Eat Figs Not Pigs for the Holidays
We teamed up with our wonderful friends at Eat Figs Not Pigs, to discuss how to eat vegan during the holidays. The holidays are times for gathering with friends, family, and feasting together on wonderful food. Of course, not everyone is vegan, so finding a dish to make that everyone can enjoy can be tricky. If you are looking for something new to try this holiday season, maybe think about giving a vegan recipe a shot! Who knows, it just might end up being so good that no one can even tell it’s vegan!
Questions For Eat Figs Not Pigs
BestieTalks : The holidays are tricky as a vegan. I have experienced going to parties where there might be only one or two items that I could eat and most often it was fruits or veggies. I would miss out on that “hearty” part of a holiday meal. Is there a main dish recipe that you would recommend for the upcoming holidays?
Eat Figs Not Pigs : Yes! There are so many, actually! Tofurky, Gardein, and Trader Joe’s all have a “Holiday Roast” that is actually pretty tasty! I usually ditch the gravy packets and make my own (recipe for my mushroom gravy is included with the Holiday Croquettes recipe). You can find these at many local grocery stores and at all Health food stores such as Whole Foods and Sprouts. If faux meats aren’t your thing, stuffed acorn squash is delicious and makes for a beautiful presentation! We actually have a recipe for that on our blog as well! Some other great mains for the Holidays are butternut squash risotto, which we’ll be sharing a recipe for very soon! We also love Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce, Fettuccine with a Creamy Squash or Pumpkin Sauce, Lentil or Mushroom Loaf Wrapped in Puff Pastry with Savory Mushroom Gravy – www.hotforfood.com and www.itdoesnttastelikechicken.com have really tasty recipes for Puff Pastry Wrapped Loaves!
BestieTalks: What are your go-to favorite vegan sides for holiday dinners?
Eat Figs Not Pigs:
- Mac and Cheese – Mississippi Vegan (www.mississippivegan.com) has the FUCKING BEST recipe for mac and cheese I’ve ever had! HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Everyone will love this recipe, vegan or not! For some extra texture, I like to sprinkle the top with panko bread crumbs and melted butter and hit it under the broiler for a couple minutes.
- Mashed Potatoes – Classic, versatile, minimal ingredients, EASILY veganizable, simple to make. You can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes!
- Green Bean Casserole – The three years we’ve been vegan, we’ve also had the pleasure of hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our recipe for Green Bean Casserole is a HUGE hit among my meat-eating family. Such a hit, that they make my vegan version over the traditional version now. Ditch that canned mushroom soup and let me show you what REAL green bean casserole is supposed to taste like 🙂
- Scalloped Potatoes – Another recipe we have on the blog, and it is very popular! Potatoes are a MUST during the holidays.
- Roasted Veggies – With all the starchy foods during the holidays, it’s nice to have some good ol’ roasted veggies. I tend to go for root vegetables during the colder months, but choose whatever veggies you know and love! I like to season mine with a little brown sugar and ginger.
BestieTalks: If I needed a vegan dish last minute without a lot of time to cook or prepare- what would you recommend? A quick and easy recipe to put together or maybe even a store-bought item that could win over a crowd?
Eat Figs Not Pigs:
Last minute – I recommend checking your local health food store’s “hot meal” or “ready meal” sections. During the Holiday months, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Lassen’s tend to carry many vegan options such as Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Pies, etc.
Quick & Easy – I really love Daiya boxed mac and cheese! You can find them at most health food stores. Each box feeds maybe 2 people, though…so you may need to buy a few if you’re attending a party with a lot of guests.
Quick & Easy – Mashed potatoes are always a go-to quick and easy dish! I like to add vegan butter, a little bit of non-dairy milk, vegan sour cream (Tofutti brand is my favorite and easily accessible), LOTS and LOTS of fresh garlic, fresh chives, and some salt and pepper. Pro Tip – Purchase baby potatoes and quarter them for quicker cooking time!
Quick & Easy – PASTA! Noodles take only a few minutes to prepare and you can whip up a delicious and creamy sauce in the time the noodles are cooking if you’ve got a good blender! Blend up some cashews, non-dairy milk, canned pumpkin (the real kind, not the stiff for pumpkin pie), sage, garlic, vegan Parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth and voila! You’ve got a creamy, herb-y Pumpkin Alfredo sauce that will be sure to wow everyone!
Quick and Easy – Bruschetta! I love Bruschetta, as most people do! You can keep it classic or jazz it up with vegan cream cheese, cranberries or pomegranates, drizzled with some fresh sage and store-bought balsamic glaze.
BestieTalks: What tiny changes could be made to classic holiday dishes that could turn them into a new favorite vegan classic? Like green bean casserole, stuffing, gravy etc.
