What to Serve Your Favourite Vegetarian or Vegan at Your Next Holiday Gathering – Guest Post

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 By Jen Shragge

It happens every year. We host a little holiday gathering in early December and ask everybody to bring a dish. I often see the panic and fear in the eyes of my friends right away. What can they bring? They don’t cook vegetarian or vegan, so they ask what on earth should they prepare.

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So let’s break this down. First and foremost, while my son and I don’t eat meat, the vast majority of our guests do. So, if trying to prepare a meatless dish causes you to break out in cold sweats, just don’t do it. However, if you are up to the challenge, here are some very easy ways to vegetarian-ize or vegan-ize some holiday favourites that are always big crowd pleasers.

Quick and Easy:
• Hummus or other bean dips with veggies, chips and/or crackers
• Edamame (steam on site and sprinkle with salt, what could be easier!?)
• Cheese and cracker plates (If you really want to wow your friends, try making a nut cheese!)
• Spinach dip in a bread bowl (to vegan-ize, una se a good vegan mayo like Follow Your Heart or Vegenaise)
• Veggie Piggies in a Blanket (amazingly, many store bought pastry doughs are vegan, not healthy, but vegan nonetheless, and veggie dogs are easy to find of course)

Less Quick and Easy but Impressive:
• Meat-less balls (like these ones)
• Veggie Samosas or Pakoras (and who are we kidding, these are very easily purchased at your local grocery store, just check that there is no animal fat in the pastry)

• 7 Layer bean dip (just use or make vegan sour cream and a good quality vegan cheese like Daiya) with home made baked tortilla chips
Avocado salad (there are hundreds of options out there, but this is one of my favourites since it is just so easy)
• For a Hanukkah party, consider potato latkes. They are really easy to make and can handle being reheated or kept in the oven on warm for quite some time. Serve with apple sauce and sour cream.
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Gourmet Greatness (Desserts are what holiday parties are all about so here are some piece de resistance options)

Vegan chocolate brownies
Vegan cheesecake bites
• Vegan gingerbread men
Vegan peanut butter cups
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Keep in mind that good vegan butter alternatives are readily available these days. Egg substitutes can be purchased or made and everybody loves dessert. You really can’t go wrong. Happy holidays and happy eating!

What is your go-to meat-free recipe for entertaining or holiday parties?

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Jen Shragge is a yoga instructor and all around eco-diva. She now lives back in her hometown of Toronto after ten years in the Vancouver area. Jen’s days are filled by her seven year old son and husband plus her toddler who was crazy enough to make her arrival on Christmas Day. In her spare time, (do moms really have spare time!?) Jen is a stylist for Peekaboo Beans, a play-focused quality children's clothing line.

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13 responses to “What to Serve Your Favourite Vegetarian or Vegan at Your Next Holiday Gathering – Guest Post”

  1. Anna+W — December 16, 2014 @ 8:20 am (#)

    I like to get big platters of just veggie sushi and vegetarian chili is always a hit!

    Reply

  2. Jeannie — December 17, 2014 @ 10:55 am (#)

    these are great ideas. I think it’s so important to think about dietary concerns of all your guests because you want everyone to have a good time and be able to eat too. I think veggie chilli is a great idea and easy to make.

    Reply

  3. kathy+downey — December 18, 2014 @ 5:39 am (#)

    Thanks for the ideas,I love the star

    Reply

  4. Elizabeth Matthiesen — December 18, 2014 @ 10:03 pm (#)

    I’ve had to cook for vegetarians but never for a vegan so I’d be at a loss what to offer them to eat. I guess that I’d just google it for recipes, that seems to be a pretty easy solution. I love the way the sprinkles brighten up the chocolate 🙂

    Reply

  5. Stephanie+LaPlante — December 20, 2014 @ 6:39 am (#)

    I’d like to try Avocado Salad!

    Reply

  6. Laurie P — December 21, 2014 @ 8:04 am (#)

    Really great suggestions here! Avocado salad is a favorite here, and non of us are vegetarian/vegan!

    Also big fans of hummus, all varieties!

    Reply

  7. kathy downey — February 4, 2015 @ 6:37 am (#)

    Some of these dishes you talked sound delicious

    Reply

  8. Victoria Ess — April 14, 2015 @ 5:50 am (#)

    This is such a great list!! I’m always hard-pressed to think of new ideas for vegan dishes!

    Reply

  9. kathy downey — April 20, 2015 @ 8:41 am (#)

    We are big hummus eaters here all varieties!

    Reply

  10. Elva Roberts — May 6, 2015 @ 3:13 pm (#)

    I’ve never had to cook for a Vegetarian but that may change. I have one granddaughter who is a vegetarian and now I have two. I shall soon have to find recipes that I may use at a family gettogether instead of buying something vegan at our local store. I liked your suggestions and I really liked the dessert suggestions. I know this is a very healthy lifestyle and a very famous doctor recommends it for his heart patients, along with meditation and exercise, to reverse heart disease in patients too ill to undergo surgery.

    Reply

  11. Elva Roberts — September 28, 2015 @ 5:05 pm (#)

    Thank you so much for giving us so many ideas of dishes that we may serve our vegetarian relatives. I have two vegetarian granddaughters and, no doubt, I will acquire more as time goes by. you have given us more options and I thank you, again, for that, We really appreciate it.

    Reply

  12. Elva Roberts — March 10, 2016 @ 12:14 pm (#)

    As the vegan and Vegetarian lifestyle becomes more popular, we who entertain will have to put our thinking caps on and work to make these relatives and friends feel welcome at our family gatherings by providing substantial food for them as well as meateaters.
    I think your suggestions provide a really good place to start. Thank you so much.

    Reply

  13. Darlene W — August 25, 2016 @ 9:44 am (#)

    great suggestions, I have several nieces who are vegetarian and one who is vegan

    Reply

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