Vegan Holiday Feast

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Plant based Christmas dinners can be daunting, I know they were for me when I first went plant based anyways. This year however, I was determined to create a meal that really delivered on heartiness, flavor, and also felt special for the holidays. I wanted something that would taste amazing, but wouldn't require slaving away in the kitchen for hours. I think this meal delivers all that and more. I couldn't be happier with how it all came together. The stuffed mushrooms are my veganized version of my dads stuffing, he cooks his in a turkey, but here I swapped that out for meaty, delicious portobello mushrooms. They are the center piece of the meal, and I think help make it feel less like a bunch of side dishes severed together, which I find a lot of planet based meals are like. I served this with roasted potatoes, because what is a holiday dinner without them? I went with a combination of three of my favorite potato varieties, and topped them generously with a medley of fresh herbs. Lastly, I finished off the meal with what ended up being the surprise show stopper, a kale, maple pecan, & pomegranate salad with a tahini drizzle, it isn't at all complicated to make but the flavors complement each other perfectly. It is definitely going to be a staple at all my dinner parties. 

Let me know if you try any of these recipes out yourself! 

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serves: 4

FOR THE STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS YOU'LL NEED

  • 4 portobello mushrooms de-stalked with the black gills removed

  • 1 medium sized yellow onion finely diced
  • 4 stalks of celery finely chopped 
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and minced  
  • 2 cups of roasted chestnuts peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups seasoned bread cubes (store bought or find the recipe for homemade ones below)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 cups cremini mushrooms sliced thin 
  • 1/4 cup red wine 
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper 

PREPARATION 

  1.  If making your own seasoned bread cubes, prepare them in advance by cutting day old bread into small crouton size cubes, and tossing them generously with olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano.  Bake in a 300º F oven for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Set aside. 
  2. Prepare the chestnuts in advance as well by cutting a small x in the top of them with a sharp knife, and baking them in a 400º F oven for 30 minutes. Let them cool before peeling them. Set aside. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 375ºF 
  4. Sautée the onion, celery, and garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Next add in the mushrooms, chestnuts, and red wine. Sautée for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Add the bread cubes to a large baking dish. Add the stuffing mixture on the stove over the bread cubes, add in the juice of 1 lemon, and stir to combine. 
  7. Rub the portobello mushrooms on both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  8. Fill each one with a hearty serving of stuffing. Bake for 25 minutes on the center rack. 
  9. Plate the portobellos and top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

(NOTE: bake any additional stuffing in a separate dish to serve on the side.)

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FOR THE HERB ROASTED POTATOES YOU'LL NEED

  • 2 medium sized russet potatoes peeled & chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium sized jewel sweet potatoes peeled & chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium sized hannah sweet potatoes(or whatever variety is available to you) peeled & chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tbsp onion powder 
  • 5 tbsp olive oil 
  • handful of fresh rosemary springs
  • handful of fresh thyme 
  • handful of fresh oregano 
  • salt & pepper 

PREPARATION 

  1. Pre heat the oven the 400ºF
  2. Place the chopped potatoes onto a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and onion powder. Use your hand to coat them evenly. Top them generously with fresh herbs, just placing the sprigs on top. 
  3. Bake for 45 minutes on the center rack, mix them around halfway through the cooking process. 
  4. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
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FOR THE KALE, MAPlE PECAN, POMEGRANATE SALAD YOU'LL NEED 

  • 4 handfuls of curly kale washed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a medium red onion thinly sliced 
  • seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate 
  • juice of 2 lemons 
  • drizzle of olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp tahini 

FOR THE MAPLE PECANS:

  • 4 handfuls of pecans 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • pinch of salt 

PREPARATION

  1. Begin by prepare the maple pecans. Add the coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and salt to a frying pan. Place over medium heat and stir to combine.
  2. When the mixture is smooth and melted, add in the pecans and stir to fully coat the pecans. 
  3. Continue stirring, turning heat to medium low, making sure not to burn the sugar. 
  4. Continue stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until the pecans have absorbed most of the sugar. 
  5. Transfer to a baking sheet or place lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer to cool and harden for 10 minutes. 
  6. Add the kale to a large bowl and massage with olive oil for 30 seconds or so until the kale softens. 
  7. Add in lemon juice, red onion and stir to combine. 
  8. Remove the pecans from the freezer and break over top. 
  9. Finish off the salad by topping it with pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of tahini. 

Kindly,