Healthy Hacks

Vegan Alternatives for Holiday Meals

We live in a golden age of vegan products. Whatever your family traditions are, chances are there’s a vegan product or substitute recipe to help you recreate it. For instance, who isn’t familiar with Tofurkey for their vegan holiday turkey and gravies. But they’re not the only vegan meat replacement. Gardein, Field Roast, Quorn and Trader Joe’s all have vegan holiday roasts. There’s also a wide variety of plant-based milks, cream, butter and broths. Many of these products are delicious and incredibly convenient. 

But does eating a vegan diet mean you need to buy these packaged alternatives? Of course not! 

If you’ve adopted a plant-based diet it can seem like a daunting task, especially if it’s your first holiday season, to create a healthier holiday dinner. That’s why we’ve taken the guesswork out for you with the below recipes of many holiday favorites. 

Turkey Alternative – Seitan (pronounced saay-tan)

 

I know what you’re thinking. What the heck is seitan? Seitan is a vegan meat substitute made primarily from vital wheat gluten and water to make a sticky dough that is then steamed and baked. The result is very impressively similar to meat. 

Our favorite Holiday style seitan recipe comes from Verna of Cheeky Chickpeas. Her delicious recipe is listed below.

Ingredients

  • 1 (18 fl oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil, toasted or regular
  • 2 TBSP Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 1 TBSP Better than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Soup Base
  • 3 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ tsp Poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ cups Vital Wheat Gluten

For Steaming:

  • 3 cups vegetable broth

Optional:

  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme

Directions

  1. Start by adding all the ingredients (except vital wheat gluten) to your food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Pour the puree into a large mixing bowl, scraping out as much as possible with a spatula. Add in the vital wheat gluten. Mix by hand until combined. Then knead the dough 10-15 times. Shape into a log.
  3. Using a medium pot with a steamer insert, place the turkey roll into the steamer part and fill the base with the vegetable broth.
  4. Cover with lid and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Baste the roast after 30 minutes with ⅓ cup of the hot stock and add a little more vegetable stock if necessary to the bottom of the pot. 
  5. Once done, remove the turkey load and cool on cutting board for at least 10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve. Enjoy!

Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped (1 cup) 
  • ½ cup all-purpose or gluten free flour
  • 4 to 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and saute onions, garlic and mushrooms for 8-10 minutes. 
  2. Sprinkle in flour and stir until golden brown, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Slowly whisk in vegetable broth a little at a time until smooth. Simmer 2-3 minutes until thickened. 
  4. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower 
  • 2 TBSP Earth Balance or Miyoko’s Vegan Butter
  • 3 TBSP plant-based milk (I prefer soy or oat for cooking)
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste 

Directions

  1. Wash and cut cauliflower into florets.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add cauliflower.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until soft. 
  4. Drain cauliflower and add to a blender or food processor along with butter, milk, garlic, salt and pepper.
  5. Blend until smooth and creamy. If desired, garnish with chives or parsley. Enjoy!

 

Whole Grain Vegan Stuffing

Vegan stuffing

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Whole Grain Bread
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Celery, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Sage, chopped
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 2 ½ cup Vegetable Broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Tear bread into large pieces and let sit out 8 hours or overnight to dry.
  2. If short on time, bake bread in the oven at 325 degrees and toss until bread is dry but not toasted. 
  3. Preheart oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Saute celery, garlic and onions in olive oil until vegetables have softened.
  5. Add all spices to the mixture and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  6. Transfer bread to bowl and add veggie mixture and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Mix to combine.
  8. Add to baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash

Vegan Butternut Squash

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half and remove seeds.
  3. Coat in olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Place butternut squash skin side up on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and spoon out squash to serve. Enjoy!

 

Whether this is your first year vegan or your 20th or even if you aren’t vegan at all, we hope you’ve found this collection of recipes helpful and wish you a wonderful holiday season!

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Amy Huber

Amy Huber

Writer and expert


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