The holidays can be a difficult time for a vegetarian.  Everywhere you turn, there’s a turkey, ham, or sausage!  With these great recipes, you can introduce fun new vegetarian foods to your meat-eating friends, without sacrificing flavour.

Pumpkin Dumplings

These light, fluffy dumplings are easy to make and delicious to eat.  Serve over a bed of greens, or with whole wheat pasta for a healthy yet decadent meal. 

INGREDIENTS

-14 Ounces pumpkin puree

-2 Eggs

-1 1/2 Cups flour

-2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

-1 Onion, chopped

-1 Clove of garlic, chopped

-1/2 Teaspoon basil

-2 Tablespoons olive oil

-Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

1) Combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, and flour in a bowl.  Mix well, and gradually add in the basil, while being sure that all of the ingredients are equally integrated.  Heat the olive oil in a pan, and add in the onion.  Cook until softened, and then remove from heat and set aside.

2) On the stove, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Form half of the dough into small balls, about the size of a tablespoon.  Using tongs, drop the balls into the boiling water, and cook until they rise to the top.  Cover the pot, and let the dumplings cook for an additional two minutes.  Remove from the pan, and let excess water drain off before adding them to the saucepan with the onion.  Repeat with the remaining dough, until all the dumplings have finished cooking.

3) Add the parsley and salt to the saucepan with the dumplings, and mix carefully.  Serve immediately.

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

With a crunchy pecan topping, this casserole is a must-have for any family gathering.  Your relatives will be begging for the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

-4 Cups cubed sweet potato

-1/4 Cup sugar

-1/2 Cup flour

-2 Eggs, beaten

-1/4 Teaspoon salt

-6 Tablespoons margarine, softened

-1/3 Cup milk

-1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

-1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg

-1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon

-1/2 Cup brown sugar

-1/2 Cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

1) Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.  Cook until tender, then drain and mash with a fork.  Add the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, 4 tablespoons of margarine, salt, and vanilla to a large bowl.  Mix well, and pour into a baking dish (9×13 inches, preferably).

2) Combine the flour and brown sugar, and add in the rest of the margarine, along with the pecans.  Sprinkle the seasoning over the casserole, being sure to get some in the corners.

3) Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, and serve warm.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

When handling the peppers, use extreme caution.  Avoid contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth, and wash hands frequently. 

INGREDIENTS

-12 Ounces cranberries

-1 Cup sugar

-1/2 Cup water

-2 Fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

-4 Teaspoons lemon juice

-1 Teaspoon lime juice

-1/2 Teaspoon honey or agave nectar

-1/4 Cup sherry

DIRECTIONS

1) Dissolve the sugar into the water in a saucepan (use additional water if needed).  Add in the cranberries, jalapeno peppers, lemon and lime juice, and let the mixture come to a steady boil.  Reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2) Mix in the sherry and honey, and stir well.  Refrigerate for two hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

Clementine Cake

A true masterpiece, this cake is a citrus treasure.  It’s the perfect way to end a holiday dinner, and it won’t load you down with unneeded sugar.

INGREDIENTS

-1 Pound of clementines

-6 Eggs

-1 1/2 Cups white sugar

-2 Cups flour

-1 Teaspoon baking powder

-1 Teaspoon cinnamon

-1 Teaspoon salt

-1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

-1/3 Cup confectioner’s sugar

-1/2 Cup raisons

-1/2 Cup dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS

1) Boil the clementines for two hours, and drain.  Remove the seeds, and put the rest of the clementine (including skin) into a food processor.  Pulse until you have a fine paste, with few visible lumps.

2) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray an 8 inch round pan with nonstick cooking spray.

3) Beat together the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add in the chopped clementines, raisons, dried cranberries, and vanilla extract, being sure to properly mix them together. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool, and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Spiced Green Beans

Instead of the usual steamed green beans, mix things up with exotic spices and new flavours! 

INGREDIENTS

-1 Pound green beans

-1 1/2 Tablespoons margarine

-1/4 Cup sliced almonds

-1 Teaspoon garlic powder

-1 Teaspoon onion powder

-2 Teaspoons lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

1) Rinse and trim the green beans.  When you trim them, be sure to cut off any brown spots, as well as the top and bottom.

2) Bring about 1 inch of water to boil on the stove, and add in the green beans.  Cover, and let cook for 6-8 minutes, then drain.

3) Melt the margarine in the skillet, and sauté the almonds.  Season with garlic powder, onion powder, and lemon juice.  Toss the almonds with the green beans, and serve immediately.

Tofu Turkey

A common holiday staple, the turkey can be a vegetarian’s worst enemy.  There are many different ways to prepare tofu, but by working with classic seasonings and spices, we can make a truly magnificent dish that would make any meat eater salivate.

INGREDIENTS

-16 Ounces extra-firm tofu (check your local health food store)

-1/2 Cup sesame oil

-1/2 Red onion, diced

-1 Cup diced celery

-1/2 Cup chopped mushrooms

-2 Garlic cloves, minced

-3 Scallions, chopped

-1/4 Cup onion, chopped

-2 Teaspoons dried thyme

-Salt and pepper, to taste

-1 Teaspoon dried rosemary

-1 Teaspoon basil

-3 Cups prepared herb stuffing

-1 Teaspoon mustard

-1/2 Teaspoon cloves

-2 Tablespoons miso paste

DIRECTIONS

1) Cover a colander with a cheese cloth, and add the tofu on top.  Place another cloth over the tofu, and add a weight over it (2 pounds of weight is ideal).  Put the colander on top of a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 hours.  This will press all of the excess water out of the tofu, so you won’t have to deal with crumbly tofu turkey.

2) Using 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil, sauté the red onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms, and onion until tender.  Mix in the garlic, thyme, scallions, salt, pepper, rosemary, basil, and cloves, and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir well, and add in the prepared herb stuffing, then remove from heat and set aside.

3) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine the rest of the sesame oil, mustard, and miso paste in a small bowl.

4) Remove the weight from the tofu, and divide in half.  Brush the bottom half with the miso seasoning, and scoop in the stuffing.  Cover the bottom part of the ‘turkey’ with the remaining tofu, and press into an oval shape.  Brush with the miso mixture, and move to cooking sheet.  Cover with tin foil and bake for two hours.  After the tofu has finished cooking, remove from oven and brush with remaining miso mixture, and serve.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

Give your guests some peppermint bark as they leave, and they’ll be sure to be back next year!  This classic holiday treat is perfect to make with children, because of it’s simplicity.

INGREDIENTS

-2 Cups white chocolate

-8 Peppermint candy canes

DIRECTIONS

1) Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, and remove from heat after 3-5 minutes.

2) Pour the melted chocolate into a bowl, and crumble the candy canes.  Sprinkle the crumbled peppermints over the chocolate, and mix.

3) Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour chocolate mixture over it.  Freeze for 2 hours, or until firm, and break into bite-sized pieces.