You might be wondering, “What will I cook for Christmas, again?” Yearly, it’s a struggle for some to come up with a menu that everybody in the family will love. You might start to feel like you’ve had the same menu every year, and you know you need to spice it up this year so everyone gets to enjoy all the dishes. You probably even have health-conscious friends coming over, or someone who’s living a very sinful relationship with food. So, you want to come up with a menu that could cater to what almost everyone wants.
As always, we’re here to help you! Below are a few vegan recipes that can be easily cooked in big batches, for your whole family and friends to enjoy. Not only that they’re healthy, they’re also definitely delicious!
7 Layer Vegan Greek Dip
Adding chips to munch on may be the easiest way to keep everyone’s mouth busy. It’s very easy to prepare, all you need is a bowl for the dip and another for the chips. You can just toss everything there and you’re done!
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 cups 2% Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely grated
½ tsp dried mint or oregano
2 cups fresh parsley leaves, chopped (about 1 large bunch)
½ cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
1 tsp lemon zest
4 scallions, chopped
2 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers (about 14 oz)
2 cups crushed pita chips, plus more for serving
2 cups prepared hummus
1 cup crumbled feta (about 8 oz)
1. Shred the cucumber on a box grater, toss with a large pinch of salt and let drain in a strainer for 10 minutes. Squeeze out any remaining liquid. Mix the drained cucumber with the yogurt, olive oil, garlic and mint in a medium bowl.
2. Toss together the parsley, olives, lemon zest and scallions in a small bowl. Place the artichokes in a piece of cheesecloth or in a strainer and squeeze dry. Repeat with the peppers.
3. Layer the dip in a medium 3-quart clear glass trifle bowl or your favorite small serving bowl. Spread out the artichokes on the bottom, then top, in even layers, with the cucumber-yogurt mixture, peppers, pita chips, hummus, feta and the olive-herb mixture.
4. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight (if refrigerating overnight then top with the olive-herb mixture right before serving). Serve with pita chips.
Cauliflower Wings and Ranch Dip
That friend or family member of yours that’s living the sinful relationship with food is probably a fan of buffalo wings. Unfortunately, we don’t want to harm our chicken friends so instead, we’re going to use the ever so healthy cauliflower. I bet they can’t even tell the difference!
Cauliflower Wings and Sauce Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
½ cup non-dairy milk
½ cup water
¾ cup all-purpose flour (can substitute for gluten-free rice flour)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
1 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
Ranch Dip Ingredients:
1 cup Wildwood zesty garlic aioli (or vegan mayo of your choice)
⅛ cup non-dairy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp chives
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
Cauliflower Wings and Sauce Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 450°F. Wash and cut cauliflower head into small bite-sized pieces.
2. Mix all the ingredients (minus the Earth Balance and hot sauce) into a mixing bowl.
3. The batter will be thin enough that it runs off your fork and the cauliflower florets. Dip each floret into the mixture and coat evenly. You can shake or tap off the excess on the side of the bowl.
4. Lay florets in an even layer on the parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
6. While the cauliflower is baking get your ranch dip and wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan over low heat melt Earth Balance and mix in hot sauce, bringing to a low simmer before removing from the heat.
7. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Then spread all the florets in wing sauce out onto the same baking sheet. Bake in the oven for another 25 minutes.
Ranch Dip Directions:
1. Note: If you use a regular vegan mayo you might also want to add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
2. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins before serving.
3. Tip: The wings can be made with any sauce so try it with your favorite BBQ sauce or a nice version is a lemon and pepper. For a milder salt and pepper wing just toss them in salt and pepper right out of the oven — no need for the second baking.
Cream of Celery Soup
Adding soup to the menu brings all the dishes together. It’s a great entrée!
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth
1 cup (250 mL) water
⅓ cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
1 bay leaf
½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
½ cup (125 mL) raw cashews
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Celery leaves (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, and garlic; sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, or until celery and onion begin to soften and look translucent.
2. Add vegetable broth and water, then slowly whisk in flour, mixing well to break up lumps. Add bay leaf, thyme, and raw cashews. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until cashews are very soft.
3. Remove bay leaf, then blend soup in small batches, being careful not to fill blender too full, so it doesn’t overflow. Blend soup very well, so cashews are completely blended.
4. Return to pot briefly to reheat. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with celery leaves, if desired.
Mushroom Barley Risotto
It’s a heavy-in-the-tummy dish that can be easily prepared in big batches. Just make sure to prepare this early because it’s slow cooked.
