A Vegan Holiday Feast…

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A Vegan Holiday Feast…

Chances are, if you’re vegan, the holiday season can be a little challenging. Most of us have had the long, drawn out conversations with our family about why we have chosen to embrace a vegan lifestyle. The degree of support we experience from our family and friends will vary between everyone, alas, the holiday season does often provoke jabs and remarks when the family sits around the dinner table at Christmas! Some people may feel that Christmas is a perfect opportunity to dive into an explanation of the roast that sits in the middle of the dining table! However, while it can be hard, Christmas is also about practising acceptance, spending time with the people we love and practicing compassion. To avoid a flashback from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, another way to educate and inspire family and friends is to either bring along your own wonderful vegan dishes for them to enjoy, or host a vegan Christmas yourself! Either way you will be introducing the people you love to a way to enjoy the festivities of Christmas in a cruelty free, loving AND delicious way! You know your family and friends best, while it may be tempting to hurl the Christmas turkey out the window and schedule Earthlings to subtly interrupt the Christmas carols, your family have most likely gone to a lot of trouble to make this a lovely day. Ive always found that change in my own family comes from positive encouragement and examples (who can say no to raw vegan chocolate mousse?!) rather than an accusatory lecture! (It took me a while to learn this!) So, with these recipes in your tool kit, look forward to Christmas, share some wonderful vegan fare and ethical gifts with your family, and Im pretty sure that year by year, they will always look forward to your contributions and lessons.

 

Raw Zucchini and Basil Hummus

  • 2 large zucchinis peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Paprika and sesame seeds to garnish

 

Blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or in a food processor until smooth and creamy. I find grating the zucchini first enables it to blend really easily.

Taste and season to your liking.

Serve sprinkled with paprika and sesame seeds and with julienne vegetables to dip.

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Quinoa Salad with cranberries and almonds

  •  1 ½ cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1 large Cucumber diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 2 tablespoons of cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
  • 1 handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2  cup of parsley finely chopped
  • 1 handful of pea shoots or sunflower sprouts
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet balsamic reduction
  • 1 tablespoon of macadamia oil
  • Freshly cracked Himalayan salt and black pepper

 

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently to combine.

Mix the lemon juice, balsamic, macadamia oil and salt and pepper together and then drizzle over the salad.

Mix well and serve at room temperature.

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Creamy Potato and Herb Salad

  • a dozen small washed kipfler potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds

Dressing-

  • 3 tablespoons of natural coconut yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet balsamic reduction
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a sprinkle of zatar or plain sesame seeds

Slice the potatoes into medium size cubes and cook in boiling salted water on the stove top. When they are just tender, drain the potatoes and allow to cool. They should be cooked but still firm enough to hold their shape.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and combine well. Taste and season to your liking.

In a large bowl, combine the cool potatoes with the fresh herbs and seeds and then mix through the dressing. Serve warm or cold!

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Cashew Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

  •  12 small button mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 dessertspoon nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 3 tsp thyme leaves (whole)
  • 2 tbsp raw pine nuts

 

Gently remove the stems from the mushrooms. Clean them with a paper towel.

Mix together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and brush onto the outside of the mushrooms.

Wait 20 mins for balsamic mixture to soak in, then gently wipe off any excess with a paper towel.

Next, combine the cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt in your high speed blender.

Tip mixture into a bowl and stir through the parsley and chives.

Spoon the mixture into the mushrooms, and sprinkle with thyme leaves and pine nuts.

Enjoy!

StuffedMushrooms3

 

 

Balsamic Zucchini and Kale Salad

  • 4-5 large, shredded kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 1 cup watercress, torn roughly
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 red capsicum, sliced finely
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp microherbs (I used red garnet microherbs, if you can’t find these, you can use chopped parsley or alfalfa sprouts)

 

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a large pinch of himalayan salt or sea salt

 

In a large bowl, mix together all your salad ingredients, except the pine nuts and microherbs.

Mix together your dressing ingredients in a small cup or jar.

Gently toss your dressing through the salad.

Top with the pine nuts and microherbs.

Serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as a side salad.

 

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Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Raspberry Cashew Cream Frosting

Cake-

  • 2 ½ cups of brazil nuts
  • ½ cup of coconut nectar
  • 1 ½ cups of coconut flour
  • 1 cup of soft or soaked dates
  • 2 beetroots grated
  • 1 orange- zest only
  • 1 cup of cacao powder

 

Process brazil nuts until they form a fine powder. Add all of the other ingredients and process until smooth and the mixture combines easily. You may need to do this in batches if your food processor is small.

Press the mixture into a spring form cake tin and refrigerate while you make the icing.

Icing-

  • 1 cup of soaked and strained cashews (try to soak your cashew for 2-4 hours)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut nectar
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • ½ cup of fresh raspberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk

 

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. You may need to add a little extra almond milk so that it blends easily.

Spread the icing over the cake and decorate with coconut and pistachios.

 

choc beet cake

 

 

Raw Lemon and White Chocolate Slice

Base-

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Middle Layer-

  • 1 cup raw macadamias
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut nectar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Top-

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 50g cacao butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut nectar

 

Put all your base ingredients into a food processor, and process until it starts to stick together. You can test this by squeezing a bit between your thumb and forefinger.

If it’s not quite coming together, add 2-3 tsp of water and blend again briefly.

Press base into the bottom of a medium sized (22-25cm) baking dish.

Next, throw all your ingredients for the middle layer into your blender and blend on a medium to high speed until smooth and creamy. Pour into dish, and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes.

In a double boiler, gently heat your cacao butter, until it’s melted.

Once it’s melted, combine your cacao butter in the blender along with the other top ingredients, and blend until smooth. Pour into your dish and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until top layer is set. Alternatively, you can keep your slice in the fridge.

Makes about 12 small squares.

 

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Raw Chocolate Clusters  

Ingredients-

  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of goji berries
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of mulberries
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds

Method-

Mix together the coconut nectar, cacao powder and coconut oil until the chocolate is very smooth. If your coconut oil is solid, place it in a stainless steel bowl over another bowl of hot water water so that it melts gently.

Mix through the superfoods until everything is well combined.

Using a spoon, place a heaped spoonful of the mixture on baking paper and continue until the mixture runs out.

 

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Watermelon Berry Crush

  •  500g (3 cups) watermelon, cubed
  • 1 punnet strawberries, stems removed
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 16 ice cubes
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves

Blend everything together in a high speed blender.

Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

Serves 2WatermelonBerryCrush2

 

 

 

Recipes provided by Kelly Fielding @ Bella and Bhakti

and Jules Galloway @Jules Galloway Naturopath 

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