As is typical of this time of year, I’ve been busy celebrating and feasting with friends & family. Between our 3rd Annual Vegan Thanksliving and a recent Holiday Appetizers & Desserts themed Potluck, I’ve tried plenty of celebration-worthy dishes that you just might want to make room for on your Holiday table.
This year on Thanksgiving, for the third year in a row, we headed to Mike’s cousins’ house for what has now become a tradition – Vegan Thanksgiving!
Mike is always in charge of Stuffing because he loves it so much. He makes it differently every time, though he’s used Nava Atlas’s recipe as a template twice now. This time he made his stuffing with mushroom broth, apples, walnuts, and cranberries.
Cranberry Sauce is one of my favorites so we bring that every year too. I usually try different recipes each year (I made a delicious Port-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce last year), but this year I actually did a repeat of the recipe we made 2 years ago for Fresh Cranberry Relish. It would be near impossible to find a quicker, healthier, or tastier cranberry sauce. This one is made by simply chopping fresh cranberries, apples, oranges & zest in a food processor along with a couple spoonfuls of sugar and a pinch of salt. This easy recipe got rave reviews again this year.
Though our cousins always order a Native Wellington from Native Foods (which I love!), I like to bring a lentil loaf along since many non-veg guests seem more comfortable with these familiar ingredients. This year I made Choosing Raw’s Lentil & Sweet Potato Loaf which was incredibly simple and comforting with just the right hint of Rosemary & Thyme to give it that special holiday taste. Plus it was a perfect Gluten-Free entree option for our guests!
Lastly, though I usually don’t bake, I tried my hand at the Pear Frangipane Tart from Vegan Pie in the Sky, which I tried and loved at a potluck last year. I am a horrible baker and despite using store-bought crust managed to make a number of mistakes – my batter was too thin, I completely messed up the placement of the pears, etc … yet remarkably (after letting them cook for an extra 20 minutes at a very low heat) they came out perfect! I received several compliments and really loved the flavor of the pie – the Almond Custard reminds me of Sugar Cookie Dough!
The best thing about the items we decided to bring was that they practically made a full Thanksgiving meal on their own – this meant that Mike and I got to enjoy 3 more days of Thanksgiving Dinners from our leftovers, along with some frozen spinach and leftover sweet potatoes.
One the day of Thanksgiving though, our plates were even busier with several other Vegan Goodies including:
- Vegan Potato Skins with Daiya, BacOs, Scallions, and Vegan Sour Cream
- Artichoke Antipasti Salad
- TVP Spaghetti
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- and Roasted Red Potatoes
It was a good thing we all had such large plates! That’s Mike and his Parents below on the left, and my crowded plate on the right.
For dessert, in addition to my pies, our cousin Evie made some truly delicious mini apple pies and her famous Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (I think this is the recipe). I seriously can’t get enough of those cupcakes and despite being stuffed, I wound up having 3 of them throughout the evening as we stayed after drinking decaf coffee and playing games.
Holiday Appetizers & Desserts Potluck
A couple weeks later, I headed to another equally decadent occasion – our PPK Vegan Potluck group’s December Potluck, which had the most amazing theme ever – Holiday Appetizers & Desserts!
My friend Megan from RetrofittingVintage.com hosted us and I loved how she made her apartment so festive with a few simple decorations. (Confession: I haven’t decorated my place in years, but she made it look like something I might want to try my hand at!)
For our Appetizers & Desserts theme, I decided to bring by two favorite things – Cheese & Chocolate.
Both recipes turned out great and seemed incredibly fancy and gourmet, though both recipes were secretly super simple. Though these are not quick recipes since they require wait time for chilling, etc, the hands-on steps were surprisingly quick and easy and I highly recommend both of these recipes.
Rounding out the appetizers, we enjoyed (clockwise from top left):
- Megan’s Tempeh Puffs – a delicious combo of roasted red peppers, tempeh, and Puff Pastry
- Elizabeth’s Mushroom Walnut Pate Canapes – with Pate from Veganomicon and on the cutest little slices of rye bread with vegan butter, arugula, mustard, and sweet onion
- Elizabeth’s Spinach Artichoke Dip – so incredibly rich & creamy. One of the few dishes I was able to save room for seconds of!
- Nissa’s Pigs in a Blanket with Cranberry Mustard – with “Steamy Beany Sausages” from Isa Does It
As usual at our potlucks, there were more sweets than savories:
- Megan’s Chocolate Fudge – So good! from the book Vegan Lunchbox.
- A Whole Foods Market Vegan Carrot Cake – brought by thoughtful guests that had a hectic morning and no time to cook
- Nissa’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip – this dip from Chocolate Covered Katie was so, so good and something I definitely want to make sometime. It was fantastic with the sweet apple slices.
- Elizabeth’s Cranberry Cheesecake – her own spin on the Italian Cashewcotta Cheesecake from Vegan Eats World. She added a Gingerbread crust and a fresh Cranberry Sauce Swirl. It was out of this world good!
Lastly, Nissa’s French Silk Pie gets it’s own separate picture, because I HAD to include the close-up shot. The texture was pure perfection and exactly what Chocolate Mousse should be. Nissa got this recipe from Stephanie (aka “Poopie Bitch” on the PPK forum) and rumor is that Stephanie is happy to share it if you just send her a message on the forum.
I left the potluck so stuffed and on such a sugar high that my dinner that night was a Granny Smith Apple! But the next day (actually, the next 3 days!), we were back at the sweet again enjoying an an assortment of leftovers. Yes, we are serious potluckers and all brought spare containers for divvying up the leftovers!
I’d love to hear from you!
Have you tried any of these recipes before?
What are your favorite Holiday Eats & Treats?