Special Occasions and Entertaining

Pasta Primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera

Though this plant-based Pasta Primavera uses only a half-pound of pasta, it’s so chockfull of vegetables that it makes quite a heaping helping. You can serve it any time of year, but it’s an especially nice way to welcome spring, as its name implies. It’s also a pleasing main dish at spring holiday or special occasion meals, such as Easter or Mother’s Day. Serve with a simple salad of fresh greens.

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Buckwheat Crepes with Chocolate Sauce

Buckwheat Crepes + Chocolate Sauce by Jenne Claiborne from Sweet Potato Soul

These whole grain crepes are delicious, filling, very pretty, and totally healthy! They’re also great for kids. Then there is the chocolate! This creamy vegan chocolate sauce takes the crepes to the next level. Yes, even the chocolate sauce is healthy. There is really no excuse not to give these a try at your next brunch. Recipe contributed by JennéClaiborne from Sweet Potato Soul. Photos by Sydney Bensimon. 

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Roasted Sweet Potatoes from Leslie Cerier

You can make this festive roasted sweet potato dish with yams or sweet potatoes or a combination of both. Generally speaking, garnet yams are sweeter than sweet potatoes. Serve it as part of a vegan Thanksgiving holiday or anytime you want to warm up the house with the sweet aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. Recipe contributed by Leslie Cerier. Photo by Tracey Eller

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Maple-Baked Beans and Cornbread Casserole

Maple Baked Beans with Cornbread Topping But I Could Never Go Vegan by Kristy Turner

Take this casserole of smoky, barbecue-y, maple-y beans baked with a layer of cornbread on top. Now imagine digging into a bowlful while sitting at a table with your loved ones, the sound of familiar voices and laughter dancing in your ears. This casserole has “cozy” written all over it. It’s a great choice for a vegan Thanksgiving main dish, or a special cold weather weekend meal for company. Recipe from  But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over Dinner, © Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. more→

Tofu Rancheros

Tofu Rancheros

A veganized version of huevos (eggs) rancheros, this dish of tofu prepared with Southwestern flavors and nestled on corn tortillas, makes a nice brunch or light dinner dish. Serve with a simple potato or bean dish (shown here with Beer-Stewed Pinto Beans) and a platter of sliced avocado and oranges for a complete meal.  more→

Wild Rice Salad with Corn and Black-Eyed Peas

Wild Rice Salad with corn and black-eyed peas

This hearty wild rice salad, embellished with corn, black-eyed peas, veggies, and herbs, is an invigorating melange of flavors, textures and colors. It’s an attractive dish to serve at room temperature, any time of year, at buffets, potlucks, and holiday gatherings. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is a winter holiday favorite, especially if you’re planning a vegan Thanksgiving. Here’s an updated, veganized, and healthy version of this comfort food favorite. The original, vintage version uses canned cream of mushroom and (gasp!) canned fried onions; this one gets its creaminess from pureed white beans or silken tofu. Sautéed onions, crisped up with a lightly floured coating, make a yummy topping along with breadcrumbs.  more→

Black Bean and Zucchini Tortilla Casserole

Black bean and zucchini tortilla casserole chilaquiles recipe

Chilaquiles is a classic Southwestern casserole that layers soft corn tortillas with beans and cheese (vegan in this case). Adding zucchini and chiles adds to the lively flavors. This makes for a nice change-of-pace holiday main dish, but this is also easy enough to make for weeknight meals. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

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Two Potato Kugel

White and sweet potato kugel

This potato kugel (which is a baked pudding or a casserole) is reminiscent of my grandmother’s, but I kicked up the nutritional profile a bit with the inclusion of sweet potatoes and taking out the eggs. This version is less rich but still full of potato-y comfort, a cross between hashed browns and scalloped potatoes, and a great side dish at a Passover meal. Being gluten-free, I omitted the traditional matzo meal, but feel free to add that as described if you have no issues with wheat. By the way, a mandolin slicer works great for getting the potatoes into uniform matchsticks. Recipe and photo contributed by Maria Rose from Vegan Street.

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Chunky Sweet Potato Bisque

Chunky Sweet Potato Bisque

A satisfying soup that gets its golden-orange color from sweet potatoes and carrots, this will warm you throughout the fall and winter. Served in a generous bowl, it can be a main dish, completed simply with salad and fresh bread. Served in smaller portions, it’s a nice way to start a vegan Thanksgiving meal. Photos by Evan Atlas.
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Spinach or Arugula Scrambled Tofu 

Tofu and spinach scramble

Here’s a colorful, tasty tofu scramble with plenty of healthy spinach or arugula and red bell peppers that’s festive enough for a company brunch (double the recipe in that case), but simple enough to make for a weekend meal for you and yours. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin. more→

Rosh Hashana Apple Rugelach

Apple walnut vegan rugelach

Apples and honey are the traditional treat to celebrate the Rosh Hashana, in hopes that it will be a sweet New Year. Apples and agave or maple syrup have always provided this same sentiment just fine, but now I have something even better to kick off a new 365 days with. Rolling up a mixture of walnuts, apples, agave, and just a tiny touch of orange blossom water for that floral hint you’d find in honey, the standard buttery rugelach dough becomes a whole lot more special. more→

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