Can you feel it? It’s in the air! It’s all around!
What’s that, you ask? Excitement? Good cheer?
Stress. It’s Christstress, which occurs when there are fewer than seven days to go before family members begin expecting BIG THINGS from you!
You need a plan, and fast! Here are four absolutely fantastic vegan side-dish ideas to help you with your grocery shopping list. I made each one using recipes from my some of my favorite vegetable-and-health-oriented bloggers. I loved all.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This recipe plays up the sweetness of the sweet potatoes with orange juice, orange zest and maple syrup. I could have eaten the whole casserole, because, to tell you the truth, it could pass for dessert! People at your holiday table will rave about it. I feel strongly. Trust me on this one.
The sweet potatoes are one of many offered by Elaine in one post dedicated to the subject of how to feed the vegetarians/vegans on your holiday dinner guest list. (There’s bound to be one or two.) She has a load of delicious ideas. Do go visit her! She’s wonderfully creative and friendly. You’ll like her 😉
(Tell her Susan sent you…)
Guacamole Potato Skins with Ranch Dressing
I made this as directed, using russet potatoes. Place one on each guest’s plate as a side dish. The crisp and salty potato base complements the creamy, yummy guacamole filling, vegan ranch dressing drizzled over top. Jalapeño peppers deliver zing! Just wonderful.
I imagine you could make these appetizer sized by using small, new potatoes, slicing them in half, cutting off each end a bit so they sit flat on a plate, and scooping out the centers using a melon baller. Each would take a tablespoon or so of filling. They’ll pop right in the mouth, no fork and knife necessary! I’m doing that next time just to see how it works!
Incidentally, Pete and I made a meal of these beauties, as we were just testing. What a great, weeknight dinner these made all by themselves, two per person.
Superfood Crunch Salad with Homemade Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette
This is another winner! Kale, hemp hearts and pomegranate arils all lend this dish superfood status. I never knew what an aril was, and no one except a mean know-it-all will blame you for mistaking an “aril” for a “seed.”
Aril. Seed. Whatever! I never before knew how to remove pomegranate arils. I consulted this youtube video of Martha Stewart demonstrating how. It worked beautifully.
This salad is sweet and sturdy, meaning it will travel very well if you’re visiting rather than hosting. Simply add the dressing and toss just before serving.
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
OK. This is a new favorite!! I used white button mushrooms that were about one-and-a-half or two inches in diameter. So they were on the large side. Two per person is a good plan for a side dish. Use small mushrooms if you would like a hearty appetizer.
Note: I used panko breadcrumbs and fresh spinach in my version rather than the suggested gluten-free breadcrumbs and frozen-thawed-drained spinach. That’s just what I had in my pantry. You may do it either way.
Whatever you do and whatever you make for Christmas dinner, don’t sweat it. Try and relax. Enjoy your dinner. Enjoy your friends and family. It’s a lot, I know.
I know how you feel.