This year, make it a vegan wonderland

Julieta Hernandez

Herbivore Holiday Recipes

Ah, the holidays.

No matter which ones you celebrate, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind: the homemade, traditional meals. One thing that’s not — the herbivores. With a vegan or vegetarian at the dinner table, the turducken or beef tamales may be a pass.

“My aunt will be like, ‘What’s that? That’s not food! Where’s the meat?’” said Del Mar student Cody Benavides, who is entering a third holiday season as a vegan.

With veganism and vegetarianism growing specifically among the younger generation, more questions are being raised along the lines of: What the heck can they eat at the holiday table? Many students who eliminate meat and dairy dishes from their diet may feel like traditional food, especially cultural food, is a big part of the holidays they’ll have to do without.

However, with enough prep time and the right ingredients, having a meat-free holiday just takes a couple tweaks to your kitchen time.

Unless you want to stick with the untouched green beans, consider planning ahead with specialized meatless recipes for celebratory vegans who still want to enjoy traditional meals.

Teeny pumpkin pie slice sugar cookies.
Teeny pumpkin pie slice sugar cookies.


(Source: Minimalist Baker,

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), softened
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling into shapes
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp almond milk (or your non-dairy milk of choice)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Splash almond milk (or your non-dairy milk of choice)
  • Brown/orange food colouring

Mix ingredients, starting with wet ingredients (except almond milk), and then dry ingredients: gradually mix together. Pour in almond milk and mix batter into a dough form.

Cover dough and put in freezer for 15-20 mins, while preheating your oven at 350 degrees.

Shape cookies into triangles (or however you slice your pie) and place two inches apart on baking pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

For the frosting, mix all ingredients (except for food coloring) vigorously until a frosting is formed. Separate frosting into a larger, medium, and smaller portion. Mix a few drops of orange into the large portion, a drop of brown into the medium portion, and leave the smallest one white.

Using a decorating bag, frost your pies like impossibly-tiny pumpkin pies.

Vegan Ranch Mac N Cheese
Vegan Ranch Mac N Cheese



  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (add more if you’d like)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 can of coconut milk

Mix these ingredients.


  • 2 potatoes
  • ¼ of an onion
  • ½ cup of carrots
  • ½ cup of cashews

Boil all until tender, then blend with 1 ½ cups of water!

Stir in with…

  • Beyond Meat lightly seasoned chicken strips
  • Crumble Lightlife Smart Bacon
  • Pre-cooked elbow pasta

Top with

  • Daiya Cheddar cutting-board style Shreds


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 Vegan Egg replacer
  • ½ Cup Vegan Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients before mixing them together for the cornbread. Preheat oven at 350 degrees, and bake for 30-45 minutes until cornbread is stiff. While it is preheating, make a mix of…

  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 can organic corn
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • Black pepper and salt, to taste

Saute until vegetables are transparent.

Take the cornbread out of the oven and let cool — slice, and let it harden over a couple hours.

Then cube it.

Saute with vegetable mixture, adding vegan butter.

Pour into a ceramic pot, covered. Bake for 30 more minutes at 300 degrees.

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