I was privileged with hosting 3 parties for Christmas and wanted to create menus that would delight everyone in attendance. It’s not an easy task when feeding a wide variety of people: little kids, tweens, and adults; whole food plant based eaters and vegetarians; and many Standard American Diet eaters. I found some real crowd-pleasing dishes and wanted to share. File these away for your next hosting event, or even for a weekend breakfast!
My whole life, my family has served a traditional sausage, cheese, and egg casserole with sticky buns for Christmas breakfast… Try replicating that as a vegan, SOS-Free meal! I was up for the challenge but rather than try to mimic the old recipes with all sorts of substitutions, I decided to create a new menu all of my own. After all, if we’re all going to be around together to share many more Christmases to come we’re going to need some new food traditions! Out with the old, in with the new.
Cranberry Apple Crisp (UWL approved)
This was my first attempt at Chef AJ’s Cranberry Apple Crisp and I was not disappointed. I doubled the recipe because it just didn’t seem like it would feed all of us. We had at least half of it leftover, so I had it with my breakfast almost every day until it was gone! Win-Win. Making a fruit crisp without sugar and butter may seem impossible but Chef AJ has done it! She uses her 5 Minute Cranberry Orange Relish to bring the dish to the next level. The result is a sweet and fresh creation that will leave everyone asking for seconds.
5 Ingredient No Bake Vegan Date Squares
My friend Kim introduced me to these divine Vegan Date Squares from Oh She Glows when we visited her lovely home in Montana. I made them almost weekly when I came home from that trip, so I didn’t hesitate to whip up an easy batch for my Christmas breakfast spread. Note – I used half the coconut oil (1/8 cup for the whole batch) but in hindsight I could have omitted it completely. They might get softer without it, but they should be refrigerated right up until you serve them anyway.
Veggie Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash Browns (UWL approved)
For Sweet Potato Hash Browns, I simply shredded yellow sweet potatoes with my food processor using the shredding blade. In a non-stick pan over med-high heat I heated the potatoes for about 10 minutes. I flipped them and let them brown on the other side, tossing occasionally to prevent burning. I added just a splash of unsweetened apple juice to prevent sticking if they got too dry.
The Veggie Sausages were made following the recipe posted on Penny Parsnip. I omitted the apple in this recipe to accommodate a food allergy and I think they’d taste a little better with it. All in all, I thought it was a successful reminder of some old favorite flavors. I would definitely make them again and try adding the chopped apple as suggested.
This was an adorable creation my mother-in-law discovered on Facebook and I decided to make it for our family holiday party. It was super easy and a huge hit! Simply take 6 bell peppers in a variety of colors. Lay them on their side to find the position that leaves the most stable side down. Slice off the top 1/4 of the pepper. Scoop out the seeds and seams and set up the peppers on the track. Slice a mini cucumber to form the train wheels. Poke a toothpick through the cucumbers to pin the wheels on. Select your favorite raw veggies to fill each car. I used celery, carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and put more carrots in the last car since they always go first. I served with a bowl of hummus on the center of the board but you could also dedicate one of the cars to that instead. I didn’t have any actual toy train tracks to use, so I covered a board with saran wrap and drew a train track on the saran wrap with marker.
Gingerbread No Bake Bites
My friend Karen serves as a volunteer recipe scout for me and she discovered this gem just in time for me to make them for a holiday party. Yum! They’ve got sugar (maple syrup and molasses) so I will steer clear of having anything this tempting sitting around my house. Nonetheless, it was nice to create a healthier version of a classic holiday flavor for everyone to enjoy. Oh and if it’s any testament to how easy these are, I started making them after many of the guests had arrived!
The holidays are such a fun time to share the company of those we love. What a nice treat to also share an abundance of health promoting food that is going to help us spend many more holidays together for decades to come. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving, eh?