This time of year can become quite stressful for vegans, not all of us come from fully vegan families – like myself for instance. While I would love to indulge in a plant-based feast for all, it’s not the current reality in my case, as it is for many others.
The holidays tend to be a hard time of year for me, I’m the only vegan in my family and it’s always the hot topic at holiday get-togethers. I choose to approach each event as an opportunity to share something I’ve made as well as learn from these situations how to better adapt and embrace the situations I’m put into. Usually someone mentions the fact that I don’t consume animals anymore, a few ask if I miss it and most avoid me. Luckily the majority of my family is very accepting of this lifestyle, my grandma and father have always been accommodating to me. They love to try whatever I decide to make and that really warms my heart.
I was inspired to write this post and compile some advice and recipes for all the solo vegans out there, working hard at making their holidays with the family a little less animal-based. My heart goes out to you and the struggle of watching your loved-ones feast on animals. I’m not going to lie, it really upsets me. I try to stay calm and remember why I love everyone around me, but hey – I’m human and this is a lifestyle I very passionately advocate for. I won’t sugar-coat the sadness I feel knowing and seeing animals I work hard to give a voice to, go unheard.
On a brighter note, let’s work on sharing these vegan recipes with our loved ones and show them that being vegan does not equal consuming “rabbit food”. We can have delicious meals, full of comfort without the need to abuse animals in the process. Check out a few of my absolute favorites listed below. I’m sure at least one of them will be a winner for your omni-family and/or friends.
This will be my third holiday season living as a vegan. Over the years I’ve learned a few things that have helped make each event a little less depressing/stressful. My biggest piece of advice would be sharing a dish you’re incredible confident in. Don’t say what’s in it unless asked, avoid saying “mock this, mock that” – people tend to be weary of “fake” products they’ve had yet to try on their own. Instead, keep it whole foods based and offer to share with any and everyone that’s interested. Being pushy has never worked in my favor. I try my best to answer only the questions I’m asked from those that seem genuinely interested. Finding ways to recommend different things without saying “this is better” or “you should use this” and in-turn offer options that appeal to their general interests. My parents has always been so accommodating and interested in what I have to share. I’m very thankful for their love and willingness to be open-minded.
Below are a handful of recipes I think would be perfect for your holiday season – or any time of year! All are free of gluten, dairy, oil and fairly easy to make (less than 20 ingredients!). Please feel free to recreate any of these classics to accommodate your needs. If you happen to make any of these recipes, I would LOVE to see a photo! Please email me or use the hashtag #PlantStrongVegan & #VeganForTheHolidays so I don’t miss it.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Perfect for breakfast or brunch the day of Thanksgiving, Christmas and/or any holiday you celebrate. These only get better throughout the day!
Green Bean Casserole
My spin on the classic, a truly decadent side that steals the show every time. I can’t get over how creamy and flavorful this dish is.
Delicious served hot, cold or room temperature. You can play around with different additions, like raisins in place of dried cranberries or butternut squash instead of acorn squash.
No one can resist the carbs! This is pure comfort food and an absolute favorite of mine to make all Fall-Winter long.
Wild Rice Stuffed Mushrooms
Infused with fresh rosemary and topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, these are without a doubt the perfect side or appetizer for your next holiday party or family dinner. I love adding bread crumbs and/or vegan parmesan too!
Pumpkin Cream Pie
A spin on the classic pumpkin pie that was morphed with a coconut cream pie. My newest dessert recipe combining two of my favorites!
From my family to yours, I wish you a beautiful holiday season. One full of love, laughter and comforting food!