As someone who has spent over half their life on a vegetarian or vegan diet, I know that the holiday season can often mean there is plenty of food, but nothing to eat. But there is an easy fix. Veggie diets are much easier to accomodate for than most people think, so don't stress if you have a vegan guest. There is no need to construct a separate menu for them, simply swap out a few of the ingredients in your side dishes for plant based alternatives and keep cheese toppings on the side. And if you feel so inclined, adding an extra veggie dish or two never hurts, as everyone will enjoy them and they will help to cancel out the wine and desserts. That's how it works right? 

I have rounded up a few of my favourite veggie holiday dishes for you to try this season. Bon Appétit. 

mashed potatoes

| image courtesy of love & lemons |

Kale & Olive Oil Vegan Mashed Potatoes 


  • 2 pounds of unpeeled yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 4 cups of finely chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinches of red pepper flakes


  • Place the potatoes, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt in a pot, then fill it with water. Be sure to cover the contents of the pot with an additional inch.  Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, then drain, saving 1 cup of the cooking liquid for later. 
  • Heat 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil, adding the scallions and kale, then cook until wilted. 
  • Mash the potatoes and garlic together. Add in 1/3 cup olive oil and half of the cooking liquid, the the wilted veggies, salt and pepper. Fold the mixture until creamy, gradually adding in the left over cooking liquid, olive oil and seasoning as desired. Serve hot.  

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

For the onions:


  • 1 large white onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (soy or almond)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • Oil for frying


  • Soak the onions in milk for 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, whisk together the flower, salt and pepper in a bowl. Remove the onions from the milk and coat them in this mixture.
  • Heat 1/2 an inch of oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat until the onions are golden brown. Then remove them and drain them on a plate covered in paper towel. 

For the green beans:

  • 1 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or oil
  • 225g button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk


  • Boil green beans for 5 minutes, then drain and rise them. 
  • Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté the mushrooms, salt and pepper for another 5 minutes. Add in garlic and nutmeg and cook for another minute.
  • Sprinkling flour over the mushrooms and cook for another minute before stirring in the vegetable broth, coconut milk and non-dairy milk. Cook for about 10 minutes until thick and creamy. 
  • Add in the green beans and heat through.
  • Top with onions and serve hot. 
roasted carrots
| image courtesy of the forked spoon |

Agave Glazed Carrots

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or margarine 
  • 3 cups of baby carrots 
  • 2 tablespoons of agave 
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Melt the vegan butter in a sauce pan over a medium heat, then toss in the carrots, agave and brown sugar. Cover the pan and let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes until tender, stirring every now and then. Then mix in the thyme and lemon juice and enjoy. 

creamed spinach

| image courtesy of love & lemons |

Creamed Spinach 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 pound spinach
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk 
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons of warm water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sauté the spinach until wilted, then allow it to cool slightly before squeezing out any excess water from the leaves. 
  • Then move on to the sauce. Sauté the shallot and garlic, and then add the spinach back into the pan. Stir in coconut milk to make the sauce's rich base and then sprinkle in the cornstarch to thicken it. Add dijon mustard and a fresh squeeze of lemon for flavour.  

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    Laurie Furber