Christmas 2010: A Success for Veganism

My family Christmas this year was successfully, 99% vegan (my ‘rents used nonvegan dressing on their salad and my mom made nonvegan cookies)!

I may  have come up with a menu that was a little too much for lil me to handle, but now I know that for next year. 3 main courses plus no appetizers equals a hungry family all day, oops!

At least my brother brought chai muffins from VegWeb for breakfast:

Talk of roasted chestnuts over at the PPK forums inspired me to get some chestnuts from the farmers market and try them out. No one in my family had ever had roasted chestnuts before, and it turns out none of us like them.

When dinner was (finally) ready, we started it off with a tossed salad with cranberry vinaigrette.

I made lasagna from Veganomicon that I prepared the night before and popped in the oven about an hour before everything else was ready. I subbed out the spinach for broccoli and added black olives. This was the most successful dish, as my mom wants me to make it for her a number more times with different variations!

I also made haluski from Vegan on the Cheap, which I won during MoFo and is quickly becoming a favorite in our house. I bought another of Robin’s books, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, for my mom for Christmas and she’s liking it so far. But I digress—here’s some haluski on a plate with some lasagna!

Finally, I made farmer’s market tamales from Viva Vegan!. This was unfortunately what set me over the edge, as I had never made (or even eaten!) tamales before so didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I also have an electric steamer/rice cooker, not a steaming basket, and it kept turning off and saying the tamales were done when I knew they weren’t. I ended up having more success cooking them in a strainer over a big soup pot on the stove (more flavorful) as well as on a cooling rack in a big broiling pan in the oven (much more efficient) the next day.

Since the steamer kept turning itself off and everyone was getting impatient (though I ended up putting out some hummus, veggies, pretzels and nuts for the fam to snack on), most of the tamales came out underdone but there were about 2 or 3 that came out perfectly.

For dessert I made candy cane chocolate chip cookies from Kelly Peloza’s Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, since my dad couldn’t stop eating them when I made them the previous week for a work party/potluck at for the Animals (where they dubbed them “Christmas in your mouth cookies”).

I hope your Christmas was everything you hoped it would be and more!


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