Eat Figs Not Pigs: So many EASY AF changes you can make to veganize almost any dish! If a recipe calls for butter, buy vegan butter such as Earth Balance or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Swap regular milk for non-dairy milk such as Almond, Soy, Hemp, Coconut, or Cashew. If a recipe calls for eggs as a binder, there are tons of egg replacements such as Bob’s Red Mill brand, Ener-G, Follow Your Heart, Flax eggs (tons of recipes online), or ground Chia seeds. There is even vegan half-and-half for creamier recipes! All these ingredients are pretty easy to find!
BestieTalks: Every party needs a fun drink! Do you have a favorite drink that you would recommend for a holiday gathering?
Eat Figs Not Pigs: Any drink that gets me drunk is a fun drink, in my opinion. Just kindding (kind of). On the real, though, I know people love egg nog (I personally hate it), so spiked egg nog is a go-to. Even my local grocery store has several brands of vegan egg nog, so it should be easily accessible in most cases! I also love anything cinnamon-y during the holidays, so a Fireball Sangria would be tasty and festive af. Bailey’s also has an Almond Milk Vegan version out now! I always love Bailey’s during the Holidays!
RECIPE #1 – GARLIC HERBED SCALLOPED POTATOES
1 large shallot, minced
1 tsp of each – sage, rosemary, thyme (preferably fresh, minced)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups non-dairy milk
3 TBS cornstarch
3 TBS vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
1 – 7 ounce package Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda Slices, cut into cubes
5-6 red potatoes, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chives, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Arrange sliced potatoes in an oven safe dish or cast iron skillet,
3. In a saucepan, heat butter over low heat. Once butter begins to
melt, slowly stir in cornstarch, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper
4. Add onions, shallot, and garlic. Cook on low for another 2-3 minutes.
Slowly add non-dairy milk and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until
the sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to low and add in the cheese cube, stirring until they
have formed a creamy “cheese” sauce.
6. Pour sauce over the sliced potatoes, cover and bake in preheated
oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 45 minutes (for extra
crispiness and cheesy bubbliness, we broiled them the last five
7. Serve warm garnished with fresh chives.
RECIPE #2 – VEGAN HOLIDAY CROQUETTES WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY
8 oz button mushrooms, diced
4 TBS vegan butter
4 TBS all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 “Not Beef” bouillon cube
Oil, for frying
3 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
8 TBS vegan butter, divided
1 small carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups unsweetened original almond milk, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage, minced and fresh if possible
8 oz Sweet Earth seitan strips, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 vegan eggs, we use Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small saucepan, melt butter on medium-low heat
2. Add mushrooms and saute until most of the moisture has cooked out,
about 5-7 minutes
3. Add flour and bouillon cube, mixing to combine all the ingredients
Slowly add in water
4. Increase heat to high and whisk gravy until it boils lightly and
becomes thicker in consistency
5. Cover and simmer on very low until ready to serve
1. Prepare vegan eggs according to package directions
2. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook
potatoes until they are very tender and easy to mash
3. While potatoes are boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of vegan butter in a
large saucepan on medium heat. Saute carrots, onion, celery, and herbs
until warmed through and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add chopped
seitan pieces and cook an additional 5-7 minutes. Set mixture aside.
4. When potatoes are done boiling, drain them and transfer to a large
bow. Mash them with the remaining vegan butter and 1/2 cup unsweetened
original almond milk. Mash the potatoes until they are free from
clumps and creamy
5. Add seitan and herb mixture to the mashed potatoes, along with
vegan eggs and 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper
to taste, mixing to combine all the ingredients
6. Set up your dredging station. In one bowl, add the remaining bread
crumbs. In another bowl, add the remaining almond milk. In a third
bowl, add the flour
7. Form mashed potato mixture into balls (we used about 1 heaping
tablespoon of mashed potato mixture to form a ball). Once the balls or
“croquettes” are formed, roll them into the flour, then the milk, then
the bread crumbs. Make sure for each part of the coating process, you
coat each croquette thoroughly. If you want EXTRA crispy croquettes,
you can repeat the process one more time.
8. Fry the croquettes in oil (350 degrees F) for about 5-7 minutes, or
until golden brown and crispy
9. Serve hot with mushroom gravy
Connect and Cook Some Recipes!
We hope you enjoyed this article as much as we enjoyed putting it together. We learned quite a few tips ourselves and we also plan on making these recipes too! Even if you are not vegan, we hope you are inspired to give something new a try this holiday season! Eat Figs Not Pigs has an amazing blog with countless mouthwatering recipes. They are not only amazing chefs but badass women that we are glad to call friends. Connect and follow them for more amazing vegan recipes!