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Question about Vegan dishes?


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My mom just started a vegan diet 3 weeks ago, mostly to hekp control her diabetes. Does anyone know of any vegan dishes we can make for Thanksgiving & Christmas? My mom will still cook Both Holiday meals as usual but I want to make sure she has something special to eat too..any ideas?


Thanks in advance!


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Jen, to go strictly vegan, even for diabetic reasons, is pretty severe. Are you certain she isn't eating any animal products of any sort? No dairy or honey even?

If I know for certain what limitations she is following, I am pretty certain I have decent holiday recipes I can suggest that everyone can enjoy.

In the meantime, if she is following a strictly vegan diet, check out Fatfree Vegan Recipes. Not all the recipes are strictly fatfree, but they are all strictly vegan, and most are absolute keepers!

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My husband is a recent vegetarian and he likes the Vegetarian Times magazine too. Some recipes in there I like as well. Recently they had a pear salad with some sort of vinaigrette and nuts - looked yummy. My husband goes on the theory of not replacing food - he hates the fake burgers and fake chicken. He's all about finding new stuff. I'm sure being vegan is much more difficult as my husband still eats dairy products. He does lots of pasta and pizzas. Quinoa (sort of like rice) is also something he eats a lot of and I'm sure you could find a good recipe to do for the holidays - maybe a stuffed pepper? I find my DH making meals of side dishes too and I hate that. I feel like there should be a "main dish" for him too at meals. Black beans are a staple product in my house as well.
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You should get her the book New Good Food by Margret Wittenberg, there is a pocket guide too. I have both books and they are wonderful. The book tells you about all types of grains, nuts, seeds (like Quinoa). The book talks about different ingredients and how to cook them and would be very helpful for someone eating a vegan diet.



I don't have any recipes for you, but I think a dish like stuffed butternut squash would be good. Here is a recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash with Squash Risotto and a recipe for Tomatoes Provencal.


Roasted Acorn Squash with Squash Risotto



Tomatoes Provencal



By the way a few of my good friends are vegetarian and they do not like Tofurky. :)

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions! GatorPam, yes she went straight vegan, no animal products no dairy. Its amazing what the diet has done for her diabetes, she has type 2 and was taking alot of insulin but now taking half as much per her drs orders. Its amazing how well shes doing on this diet. 5 years ago she stopped eating beef to lower cholesterol. Her sugars were in the high 200's-low 300's. Now they are in 100's and under.
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Wow- that's great news about how eating vegan has helped your mom... Congrats to her!! :)


I think I would also agree to not necessarily going with "fake" meat substitutes... I would try varying the way the "traditional" fruit and veggies are prepared for the holiday meal. For example, finding a vegan recipe for mashed or scalloped potatoes and fixing enough for everyone by that recipe... Oh, and there are some very yummy-sounding desserts from the fatfreevegan.com website (I may have to try the Pumpkin Bread Pudding :D )!


Also, consider having some vegan "appetizers" around, for munching before the meal is ready. If your mom is doing most of the cooking, this would be perfect for her: giving her something healthy to munch on while she's fixing other foods that she may not be able to eat anymore! There are several recipes for snacks and appetizers on the previously mentioned vegan website... plus here's a dish my meat-eating family LOVES that is delicous, makes a BIG amount, and I'm pretty sure would fit perfectly with a vegan diet (can use corn tortillas to fry or bake chips at home)! :)



Southwestern Bean Salad Dip


1 can kidney (or red) beans

1 can black beans

1 can chick peas (aka garbanzo beans)

2 stalks celery, chopped*

1 large red onion, chopped*

1 medium tomato, chopped*

1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed (optional)

3/4 cup mild salsa (thick & chunky)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt (can use less)

1 teaspoon cumin


(*Large veggies should be chopped to approximately same size as beans.*)


Rinse and drain first 3 ingredients and transfer to large mixing bowl. Add next 4 ingredients and blend lightly (so the beans don't get mushy). Set aside. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients (liquids and spices) well, then pour that over the veggie mixture. Stir to evenly coat all veggies. Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend, at least 2 hours (overnight is best). Stir again just before serving. Serve with tortilla chips (the 'scoops' kind work best) or corn chips for dipping.


Originally, this was served as a bean salad-- until someone discovered how well it works as a chunky dip and is complemented by the taste and crunch of tortilla and/or corn chips! So if you want to serve it as a salad instead of a dip, I would suggest crushed tortilla or corn chips sprinkled on top of each serving (sort of like croutons).

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I really recommend the Fatfree Vegan site then. There really are some awesome recipes there.


I agree about stuffing squash as an elegant entree for vegans/vegetarians, rather than going with meat substitutes. This is my traditional offering for vegans/vegetarians at festive gatherings. I cut the individual servings in half again to offer as a side dish to those who would like a taste but won't be eating it as their entree. But as an entree, half a stuffed squash is a gorgeous offering for vegans and vegetarians.


This recipe is made with butter for lacto-vegetarians, or with extra-light olive oil for vegans.



Acorn Squash with Apple Stuffing


• 2 acorn squash

• 2 TBS melted butter or extra light olive oil

• Salt

• Cinnamon

• 1/4 cup raisins

• 1/4 cup sweet wine or concord grape juice

• 3 apples

• 4 TBS butter or extra light olive oil

• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 1 TBS lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350° F

Halve the squashes and scoop out seeds and stringy interiors.

Brush cut surfaces with melted butter or oil and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.

Wrap each half in aluminum foil, cut side flat on sheet with seam crimped over outer skin and place in baking dish.

Bake squash 30 to 45 minutes, until barely tender.

While squash is baking, soak raisins in wine or juice to plump.

Chop apples into 1/2" Cubes, peeled or unpeeled.

In small frying pan melt butter or heat oil and add apples.

Cook 3-5 minutes, until slightly wilted.

Stir in sugar and lemon juice.

When squash are just tender, unwrap and place cut side up back in backing dish.

Drain the raisins, and add to the apple mixture.

Then fill squash cavities.

Cover and bake 20-30 minutes more or until tender.


Note: For a little crunch, add chopped nut of choice at the same time you add the macerated raisins.

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