The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Recipes for 'Vegan Christmas/Chanukah'

Since I published the “First Day of Christmas” post yesterday to allow a little grocery shopping time, I wanted to leave all you Blooming Platter supporters a cheerful post on Christmas, albeit one without a recipe, as I assume the menu is set and the cooking begun.

Have a lovely, healthy, tasty and “conscious” Christmas!

DiJulio Holiday Card

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Merry Christmas a day early everyone! 

This recipe is a three-fer and may require a quick nip into the grocery store, so I wanted you to have a time to procure the ingredients before Christmas arrives because this little nosh packs big flavor and is exactly how my family prefers to eat on Christmas Day.  Or you might even want to serve it tonight for Christmas Eve with your favorite beverage or imbibement.

Back in the day, my family loved a big feast.  Now we nosh.  But, regardless, this tri-level treat will be lovely alongside whatever else you serve.

My special Toasted Pumpkin Seeds don’t absolutely have to go on top, but I love nuts and seeds, so if a (wal)nut plus a (hazel) nut is good, a nut plus a seed is even better.  Therefore, you can just put out a bowl of the seeds for nibbling, then stand back and watch them disappear.

Along those lines, any one of the three parts of this stacked appetizer has a multitude of uses, so let your imagination and the rest of your menu be your guide.

May you have exactly the kind of holiday you need!

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I wanted to re-publish this recipe today, so that you could procure any of the few ingredients you don’t have on hand, as this tantalizing breakfast treat–like bread pudding for breakfast–with the healthful base of oatmeal needs to sit overnight.

It goes together in a snap, bakes up beautifully every time, and is a proven hit with men and non-vegans.  Everyone in your house will wake up to the aroma of Christmas personified and your oven will do all the work while you enjoy your family around the tree.

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It is supposed to chill down today through at least Christmas in much of the US that isn’t already frigid or frozen, so my Pumpkin Pie Espresso seemed the perfect way to start this morning, Christmas morning, or any winter morning!

(Please note: when you click on the link, it will take you to the recipe that I posted in 2011 with a cookbook giveaway but the giveaway is not a current offer.  Sorry!)

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Complex in flavor but not to prepare, a mound of golden and creamy, but healthy(!), spaghetti squash is crowned with the colors and flavors of the season in the form of dried cranberries and kale in this uniquely tasty recipe.

You could stop there, but why would you want to when you could spend just a tiny bit more time and push it right over the top with a sprinkling of crusty croutons!

In this recipe, the croutons are curried, but if those flavor notes seem discordant with you meal, by all means, choose another spice, but don’t deprive your friends and family of this mound of sweet-n-savory deliciousness.

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Sorry, everyone, I almost missed the 5th Day of Christmas due to flight delays in Atlanta…errr.  Tis the season!

But I am now safely at my family’s home in MS–after having to fly into a different town than originally scheduled, creating a longer drive for my family.

So, now, it’s almost midnight East Coast Time, and I have a mere 10 minutes before I turn into a pumpkin.  Or maybe a sweet potato.  This will be quick…or maybe not.  The computer here is very sloooooow.  Perhaps this is a sign that I need to slow down the pace a bit this week.  Sound familiar?

Here goes: I adore sweet potatoes, but I was never a fan of those dessert-type dishes with brown sugar and all the rest.  One Thanksgiving my sister and I came upon this recipe for Vegan Stuffed Savory Sweet Potatoes, which I easily veganized, and it quickly became a family favorite.  These handsome spuds are just as appropriate for Christmas, and you may find that those who think they don’t enjoy holiday sweet potatoes, in fact do!




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Recipe: Baked Swiss Chard (or Kale) and Sweet Potato Spring Rolls with Anise-Scented Sage-Butter SaucePublished on One Green Planet, my recipe for spring rolls with a twist is perfect for the Christmas holidays.

Not Asian in flavor–except for the hint of anise–they are, however, a celebration of everything I love about fall and winter cooking and eating.

Kale, sweet potatoes, anise and sage combine in these cute little packages that could easily be served as an entree or an appetizer.

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Ruth's Chris Tempura Onion Ring Cups with Creamed KaleBeautiful bright greens deserve a special place on the holiday table.  And my “creamed” version of my favorite winter green–kale–is practically virtuous, as its creaminess comes from pureed white beans.  Rich and decadent tasting, your guests will be none the wiser.

As you can see in the photo, when I created the recipe initially, it was to stuff inside an enormous (vegan) tempura-battered onion ring from Ruth’s Chris in a “Restaurant Redux.”  When you follow the link, you will not only discover the recipe but an explanation for why I was in a steak house.  It wasn’t to eat steak, that’s for sure!  And, sadly, not long after I created this recipe, Ruth’s Chris ditched their tempura battered onion rings in favor of breaded ones, which are not vegan.  Probably just as well; those were a splurge.

But my “Creamed” Kale is just as tasty and far more healthy served in a pretty casserole dish, ramekins, or stuffed in the likes of acorn squash.  Any way you serve it, you can’t go wrong with this delicious and nutritious–not to mention super simple–embrace of one of winter’s finest gifts.


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TBPC_frontcover_for_web1This just in from the Shameless Commerce division…

I just received this email tonight from Cole Williams, a gifted former Advanced Art student, who now attends college at VCU and I couldn’t have scripted a better marketing message…

He writes:

“…Anyway, the reason I am emailing you is to express my appreciation and admiration for your wonderful cookbook- The Blooming Platter. My aunt who lives in California is a vegetarian and a WONDERFUL cook whom I share many recipes and ideas with, and I decided to get her a copy of your cookbook for Christmas. It arrived and while flipping through it I fell in love and decided I needed a copy for myself! I have been doing an increasing amount of cooking in the past few years (especially lately- it’s the cheapest way to eat in college) and eat a largely plant-based diet. The recipes on and in your cookbook give me a lot of inspiration as they are very healthy (an important aspect, to me) and don’t compromise on flavor one bit. I’m especially fond of the Thai/Asian style dishes as well as anything with fall vegetables- I absolutely love winter squash. I thought I would like to let you know that your ideas are impacting young minds!”

Amazon has some great deals right now!

I like to think of this self-portrait as Cole contemplating the plant-based life:

Cole Williams Self Portrait--2011-2012

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Cous-Cous with Grilled Butternut SquashWith its heavenly–and earthy–star anise garnish and its anise-and-sage dressing, this simple and flavorful side-dish seems made for the winter holiday table.

My Cous-Cous with Grilled Butternut Squash feeds two birds with one cracker (as opposed to killing two birds with one stone!) because it is both starch and vegetable in one.  And, never fear, you won’t find me outside grilling in December (or any time for that matter), as I am an indoor grill pan devotee and that’s all you need for grilling the squash–my trustee pan is made by Lodge–though you could roast it instead.

If sumac is new to you, you should be able to find it in Mediterranean markets.  It is a beautiful golden reddish color and imparts a mellow tartness.  If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute just a little lemon zest, but its unique flavor makes it worth the hunt.  I love nutty undertones this time of year, and the sesame provides just the right hint, and is especially compatible with the sumac and anise.

If you have the green part of your menu taken care of, this would be an excellent addition.  (And, if you don’t, stay tuned, as greens are coming up!)


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