My very global Christmas menu is… vegan!

Sometimes I have my act together. Like Thanksgiving. I was pretty well organized and knew what I wanted to make way ahead of time. I had a grocery list two weeks before necessary and practically had everything timed out to the minute. Not today. I am still desperately trying to figure out what to make for our big holiday dinner in just a few days.

Mom”s been mostly vegan these last couple of years days so I’m thinking we’ll have mostly vegan and vegetarian dishes, with one or two other treats, for Keith and I.

So here are the contenders…

Side Dishes:

There’s a half ton of great vegan side dishes around the world. Many of my favorites are from back before I had figured out how to take a nice picture or write an entertaining post. However,  the recipes still taste great and are worth consideration. I’ll have my mom pick one or two of these:

Mediterranean Roast Veggies (Briam) [Recipe]

First up is this layered casserole from our Cypriot Global Table. I love it because it’s so simple to make – simply stack eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes with herbs, tomato sauce, and plenty of good olive oil. Depending on how many people you need to feed, it’s easy to scale up or down. Fantastic!

Armenian White Bean Plaki [Recipe]

If ever a dish reminded me of my mother, this is it. She loves beans and this particular recipe is prepared with tons of fresh veggies, garlic and onion… good paprika, and a splash of fresh lemon juice and olive oil – all her favorite ingredients. As a bonus, it serves a crowd and is totally potluck friendly. Typically served cold in the summer, it’s also very comforting warm in the winter.

Spinach Bhaji (Palong Shaak Bhaji) (Bangladesh) [Recipe]

My mom is a fan of spinach so I included two recipes for her to choose from. This first one is seasoned with a really enticing Bangladeshi five spice – basically a blend of fennel seed, mustard seed, black nigella, golden fenugreek and brown cumin seed. You can make your own or pick up a blend at your local Indian market. The flavor is so exotic – superb.

Warm spinach and mushroom salad from Andorra [Recipe]

This is a fantastic warm spinach dish, made with raisins, garlic, white wine, mushrooms and slivered almonds. Quick, easy, full of nutrients and gone in a flash. You’ve been warned.


Mountain Gnocchi [Recipe]

And then there’s this pretty number from Lebanon – maakroun, or mountain gnocchi with a totally vegan garlic/lemon/olive oil sauce. The sauce is perfectly creamy and absolutely fantastic – mostly because it uses an entire head of raw garlic. So make sure everyone has a little. Garlic breath is an all or no one situation, I think.

Maple Glazed Rutabaga (Finland) [Recipe]

This fab dish is vegetarian and I’m including it because it’s one of my all-time favorite recipes both because of how easy it is to make as well as how fantastic it tastes. I make it with butter, maple syrup, and loads of love. It stands up to any holiday roast and is a nice change from carrots or potatoes.

So that’s it… those are some of the dishes we’re considering – 99% vegan and 110% good.

I’d love to hear what you’re making and have made for holiday dinners.

I want more ideas…

Make my tumble rumble!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our Global Thanksgiving ideas, too.


  1. aunty eileen says

    The main course for Christmas eve has always been baked stuffed shrimp, and the main course for Christmas day has always been lasagna. Both of which, may be prepared ahead/ready for the oven. Merry Christmas!

  2. One of my favorite veggie sides is roasted parsnips with horseradish butter. I have a very simple recipe. I also love Brussels sprouts in almost any form. My current favorite is to roast the Brussels sprout until they begin to caramelize and then toss them with crispy bacon and lemon zest (and a squirt of two of lemon) with salt and pepper.

  3. elisa waller says

    beans beans beans the more you eat em the more you _____?
    The more you ___? the better you feel..
    So lets eat beans with every meal! <3

    Love all of these receipes..I think everyone is a do'er…hahaha….

  4. aunty eileen says

    hahaha Elisa! Sasha: When making my ‘special’ italian tomato sauce (along with lasagna – that can be made meatless for vegans), I simmer lots of different chuncks of browned meat.. Beef chuncks (need to be simmered the longest), some pork chunks, chicken chunks, meatballs (frozen already made – if short on time) and med hot italian sausage that I broil/brown good to remove most of fat before putting in sauce to add to the flavor….. yum yum and I make large pot so I can freeze about 3 containers of it. I love recipes that I can make large amounts, so I can freeze for other times. Just put some of the tomato sauce aside (for vegans) before adding meat to the rest of the sauce for simmering.

    Also, I make for Christmas stuffed mushrooms which are vegan and are very delicious and can be prepared ahead also and do not take long to cook when needed.

    Also I have a wonderful sweet and sour meatball recipe that everyone always likes. And can be kept hot in a crockpot for snacking… wonderful sweet & sour sauce with browned meatballs and pineapple chunks and bell pepper chunks. I make a side of white rice also for those that want a more hearty snack. Even just eating the pineapple and bell peppers with sweet & sour sauce over rice is yummy….

    I use the absolutely yummy ritz cracker and butter and lemon and finely chopped onion and clam pieces and juice recipe for the baked stuffed shrimp.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  5. aunty eileen says

    If you have a good ‘ol American large Betty Crocker cookbook…. I use their recipe for the sweet & sour meatballs and for the stuffed mushrooms. Everyone always has loved both of those recipes…always a hit when I make them.

    I love my very old Betty Crocker cookbook. It is the ‘sprial’ 1975 edition. A friend gave me the fish-stuffing recipe. The stuffing is also great for baked haddock… we love, love, love it! I always buy two large pieces of haddock or extra shrimp and make extra stuffing and cook it all… it is still good re-heated on low with foil the next day… we love leftovers! 🙂 too much work to cook for just one meal. I even like left over cold out of frig steak-tips. They are actually more flavorful and more tender it seems. Have fun with whatever you prepare and serve for your Christmas feast…

    and, don’tya forget the kosher concord-grape Manischewitz… for long & healthy & happy life…. cheers!

  6. Thank you so much for these ideas, we have a new daughter at our home, a student from Australia who is going to stay with us for some weeks, and she’s a vegetarian. I can’t wait for her to try these recipes (not all of them at the same time, of course !)

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