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Holiday Dinner Recap

First thing’s first.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Woah, it’s 2012, the purported “last year on earth”. First of all—let’s not live this year dwelling on what likely will not be our “last” year on earth!  We need to be positive, and continue working towards a productive present and future.  And what better way to kick off the new year than to kick those nasty meat eating habits goodbye! Yes–my non-vegetarian friends, I am talking to you! You can do it!! 😉

To all of my subscribers and vegetarian passers-by–here is the long-awaited Christmas dinner post. Our apologies for taking a week to get it together, but hey, the holidays are hectic. What’s great about this particular menu, is that it really can be utilized for any important dinner, especially in the winter months as many of the dishes are quite toasty. =)  So check it out, and enjoy the many pictures that are accompanying the entry. And yes, just like every other entry, these are all original recipes.

*Go-Vegetarianista’s 2011 Holiday Dinner*

H’or D’oeuvres:

Apple Slices, Dried Cranberries w/Almond Flax Butter & Non-Fat Plain Yogurt

Cucumber and Carrot Slices w/ Hummus


Cheesy Baked Casserole

Tofurky Slices Sauteed in Olive Oil & Sage


Italian Sparkling Pinot Reduction Orange Cranberries and Green Beans

Mashed Sweet Potatoes w/Nutmeg & Cinnamon

Lemon Zest & Butter Brussel Sprouts

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce


Trader O’s Candy Cane Cookies Served with Chilled Coconut Milk (Can also pick up some coconut, soy, or regular vanilla ice cream)

*How it’s done*

Apple Slices, Dried Cranberries w/Almond Flax Butter & Non-Fat Plain Yogurt–Arrange two sliced apples on a plate with dried cranberries. On the side, scoop two tablespoons almond butter and two tablespoons non-fat plain yogurt. Believe it or not,  the sliced apples are delicious w/a bit of both. You can opt to use soy plain yogurt if you’d prefer.

Cucumber and Carrot Slices w/ Hummus–Self-explanatory, really, there are so many varieties of hummus out there, but I think a more traditional variety is best.

Cheesy Baked Casserole–This is the most epic dish of them all, and requires a LOT of attention. I glanced away from the boiling pot of veggie broth and milk for one second, and the second I did, everything began to overflow! Needless to say, this was a super epic and scrumptious casserole.

CBC Recipe:

What you’ll need:

12 oz whole wheat penne

2 tbsp Earth Balance butter

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup minced sweet onion

2 cups non-fat milk (you can attempt plain soy milk if you are opting to make this vegan)

1 cup low sodium vegetable broth

8 oz shredded low-fat cheddar & mozzarella blend (if you cannot find it mixed together, you can always get a bit of both and shred yourself–and of course for vegans, go for Daiya brand shredded cheddar)

4 cups baby spinach

2 sliced roma tomatoes

2 tsps sea salt

2 tsps black pepper

2 tsps garlic powder

1/4 cup grated Parmesan (Vegans–get Galaxy Vegan Parmesan)

1/4 cup seasoned whole grain bread crumbs (To make your own–which we did–crumble one toasted piece of bread into a small bowl. Add 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp black pepper and a pinch of sea salt, then mix together)

Canola Oil Cooking Spray

Cook pasta in water w/1 tsp salt according to package directions. Meanwhile, spray a baking dish with the canola oil spray. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a moderately large pot, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a whisk. Add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Next, add the milk and veggie broth and continue whisking. Raise the heat to medium until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick. Don’t fret; however, if it appears a bit clumpy because it’s inevitable. Season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Once the concoction has become thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust seasonings to taste, add cooked penne, baby spinach, and sliced tomatoes. Pour into baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a bit more canola oil spray on top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes and voila! When the dish has completed baking, turn off the oven and leave the casserole inside the oven to keep warm while you complete your other goodies.

Tofurky Slices Sauteed in Olive Oil & Sage–Lighter and more flavorful, you won’t regret holding onto the extra $5.00 you would’ve used to purchase the traditional Tofurky Loaf.

