What would the holiday season be like without our favorite family traditional foods? That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it? Finding time with our loved ones to talk and enjoy the foods we grew up loving and savoring for the fall? My Mom has the most beautiful set of China that only sees the light of day on 2 days each year. Thanksgiving and Christmas need to have a special menu for those times together. Special for all. These basic dishes I’ve put together have all the flavors of fall without the cruelty and expense of slaughter. Baked, buttery potatoes. Creamy Slaw salads. Flakey crusts dripping with piping hot berries in syrup. Why bring animals into that mix when the food is so fine without them?
Take a look:
Adapted from a family tradition from both my husband and mine’s youth, it bakes up in minutes, has endless variations for veggies and will last the week while you rest your feet and enjoy your guests.
Simple Soups go a long way for feeding a crowd around the holidays. Or if it’s just you? Healthy Vegan Soups not only warm you up but if you keep a few in the freezer, you can heat up a hearty meal in minutes. I love soups all year round but there’s nothing like a steamy hot bowl of delicious soup after a day out in the blustery cold. Here are just a few really basic recipes that will impress and nurture the best of guests for the season.
Another Dairy Free dreamy-creamy Potato Soup. This one’s from Annie @AnUnrefinedVegan
First though: Breakfast.
To start your day, a perfectly simple basic that cooks up in the slow cooker even.
are just bursting with fall flavors that will warm your families hearts as well as they’re tastes. No sugary glaze needed with these babies. They cook up with no fuss in your crock pot, filling the house with the best Holiday scent ever.
I’ve been known to eat any kind of homemade pie that may be lingering around for my breakfast as well. Here’s a classic:
How’s about breads and rolls?
A few hearty loaves of savory breads are always welcome for the Holidays. I’ve become pretty comfortable with homemade
yeast breads now and have plenty of simple options for you on Canned Time. Add ins to suit your tastes are a cinch. Again, the smell of fresh breads baking will calm souls in the busy shopping days of Christmas.
Some leftover crusty bread?
Not a problem for the holidays. In minutes, you’ve mixed up the most delectable bread pudding for a crowd with
Now your dessert is done! Or maybe just keep the bread pudding in the fridge cause….
speaking of desserts……….PIE!!!
These are a perfect basic to keep around for the Holidays. You get your own precious portion. Not so big that you’ll need to loosen your belt. Not so small that you feel like you’re skimping on eating your favorite fruit pie. These use frozen fruits that should be available any time of year. The crust is a breeze to mix up and can even be served in a raw form. I have a weakness in the fall for blueberry
anything treats but this one yields to any fruit, fresh or frozen. And if one picky person wrinkles up their nose at your favorite…why, give them a different fruit. The individual rules here.
Of course, they can make the trip to the store for the their exception 😉
There are a few fresh fruits to be found in the U. S. through the winter months as well. Pears and Apples come to mind for me and both work so well with dessert recipes. If you read Canned Time, you’ll be familiar with my passion for pears and pies. Why not combine the two and double the pleasure for a treat that makes up fairly easily into one impressive dessert. I love how pies can just sit out and wait for piece after piece to disappear while no one’s watching. Maybe like 2 a.m. when an uncomfortable house guest can’t find a comfortable sleep position in their borrowed bed. They find their way down to the kitchen and sneak another piece in the night. Okay, I just say, “Mom, I need a piece of your pie” all in broad daylight. I was trying to keep you in suspense. Would the guest step on the cat’s tail and wake the house? Would they slip while opening the cabinet, smashing it into a million pieces and forever destroy a treasured family plate? Okay, just seeing now who’s still reading and who’s just skipped down to the next pic.
Just remember to
let your fruit ripen.
Don’t rush those natural sugars that can make or break a favorite family dessert.
