Special Occasions and Entertaining

Vegan Picnic Treats for Spring

Quinoa and chickpea-stuffed bell peppers

Is there anything more quintessentially spring than a picnic? As the weather is warming up and the days are longer, now is the perfect time to head outside with a basket packed with vegan treats! And to help you get inspired with ideas of what to bring, here’s a roundup of great vegan recipes to explore:  more→

Sweet Potato Salad with Pecans

Sweet potato salad with pecans

This simple sweet potato salad, developed by Ginny Messina, is a great choice when you want something a little different for a picnic or potluck. It’s also a wonderful addition to fall and winter holiday meals. From Never Too Late to Go Vegan: The Over50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet,* copyright © Carol J. Adams, Patti Breitman, Virginia Messina, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Photos by Rachael Braun.

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Spring Vegetable Tart

Spring vegetable tart

This spring vegetable tart looks like a work of art, but it’s so easy to accomplish. Puff pastry isn’t the healthiest item in the world, but for special occasions, it transforms simple ingredients into something fun and festive. Use a name brand (these are most often vegan, though it doesn’t hurt to check the ingredients), and make sure to give it a good 45 minutes to an hour to thaw out—not less, and ideally, not much more. This makes two rectangular tarts that are easy on the cook and gorgeous to behold. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.

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Insanely Easy Vegan French Toast

Easy vegan french toast recipe

You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles for a fantastic yet easy vegan French toast recipe. It’s all about the golden-brown surface, cinnamon, and syrup. A nice amount of fruit or fruit salad is always a plus, too. I prefer garbanzo (chickpea) flour, as it yields an nice golden color, and since it’s made of bean, is a nice foil to the bread. more→

Cool Season Fruit Bowl

Cool-Season Fruit bowl

If it’s not quite the time for summery fruits, this medley makes the most of winter and early spring fruits for a luscious and refreshing finale to a meal. It makes a nice breakfast or brunch offering as well. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Gingered Winter Fruit Medley

Gingered winter fruit medley

This simple and pretty combination of winter fruits — pears, apples, oranges, and pineapple, spiced with crystallized ginger — is a refreshing finish to any meal. It’s pretty enough to serve as a Christmas dinner dessert, accompanied by your favorite cookies. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.
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Chickpea and Quinoa Salad in Sweet Pepper Boats

Quinoa and chickpea-stuffed bell peppers

These appealing bell pepper “boats” are filling enough to serve as a main dish for any festive meal. Perfectly portable, too, they make a wonderful picnic entree or a change of pace from sandwiches for a hearty lunch. Recipe contributed by Laura Theodore, from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites* © 2013 BenBella Books, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

Creamy Veggnog

vegan nog recipe

Eggnog is the official beverage of December. It’s rare to encounter it any other time, and truly is Christmas spirit in a cup.  We were so pleased when we whipped up this vegan eggnog mixture and created an egg-free version to sip with some spiced rum or on its own. Extra nutmeg always welcome! Recipe and photo contributed by Samantha Shorkey, from The Vegan Project. To order What to Feed that Effing Vegan: The Holiday Edition, VegKitchen readers can get this instantly downloadable pdf e-book for just $5 (regularly $7) by entering coupon code: thateffingvegkitchen — which includes 20+ delicious recipes to create a full course holiday dinner plus appetizers, brunch, cocktails, desserts and many gluten-free options! more→

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

Roasted root vegetable salad

Root vegetables are so abundant in the fall, and come in so many earthy hues. Roasting roots in a hot oven is the best way to bring out their mellow, slightly sweet flavors. Since they taste just as good at room temperature as they do hot, they’re presented here in an altogether appetizing salad. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.

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Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

massaged kale salad with cranberries and cashews

Here’s a basic recipes for massaged kale salad, with lots of ways to vary it. You can toss in some slivered baby carrots, substitute another kind of nut, add a bit of thinly shredded red cabbage for extra color, or sliced celery or bok choy for extra crunch. Even in its simple form, as presented here, it’s luscious and festive, and just as welcome for everyday as well as holiday meals. Its colors make it especially nice for a vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.

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VegKitchen’s Favorite Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Stuffed butternut squash with whole wheat and wild rice

When it comes to vegan Thanksgiving recipes and menus (which are also suitable for vegetarians, of course), VegKitchen is thankful that our Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner page has long been one of the premier resources on the web. There are lots of choices, from soups to desserts, but if you want to get right down to it, this page will narrow it down to our favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes.

And of course, if you still prefer to cook from a book rather than a web site, please consider Vegan Holiday Kitchen, which offers recipes like these, and much more, for the Thanksgiving feast (and beyond — Hanukkah, Christmas, as well as the spring holidays and summer entertaining). more→

Maple-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Wild Rice

Maple-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sproouts2 randy clemens

While I wish I could take all the credit for the unique blend of flavors here, the inspiration for the Brussels sprouts came from a restaurant in NYC called the Vanderbilt. I was going to rework their recipe as a side dish, but after taking my first bite of this new version, I realized that serving the Brussels sprouts atop my favorite wild rice dish would create a stunning entrée. Recipe and photo reprinted by permission from The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook ©2013 by Randy Clemens. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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