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Gourmet and Healthy Holiday Recipes

Gourmet and Healthy Holiday Recipes

Don’t just suffer through another Thanksgiving only eating only the side veggies!   A healthy, vegetarian Thanksgiving as easy as reading the recipes below, putting on an apron (with heels if you feel naughty) and getting going!   Or just forward this blog to Mom, she knows what to do.

Vegetarian Paate en Crote

1 onion, minced
2 Tbsp. margarine
12 cups minced mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs
1 pkg. frozen puff pasty sheets, thawed

In a large pot, over medium heat, saute the onion in the margarine for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute 20 to 30 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. The mixture should be somewhat dry. Add the parsley, rosemary, lemon juice, and bread crumbs and mix well, forming a sticky ball. Allow the mixture to cool slightly or store in the refrigerator overnight.

Thaw the puff pasty sheets for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place one sheet of dough on a floured board and roll it out into a large square. Spread half of the mushroom mixture over half of the dough, leaving a 1-inch space along the edges. Fold the other half of the dough over the half with the mushroom mixture, pressing the edges together with your fingers, then crimp with a fork to seal. Make three slits on top, then place the pasty on an ungreased cookie sheet and put it into the refrigerator while you prepare the other sheet of dough in the same manner, using the remaining mushroom mixture. Put this on the same or another cookie sheet and refrigerate for a few minutes.

Put the tray(s) into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the dough is puffed and golden. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Makes approximately 32 pieces

Rosemary and Hazelnut-Encrusted Seitan

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted
3 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
2 cups flour
3-5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. seitan cut or shredded into large chunks and marinated overnight or
1 box chicken-style White Wave Wheat Meat, available at health food stores.
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the hazelnuts and rosemary in a food processor and blend until fine. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the flour, and stir to combine.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the seitan chunks in the hazelnut mixture and coat completely (if the seitan does not come packaged in liquid, dip each piece in a little bit of water first). Put the seitan pieces in the oil and fry until lightly browned and crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Serve hot with Red Wine and Shallot Gravy (see recipe).

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Marinade for Seitan

2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 cup tamari soy sauce
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
16 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper.

Mix all ingredients in a blender.

Makes 31/2 cups

Red Wine and Shallot Gravy for Seitan

1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. shallots, minced
1/2 cup yellow onions, minced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/3 cup red wine
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 peppercorns
31/2 cups brown vegetable stock (recipe on next page)
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. flour

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, onions, celery, and carrots and cook until soft and browned. Stir in the wine, thyme, and peppercorns and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is absorbed. Stir in the stock and cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a small skillet. Add the flour and stir constantly until bubbly and lightly browned. Stir in some liquid to thin out, then stir the mixture into the stock mixture and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the vegetables. Serve over the Rosemary and Hazelnut-Encrusted Seitan.

Makes 4 servings

Green Beans With Fresh Cranberries

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 cup cranberries
1 clove garlic, minced and pressed
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Drain the beans in a colander and hold under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Blot the beans with a paper towel to remove the excess water.

Put the beans into a dry skillet and heat over medium heat until the remaining moisture on the beans evaporates. Stir in the margarine, cranberries, garlic, parsley, tarragon, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat well.

Cook until heated through.

Makes 4 servings

Apple Bavarian Torte

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. margarine, chilled
3 apples, peeled, cored, cut in half, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup white sugar, chilled
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour, chilled
1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese (try Tofutti brand at
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 400F. Oil a 9-inch springform pan.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon margarine. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain off and reserve the liquid.

Cream together 1/2 cup margarine, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and the flour. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend together the nondairy cream cheese, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Pour this mixture over the crust and spread the apples on top.

Bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle with a couple spoonfuls of the reserved apple liquid, avoiding the edges of the pan, and continue baking for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle almonds over the top of the torte. Continue baking until lightly browned. Cool before removing from the pan.

Makes 6 to 8 servings (above recipes via

Candle Cafe’s Sage Breadsticks

(Makes 40 breadsticks)
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons minced fresh sage
About 2-1/2 cups whole
wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. Stir in salt, garlic, and sage.
Add flour slowly. Turn out onto well floured board and knead 20 minutes or until smooth and satiny.

Spray bowl with vegetable cooking spray and place dough in it. Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch down.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured board, roll dough out to a 12-inch square.

