So many delicious vegetables are ripe for picking during the holiday season in Fort Lauderdale, and what better way to enjoy our delicious garden harvests than by using them in recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? We found 3 easy, innovative dishes that are completely vegan, so everyone at the table can enjoy them. Plus, they’re packed with plenty of vitamin-rich, in-season vegetables. Try them this year for something a little different to enjoy alongside your traditional go-to holiday dishes.
Holiday Cauliflower Roast
For the vegetarians that miss the ritual of carving up a winter roast, fragrant with fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, this surprisingly delicious cauliflower roast will be a hit! It’s served with a rich mushroom gravy, perfectly topping off this comforting, savory vegetable-based main course.
Cauliflower Roast Ingredients:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 5 garlic cloves, skins intact
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 4–5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 4–5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ onion, minced
- ½ cup cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 3 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2–3 cups vegetable broth
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the cauliflower head into a cast iron skillet, coat it with 2 tbsp of the melted coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then arrange the fresh herbs and garlic cloves all around it.
- Bake until slightly charred, which will take somewhere between 60–90 minutes. Halfway through cooking, pour the remaining melted coconut oil all over the roast. Check doneness by piercing a knife into the cauliflower—when it’s soft, it’s ready to go.
- While the roast is cooling, you’ll want to prepare the gravy. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and cook the onions for 5 minutes until soft. Add in the chopped herbs, mushrooms, salt and pepper, and cook for five more minutes.
- Pull out two of the garlic cloves from the cast iron skillet, remove the skins, mince them up and add them to the gravy. Whisk in the flour, wait one minute, and then whisk in 2 cups of broth. Bring the heat up while stirring constantly, and as soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and keep stirring until it’s as thick or runny as you prefer. Add a little more broth if it’s too thick or pasty.
- Slice up the cauliflower and serve with gravy on top!
Warm Hazelnut Christmas Salad
This season is all about comfort food, so if you’re gonna do a Thanksgiving or Christmas salad, it may as well be a warm salad full of rich flavors and aromas. This sweet and savory salad has an incredible texture, with charred veggies, fresh citrus, quinoa, and fried hazelnuts, for the perfect amount of crunch.
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of broccoli
- 2 oranges
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 1 cup kale
- 2 tbsp blanched hazelnuts
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Trim your broccoli pieces into thinner strips and fry it in a pan over medium-high heat for 5–10 minutes, until slightly charred. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the juice of one orange, the tahini, red wine vinegar, honey, two tablespoons of oil, and a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large salad bowl, rip up the kale and remove all the thick stems. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt, and then massage the salt into the kale for a minute. Add the broccoli to the kale, pour in half of the dressing, and mix in the quinoa.
- In the same pan that you cooked the broccoli in, toss in the hazelnuts and fry them up until lightly browned. Remove them from the heat and chop them up.
- Add the rest of the dressing to the salad, peel and slice the other orange into chunks, then sprinkle the orange pieces onto the salad, followed by the hazelnut bits.
For a fun, more flavorful twist on the traditional mashed potato side dish, try making some creamy mashed squash instead! Butternut squash works best, but any winter squash that isn’t too stringy should work fine.
- 1 squash (preferably butternut)
- ⅓ cup melted olive or coconut oil
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice and cinnamon)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup oat milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley (garnish, optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice your squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay them on a pan with the cut side facing upwards.
- Brush a bit of the oil on top of the squash, saving the rest for later. Sprinkle the sugar and herbs onto the squash. Bake for one hour, or until soft.
- Scoop out the cooked squash into a large mixing bowl, and blend it up with an electric mixer on the lowest setting. Pour in the oat milk and remaining oil, and add a bit of salt and pepper, tasting it as you go. Serve with a little sprinkle of parsley on top!
You’ll be amazed at how decadent vegetables can be when they’re cooked in flavourful, rich dishes like these. And once you’ve used up your winter veggie harvest, don’t forget to stop by the greenhouse for a new set of seeds and starter plants for your next crop! From all of us at Living Color, have a safe and happy holiday season.