What you’ll need:

2 packages sliced Tofurky–head to your local Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

1 tablespoon minced sage

1/2 cup minced white mushrooms

Coat a large pan/wok with the olive oil. Arrange the Tofurky slices evenly across the pan and sprinkle the mushrooms and sage over the slices. Simmer on medium heat until the slices are golden brown, add a drop or two of extra oil if you find the slices get too dry, or if you don’t want the extra fat, turn off the heat and spray a bit with canola oil spray and then turn back on the heat. This dish takes about five minutes to cook and you’re good to go!

Italian Sparkling Pinot Reduction Orange Cranberries and Green Beans–Ummm..yum!! Who doesn’t like to get a little tipsy off their vegetables? 😉

What you’ll need:

1/4 cup Italian Sparkling White Wine (Pinot is preferable)

2 cups green beans

1 tablespoon Earth Balance

1/4  cup dried cranberries (We purchased dried orange cranberries from Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup water

In a medium sized pot, bring all ingredients to a boil, once boiling reduce to low/medium and simmer.  This elegant side takes about 8 minutes to cook.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes w/Nutmeg & Cinnamon–Mmm…this one is divinely toasty!

What you’ll need

3 peeled sweet potatoes

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

Bring sweet potatoes to a boil. (You may want to get started on this one early on, as the potatoes take about 30 minutes to become soft). Once the potatoes are soft, place them in a medium pot with the other ingredients, cook for about five minutes. Once done, drizzle with the olive oil and a pinch of extra cinnamon.

Lemon Zest & Butter Brussel Sprouts–Healthy and Tangy, these brussels are a great addition to any large holiday meal.

What you’ll need:

1 cup water

3 cups brussel sprouts

1/8 cup lemon zest (take a lemon, cut in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter

In a medium pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat heat medium/low and simmer for about seven minutes.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce–Duh! You can’t forget the cranberry sauce! We took it easy with the cranberry sauce, we purchased whole berry cranberry sauce at Trader Joe’s.

What you’ll need

1 can whole berry/jellied cranberry sauce

Heat the cranberry sauce in a small pot on low heat for about 3-5 minutes. 🙂

Trader O’s Candy Cane Cookies Served with Chilled Coconut Milk (Can also pick up some coconut, soy, or regular vanilla ice cream)–Very obviously fantastic. Trader O’s are Trader Joe’s brand Oreo Cookies basically..and they are wayyy better!

There you have it, the most epic Vegetarian holiday dinner menu yet–fit for a multitude of occasions. Enjoy!















About govegetarianista86

After transitioning to a meatless diet two years ago, Lauren and I had no choice but to learn lots of great vegetarian recipes---and fast---after all, we always loved great food. The reason for our decision to omit meat and most dairy products from our lives was quite simple. A vegetarian diet is healthier, kinder, and ironically much cheaper than one with meat. We created this website to show that being a vegetarian is one of the easiest and most rewarding lifestyles to partake in, and hope that both vegetarians and aspiring vegetarians alike will visit Go-Vegetarianista habitually. :) About the authors: Nadya Rousseau is an actor/writer/producer residing in Beverly Hills, CA. She moved to Los Angeles almost five years ago at the age of nineteen to pursue her career and to escape the boredom of her small town. As maintaining a svelte figure is often pivotal in the entertainment industry, she finds she has no trouble staying slim and healthy as a vegetarian. In addition to loving good food and helping others, she enjoys engaging in sarcastic banter--keep an eye out for her frequent sardonic jokes--you'll surely be amused!! Lauren Rheims, is a native of Pomona, CA, and now resides in Beverly Hills, CA. She is a fashion and nature photographer, and of course loves shooting pictures of super yummy food! Lauren at first was apprehensive about becoming vegetarian, being of Creole descent, enjoying delicious seafood and meat, was more or less second nature. However after she discovered just how easy it was to enjoy the same delectable meals sans meat, she was thrilled! Lauren is excited to show everyone the simplicity and allure of vegetarian fare--and just how fun it can be!

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