My camera assistant doesn’t seem to grasp the traditions of chiaroscuro, or the value of fresh fruit for that matter. Neither will your Great Uncle Joe so just keep your own eye on the fresh flavors and combinations of foods you serve this holiday. I’m always pleasantly surprised, since changing to a plant-based diet, just how much everyone, Everyone enjoys any kind of fresh vegetable, fresh fruit, simply prepared dishes that I may contribute to a Holiday meal. It’s kind of like we’ve gotten so far from where folks sat around a table and just shared good fresh homegrown produce that it’s more of a novelty now. Keep it simple and keep it fresh.
Ha ha! More sliced, baked veggies. I told you they were a family favorite ♥ My 7 Layer Veggie Roundup dish.
Don’t forget to add in a cold dish to balance out the root veggies this time of year. You’d be amazed at how quickly a nice crisp, tangy slaw will get scooped up when it’s teamed up with the heavier cooked dish. Pastas, mashed potatoes, they all can be complimented by a vinegar based salad or slaw to liven up the table. This Cauliflower Cabbage Slaw option is excellent any time of year and keeps in the fridge for days so you can mix it up way in advance for guests.
One less thing to worry about on the day Everyone’s hovering starved for their favorites.
Stuffing you say?
I can definitely do without the Turkey for the holidays. Not the stuffing though.
Rosemary Mushroom Stuffing is the closest thing you’ll get to tasting like the old poultry filled versions. I promise. Everyone who likes stuffing will love this veganized version. So many wonderful flavors blend together in each bite.
No fuss. No guilt. No disgusting Turkey heart to cut up into it either. Yeah. That’s what Vegans call “CRUELTY FREE” baby ♥♥♥
This stuffing, again, is just a basic recipe. So many tweaks can be added in or subtracted out to suit your families tastes. You’ll start with chopped mushrooms, celery, onion and bread cubes. The spices are up to you. The add ins are up to your tastes. The basic here has a mild rosemary flavor but also notes of black pepper, a touch of garlic and I’ve added a handful of currents to the mix.
- 1 half round loaf of Rosemary Artisan Bread, toasted, sliced thick and cubed
- 1/2 cup dried Currants (don't use these if you are going to freeze the dish prior to baking as they will get hard as a rock, they add a slight sweetness but optional in the stuffing for sure.)
- 1 1/2 cup Vegetable Stock
- 1 cup rinsed, chopped Baby Bella Mushrooms
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 3 -4 Celery Stalks, washed, rough dice
- 2 Tbs. Vegan Butter
- 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried Rosemary, minced well
- 1/2 - 1 tsp Black Pepper - to taste
- 1/2 tsp. Fennel Seeds, minced well (Optional)
- pinch of Sea Salt, more depending on your Vegetable Broth
- Toast and cube bread slices.
- Add the dried Currants to the Vegetable stock to soak while you prepare the vegetables.
- In a large saute pan, heat butter and oil on medium low heat. Add in Onion, Celery and Mushrooms.
- Stir vegetables over low heat until the Onion has softened and begins to become translucent. Add in the dried Rosemary, Garlic, Black Pepper and Fennel. Stir to cook 5 minutes more then remove from heat.
- Pour in the Vegetable stock with soaked Currants to the pan and stir.
- Add in the toasted Bread cubes. Transfer the mixed stuffing to a medium size bake pan.
- Bake stuffing covered with foil wrap at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes at 375.
- Let stuffing stand for 10 to 15 minutes prior to serving. Makes about 6 - 7 servings.
- Optional add in(s): Cooked Sweet Potato cubes, Pumpkin Seeds, diced Granny Smith Apples, chopped Kale, 2 Tbs. Tamari Soy Sauce, fresh Peas, pinch of Red Pepper.
Keeping the holiday meals as simple and stress free is just as important to me as enjoying great tasting, traditional foods. Making some of these Holiday basics into your family’s new favorites could be your ticket to a stress free, cruety-free meal this season. Can’t wait to hear what you think and how you made some of these your own. Take care. Have a safe week out there ♥
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