December 4, 2009
The holidays are packed with traditions, and many involve food, family and fun. But living a vegan lifestyle doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your taste buds for delicious, festive food!
Eat, Drink and Be Vegan
At the heart of veganism is a respect and compassion for rights of all living creatures, so there's no flesh, fish, fowl, dairy products of any kind found on the menu. Gone are the days when people thought vegans to be tiny, fringe sliver of the population. A 2008 Harris Interactive poll found that 0.5 percent of the U.S. population, about one million people, are practicing vegans. This is sizeable number of Americans looking for healthy vegetarian alternatives in their diet.
Let's get to the menu then, shall we? The centerpiece of many traditional holiday dinners in meat-based - your basic turkey, ham, roast, lamb choices - obvious no-goes for vegans. Here are three dishes that are sure to be a hit in your family this holiday season.
Prep time 30 min.; cook time 1 hr.
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can tomato puree
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons Italian-style seasoning
1 (12 ounce) package soft tofu
2/3 (16 ounce) package instant lasagna noodles
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a large skillet, saute garlic and mushrooms in oil until all the liquid is cooked out. Add 1/3 tomato puree to mushrooms and garlic, cook 2 to 3 minutes, and remove from heat.
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine spinach, garlic salt, Italian seasoning and tofu. Blend until the mixture is an even consistency. Heat in a microwave on high for 2 minutes.
4. In a 9x9 inch baking pan, pour one thin layer of remaining tomato puree, a layer of noodles, 1/2 the tofu mixture, the mushroom sauce, a layer of noodles, 1/2 the tofu mixture, a layer of tomato puree, a layer of noodles, and a final layer of tomato puree.
5. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven.
Harvest Vegan Nut Roast
Prep time 15 min.; cook time 1 hr., 30 min.
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 onions, chopped
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup pecan or sunflower meal
2 1/2 cups soy milk
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a loaf pan.
2. In a medium size frying pan, saute the chopped celery and the onion in 3 teaspoons water until cooked.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the celery and onion with walnuts, pecan or sunflower meal, soy milk, basil, oregano, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Place mixture in the prepared loaf pan.
4. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes; until the loaf is cooked through.
Vegan-Baked Oatmeal Patties
Prep time 30 min.; cook time 40 min.
4 cups water
4 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 onion, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.
2. Bring water to a boil and stir in oatmeal. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, or until the oats are cooked and all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. To the oatmeal add onion, oil, spaghetti sauce, pecans, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, basil, onion powder, coriander, sage and active yeast. Mix well and form into patties. Place on prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn patties over and bake another 15 minutes.