squash at a farm stand recently, and the Curried Pumpkin-Peanut Soup recipe called out to be made from the Kwanza chapter. I’m a total sucker for this type of dish! I added some beans to the recipe for a little extra protein. This was the perfect fall meal, and lucky for me, there were leftovers for lunch the next day!
I still have many recipes bookmarked, so I’ll be making dishes from Vegan for the Holidays for quite a while – whether is a holiday or not!
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