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb(s) cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ cups pearl barley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 oz carrots, finely chopped
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 oz Parmesan, grated (2/3 cup)
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the barley and thyme and cook, stirring, until the barley is just golden, about 2 minutes.
2. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker and add the carrots, broth, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on high until the liquid is absorbed and the carrots and barley are tender about 3 hours.
3. Discard the thyme and stir in the Parmesan, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Thin out the risotto with warm water for desired consistency as needed. Top with parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
This lasagna recipe is to die for. It’s creamy even without the cheese, and guilt-free too! It will definitely satisfy your guests and leave them wanting more. Take-home, anyone?
Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp light vegetable oil (sunflower or grapeseed oil)
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp each freshly chopped basil and parsley
1 Tbsp fresh or dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Tofu Ricotta Ingredients:
1 block extra-firm tofu, crumbled
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper
Bechamel (White Sauce) Ingredients:
½ cup silken tofu
½ cup unsweetened soy milk
½ cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp sea salt
Layers & Assembly
1 pack ready-bake lasagna noodles (gluten-free brown rice noodles also work well)
1 cup Daiya mozzarella shreds
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vegan Parmesan (optional)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup carrot ribbons
4 cups baby spinach
1 tsp light cooking oil (sunflower or grapeseed oil)
Tomato Sauce Directions:
1. In a heavy sauce pan, sauté onion in oil for 1 to 2 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook for another 2 mins. Add tomato paste and herbs and stir into the onions and garlic sautéing for another 2 minutes.
2. Next add the crushed tomatoes, sea salt, and ground pepper. Simmer on low heat for 30 to 45 minutes while you prep the rest of the components for the lasagna.
3. Note: You could also just buy a jar of your favorite pasta sauce and use that.
Tofu Ricotta Directions:
1. Crumble the tofu into small pieces (resembling ricotta cheese) with your hands. Add in the remaining ingredients and combine with a fork. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna.
2. Note: Tofu ricotta is optional. Alternatively, you could use ONLY Daiya mozzarella shreds in the layers, in which case you’ll need to use 1 whole bag instead of 1 cup as listed below.
Bechamel (White Sauce) Directions:
1. Put all these ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth.
Layers & Assembly:
1. You can make nice carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler or you can shred the carrot with a cheese grater. Partially cook the zucchini and carrot in a pan over low to medium heat with 1 teaspoon of sunflower or grapeseed oil. Set them aside on a dish and use the same pan to cook the spinach.
2. Get the spinach wilted and soft but don’t overcook it. It should still be bright green. If you want to use frozen spinach just make sure you thaw and drain out the water.
3. Assembly: Once all your ingredients are prepped and ready, use a deep 9-inch glass baking dish to assemble the lasagna in. Lightly coat the inside of the dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil you can spread around evenly with your hand.
4. The lasagna can be assembled however you want, but here’s what I did: Pour a quarter of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish and spread out an even layer with a spoon.
5. Add one layer of noodles across. You might need to break them in half and you can overlap the noodles if they don’t fit perfectly in the dish.
6. Then take half the amount of tofu ricotta and spread it evenly over the noodles (if you’re just using Daiya then skip this).
7. Take 1/3 cup of Daiya Mozzarella shreds and sprinkle over top (if you’re only using Daiya than you can use more to your liking here).
8. Use up all the spinach as the next layer.
9. Pour half the white sauce evenly over the top being sure to get some of it down the sides of the dish.
10. Add another quarter of the tomato sauce.
11. Add another noodle layer, turning the noodles the opposite direction from the first layer.
12. Use the other half of the tofu ricotta as the next layer (if you’re just using Daiya skip this).
13. Take another 1/3 cup of Daiya Mozzarella shreds and sprinkle over top of the tofu ricotta (if you’re only using Daiya than you can use more to your liking here).
14. Add the zucchini and carrots in an alternating fashion as one layer. Pour the remaining white sauce evenly over top.
15. Add another quarter of the tomato sauce on top of the white sauce, then add one more layer of noodles and the remaining tomato sauce on top.
16. Add the last 1/3 cup of Daiya Mozzarella shreds and vegan Parmesan as the topping.
17. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400ºF covered with foil for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and turn the broiler to high and bake for 10 minutes. Allow the lasagna to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting and serving.