Last-Minute Vegetarian Holiday Recipes (Holiday Blog Hop #11)

This post is part of the 2013 Holiday Blog Hop.

As a vegetarian raising vegetarians, I’m always on the lookout for new festive recipes to add to our holiday repertoire. Over the years, we’ve collected some great ones and can put together a lovely holiday dinner that has won over even meat-and-potato types. Here are some of our favorites, with two special family recipes at the end:

Our go-to holiday entrée is the Harvest Stuffed Squash from Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates (great book, tons of festive menus for a variety of holidays). It’s delicious, hearty and packed with nutrients, leaving the veg diner feeling as though they’ve had a meal fit for the day, instead of just a bunch of side dishes (no matter how delicious the sides are, everyone needs a main course). If you are traveling a short distance with this, that’s ok because it cooks in stages so you can start it at home and finish it up wherever you end up. If you don’t have that book, or time to run out and buy it, here are some similar recipes:

Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pilaf

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Brown Rice Mushroom Pilaf

I’ve said before how much I love this pumpkin pie. The recipe is vegan, but regular milk works just fine if you don’t have an alternative on hand; we usually make homemade whipped cream to go with it.

These “Snow Balls” are a new favorite snack/dessert recipe at our house. Kid-friendly, low sugar, high protein and no baking required.

As promised in my post on our holiday traditions, I’ll be sharing the recipes that mean the most to me this time of year. My all-time favorite stuffing is the savory cornbread stuffing my mom has made every year since I was a wee lass. It’s the dish that we make each year no matter where we are going, nor how many types of stuffing are already planned. It reminds me of holidays at my grandparents’ house, my grandma and aunts and mom bustling around the kitchen, my grandpa in his armchair teasing me or out in the garage looking under the hood of one of our cars. It reminds me of warmth and love and light. Plus, it tastes amazing.

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MoogieLight’s Favorite Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread
(Make this in advance – either the night before or a few hours before starting the Stuffing so it has time to cool.)

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Cast iron skillet

Prehead oven to 425°F. Put cast iron skillet into oven and let heat while mixing batter.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt, then stir in cornmeal. Add eggs, milk and oil. Stir with fork just until smooth. Don’t over stir.

Take skillet out of the oven and grease the bottom and sides well with vegetable oil. Add cornbread mixture and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Test by touching lightly in the middle with finger. It should spring back when done.

Let it cool before beginning the stuffing.

Stuffing

6 Tbsp butter
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cup water
2 vegetable bouillon cube (can use chicken if not vegetarian)
6-8 slices wheat bread (can use a combination of white and wheat if using old bread)
6-7 cups chopped cornbread (see above recipe; I chop the whole thing)
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed in hand
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed in hand
1 egg, stirred (can be left out/substituted if prefer a vegan recipe)

In a small skillet, add butter, celery and onion. Cook on low heat until celery and onions are soft. Add 1 cup water and bouillon cube. Continue cooking on low.

Meanwhile, toast wheat bread. Place cornbread into large bowl and crumble cooled toast into the same bowl. Add sage, rosemary, and thyme.

Mix up 2nd bouillon cube with 1 cup water. Add the celery, onion mixture to the bread and herbs. Add bouillon broth slowly and as needed for the cornbread mixture to be moist but not wet or compressed. Stir in egg (for extra moisture).

Pour cornbread mixture into ungreased Corningware (or similar) dish, place lid on. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.*

*If traveling or making ahead of time, bake only 15-20 minutes at home and finish off at the new location or just before eating, adding additional broth then if needed.

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Saving the absolute best for last, my Grandma Dixie’s chocolate pie is the stuff of dreams. Decadent and rich, one only needs a sliver, but will crave much more. My aunts and uncle would (playfully) fight over this each year, each trying to get to it first and then hide it from the others; if I remember correctly, the grownups kept this one largely for themselves, wisely keeping the sugar and caffeine-laden pie away from little ones all too hyped up on sugar already.

I learned to make this for Thanksgiving this year, calling my grandma for the recipe, asking questions and then making it twice before getting it just right. It still wasn’t quite as good as hers, but she’s got that magical Grandma goodness that makes its way into each of her creations that I’m still developing.

Grandma Dixie’s Chocolate Pie

Crust
3/4 c flour
1/4 c + 2 T butter (softened)
1/3 c chopped walnuts
3 T brown sugar

Prehead oven to 425°F.

Use hands or knives to mix/cut into crumbly form, press into pie plate. Put smaller pie plate inside to hold together while baking. Bake for 15 min. Let cool.

Filling
6-8 oz choc chips
4oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c sugar
2 T milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 envelope Dream Whip* (find it in the sugar and flour aisle)

Make the Dream Whip according to the package instructions and set in fridge.

Melt chocolate in the microwave or on the stove, stirring periodically as it melts to prevent it burning.

While chocolate is warm/hot and melted, add cream cheese, granulated sugar, milk, salt. Beat at high speed til smooth. Add prepared, cold Dream Whip and mix together.

Pour in cold pie crust and freeze until firm (an hour or two). Serve just out of freezer.

To travel, keep flat and cold. Place raw spaghetti pieces approx 3″ long in various spots throughout pie to hold plastic wrap over pie. My Grandma’s favorite is Press ‘n Seal cling wrap.

*I’d never heard of powdered Dream Whip until I got this recipe. It is basically whipped cream by the time it’s done, but the powder is full of all sorts of multisyllabic ingredients. One of these days I’ll ask my Grandma if homemade whipped cream would work – I don’t know why it wouldn’t, but I am no connoisseur – but this time I wanted to make it just like Grandma. It was worth it…and totally didn’t need the whipped cream on top.

For more yummy recipes, check out these posts from other Holiday Blog Hop participants:

Waldorf Moms

Sure As the World

Waldorf-Inspired Learning

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8 thoughts on “Last-Minute Vegetarian Holiday Recipes (Holiday Blog Hop #11)

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