See Also

Sprinkle dough lightly with additional flour.

Divide dough into four equal pieces. Cut each piece into 10 strips.

Stretch each strip out to 12 or 15-inches long.

Place on greased cookie sheet 1/2-inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

AND Our homies at VegNews sifted through their library of 15,000+ vegan recipes to find the best Thanksgiving dishes to share with us. From the Festive Chickpea Tart and Cornbread Dressing (both award-winning in our opinion) to the insanely delicious Sweet Potato Cake with Vanilla Buttercream-read on for everything you need to create a show-stopping Thanksgiving.

The Feast – What To Make:

Hello, dessert!:

After having hosted dozens of veg Thanksgiving dinners among us, we’ve rounded up some tips and tricks we know will make this holiday easy as pie (in this case, pumpkin pie dolloped with vegan whipped cream, of course). The most important rule to remember? Have fun!

Short on time yet need to bust out a five-star feast? VegNews and VegWeb staffers have scoured the web for restaurants and bakeries to do the cookin’ for you. Here’s a few of our favorites-we’ve already placed our orders!

LA: Puff Pastry Masterpiece @ Native Foods order here
SAN FRANCISCO: Supper @ Millennium Restaurant reserve here
DALLAS: Coconut Sweet Potatoes @ Spiral Diner order here
CHICAGO: Down-home Dinner @ Chicago Diner order here
COLUMBUS: Sweet Potato Pie @ Pattycake Bakery order here
DC: Pumpkin Cheesecake @ Sticky Fingers order here
NYC: Apple Crumb Cake @ Babycakes NYC order here
NATIONWIDE: Tofurky Roast @ Pangea Vegan Store order here
NATIONWIDE: T-Day Dinner To-go @ Whole Foods order here

Who doesn’t love a good bargain, especially during these tough times? Saving a penny here means more vegan bonbons for you. Don’t miss these great deals!

THEN;   The lovely Marisa Miller Wolfson, of fantastic earth-lovin’ non profit Kind Green Planet, weighed in with her absolute favorites;

Today your mission is see how many wonderful options there are for a healthy, compassionate Thanksgiving.

The web is ablaze with delicious Thanksgiving recipes that make it so easy to start a tasty, compassionate, heart-healthy family tradition.tofurkeyI like to do a version of this five-star Traditional Tasting Tofurkey recipe from that you can baste and fill with stuffing. Check out their amazing Thanksgiving recipe section, which includes a “Must Have Recipes” feature with more mouth-watering ideas.

I have yet to try a recipe from’s vegan holiday section that I didn’t want to write bad love poetry about. Personal fave: Rosemary- and Hazelnut-Encrusted Seitan with Red Wine and Shallot Gravy.

Thanks to VeganBabe for bringing some of these to my attention:

match roast Match Premium Vegan Stuffed Holiday Roast Recipe. Match “meats” are found at all NYC D’Agostino’s…in the meat section, I believe. Not in NYC? Enter your zip code for store locations or just order online.

I like the FieldRoast Celebration Roast so much that I invent holidays for myself for which to serve it: “EatYummyFood Day” and “ThisHasLotsofProtein Day.” It’s a bit small, so you might want to buy 2-3 for a larger group, but it involves zero work–big plus!
gardein thanksgiving
Gardein is a newer vegan meat on the scene that has gotten a big boost from Conscious Cook Tal Ronnen, who’s put together a Thanksgiving meal that includes sage and pumpkin seed encrusted gardein with cranberry cabernet sauce.

celebration pot pie
Watching your waistline? Check out FatFreeVegan’s blog for guilt-free recipes, including this amazing Celebration Pot Pie with Pumpkin Biscuit Crust. Plus, her sister site has a whole separate list of holiday recipes.

Finally, there’s always the old standby, a store-bought Tofurky, which should be available at most health food stores and larger grocery stores. They even make a whole boxed “Vegetarian Feast” for Lazy Lindas and Idle Ikes.

Nervous Nellies might want to try a test-run of a recipe this weekend to make sure it’s what you’re looking for. But either way, vegan Thanksgiving dishes are made with a little extra love, and that’s something we can all be thankful for.


More options to come, dear readers, but this should certainly get your menu planning started! From the paws and heels at GirlieGirl Army Headquarters, we wish you a healthful, kind, and lovely Holiday season!