After being cooped up for months on end during these turbulent times, what better way to celebrate the holidays than with comforting healthy dishes that the whole family will love?
These delicious recipes are not only plant-based. They’re also bursting with flavor, so you won’t even miss the meat or dairy. Plus, you can turn cooking them into a fun family activity and maybe start a new annual tradition in the process. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?
The only question now is, what would you like to eat this holiday season?
1. Cheezy Casserole
Recipe: Cheezy Casserole
- ½ cup plant-based butter (you can also use coconut oil)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (substitute gluten-free flour if preferred)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil of your choice)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 4 cans of french style green beans (drained)
- (2) 3oz cans of french fried onions, or more if desired
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Melt the plant-based butter in a small saucepan, then slowly mix in the flour
- Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Using a whisk, mix in the vegetable oil and nutritional yeast.
- Stir the sauce together with the drained green beans in a 9x12 baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- Pull the pan out of the oven and sprinkle on the french fried onions evenly across the top. Return it to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
2. Stuffed Acorn Squash
This recipe veers a little away from the traditional holiday fare, but it is totally worth it. The wild rice and beans in the stuffing pack this dish with lots of protein, so it works well as a main course. On top of that, it’s so gorgeous and colorful that it’s more than a holiday recipe--it makes a beautiful centerpiece for your table too!
Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 3 acorn squashes, cut in half with the seeds removed
- Olive oil (or vegetable oil of your choice)
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
- ¼ cup water
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 8 oz)
- 1 can butter beans
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400.F
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill an oven-safe saucepan halfway with water and put it on the bottom rack to give your squash a little steam while it cooks.
- Place squash on the baking sheet with the cut sides facing up.
- Brush each half with oil, then sprinkle with thyme, salt, and black pepper.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the squash is tender and can easily be pierced with a knife.
- While the squash bakes, cook the wild rice according to package instructions and set aside when finished
- In a large skillet, saute diced onion for 5 minutes until fragrant,then add in the minced garlic cloves and cook for an additional minute.
- Add in sliced mushrooms and diced bell peppers and sprinkle on some thyme, salt, and black pepper, and cook for another 10 minutes before adding in the beans.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes.Combine the wild rice and sautéed veggies into one pot.
- Scoop the rice and veggie mixture into each squash half and add additional toppings as desired.
3. Apple Crisp with a golden topping
Apple-based desserts are always a favorite during the holiday season and this apple crisp recipe is no exception! It’s plant-based and not overly loaded with sugar too so it’s a much healthier alternative to other desserts. Better still, what it lacks in unhealthy ingredients in no way detracts from its rich flavor. It’s sure to be gobbled up in no time when you serve it to your family. Serve it warm and add a dollop of oat milk whipped cream or dairy-free vanilla ice cream!
Recipe: Apple Crisp with a golden topping
- 8 cups cut apples
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (substitute gluten-free flour if desired)
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (substitute gluten-free flour if desired)
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup plant-based butter (you can also use margarine or coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350.F
- In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the peeled cubed apples with the brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until all the apple pieces are fully coated in the mixture.
- Spread the apples out evenly onto a 9×13 pan, lined with plant-based butter and set aside.
- Thoroughly mix together the all-purpose flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Slowly mix in melted plant-based butter and vanilla extract.
- Crumble the topping across the top of the apples until completely covered.
- Bake the crisp for 45-55 minutes until the topping is nice and golden brown.
- Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Wherever and however you’re celebrating the holidays this year, we hope these delicious plant-based healthy recipes bring you as much joy, warmth, and comfort as they did us!
One way or another, we can connect across the globe and share the beauty of this holiday season, regardless of circumstances.