Vegetarian Holiday Recipes: On Turkey, Sausage Stuffing and other Holiday Perils by Suz deMello

Photo © tinaxduzgen

Need vegetarian Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year recipes? Award-winning novelist and meatless maven, Suz deMello, aka Sue Swift, is here with an encore holiday guest post to help your family enjoy the season. Be sure to connect with Suz and check out her latest projects. - Belinda

Everyone feels the temptation of overeating rich foods during the holiday season. From Halloween, with its plethora of sugar-laden sweets (Snickers, yum) to Thanksgiving, which to many means pumpkin pie, mushroom soup casseroles and candied yams with marshmallows; through Christmas, with candy canes galore—to say nothing of even less-healthy foods—this season seems to offer nothing but platters of diabetes, tureens of heart disease, and bowls full of jelly—or maybe one of those awful Jello salads your great-auntie brought to every holiday gathering.

And then comes New Years’ Eve.

But there’s a better, tastier way.

If you’re omnivorous, stick with the plain turkey and sauce-free side dishes and you’re fine. But what if you’re a vegetarian? What do you eat, given that the centerpiece of just about every holiday gathering is a dead bird or pig?

Fear not! This vegetarian has attended many a holiday feast and come away full, satisfied and still entirely ethical. So what do I eat?

First and foremost in my mind is the concept of balance—balancing protein and carbs, primarily. This takes some fancy footwork given that often I can’t find much protein among the carbs. So what’s my solution?

I don my “Sweet Suzie” hat and offer to bring food that I want to eat, enough to share. I might bring a loaf of excellent crusty bread, studded with nuts and seeds. Maybe a pilaf with nuts and quinoa, so I get my protein. Maybe a sautéed or roasted vegetable dish garnished with cheese so I again get some protein along with veggies. And a dessert that won’t be too ruinous to my waistline.

Here’s a couple of recipes for you to try:

Photo © net_efekt

Holiday Pilaf—serves 6

RE: quinoa: the basic recipe is a 1:2 proportion of grain to water.

1 chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped celery spear
1 Tbsp olive oil
1C quinoa
2C hot water
½ C toasted, slivered almonds or other nut of your choice
¼ C dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan large enough to hold the ingredients. Saute the vegetables in the oil until soft. Add the quinoa and stir to toast the grains and coat them in the oil. Add the hot water, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat for twenty minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Fluff with fork.

Add most of the cranberries and almonds, reserving some to sprinkle on top. Fluff again. Correct the seasonings to your taste.

Remove to a serving dish, sprinkle with the rest of the nuts and berries, and serve.

Photo © Kate Ter Haar

Berries and Cake—serves 4-6.

1 carton of raspberries
1 carton of blueberries
1 carton of blackberries
2-3 C frozen mixed berries
Sugar to taste
Store-bought pound cake or any other pastry of your choice

Put the frozen berries into a saucepan large enough to hold them and heat gently. When they’ve melted down into a mush, use a serving fork or a potato masher to squash them into a puree. You may use a food processor if you wish. Add sugar to taste.

Gently mix the fresh berries with the warm berry sauce you’ve created. Slice the cake and arrange on individual serving plates. Spoon the berries over the top. A sprinkling of confectioner’s or powdered sugar elegantly finishes this dessert.

You may also serve the berries in small bowls with a sugar cookie or a piece of shortbread tucked on the side. This mixture is also a tasty topping for French toast or oatmeal. It can also be used as the filling for a pie or tart.


Guest Blogger: Suz deMello

 Photo © Suz deMello

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written over sixteen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press, where she is currently Managing Editor. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

--Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
--For editing services, email her at suzswift@yahoo.com
--Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sueswift, and visit her group at
--She tweets her reading picks @ReadThis4fun

What are some of your favorite holiday food memories: as a child, as an adult, cooking, eating? Please share them in the comments below.

May you and your loved ones enjoy an abundant Thanksgiving! - Belinda

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