The holiday season is a wonderful time for families around the world to come together and share a meal. It can also be a challenge trying to find the right entrée for the holidays, especially when you are searching for a meatless entrée. Many traditional households serve meat as the main entrée for holiday feasts, however, this year could be your year to try a “Meatless Holiday”!
Hearty meatless recipes can be just as much satisfying and crowd pleasing as the meat filled dishes found on almost everyone else’s plate. Creating appetizing classics can be easy when most of the recipes do not call for meat ingredients. By easily upgrading your recipes, you can have a big impact on those eating your meatless meals.
Roasted Quinoa Squash
“Promoting one or more meatless days is one of the strategies that several nongovernmental organizations are already using to encourage dietary changes” (de Boer, J., 2016). By implementing the holiday as one of the meatless days, this can show others that delicious meals can be crafted without animal products. A few examples of ways you can spruce up some of your side dishes are by using a potato ricer to make your mashed potatoes, and using this technique produces a silky and smooth texture for the potatoes. Using different grains is also a way to create delicious pastas and casseroles that will impress your guests.
As we know, plants are full of vitamins and nutrients and are very healthy for us. According to reviews from the Academy of Nutrition, vegetarian diets are associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease. “Vegetarians have consistently shown to have lower risks for cardiometabolic outcomes and some cancers” (Le, L., & Sabaté, J., 2014). Meat is not required to enjoy a satisfying meal, especially with the numerous veggie entrée options to explore.
Meatless alternatives are on the rise and “recently, the numbers of consumers following a vegan diet and the demand for vegan food have increased notably in many industrialized countries” (Janssen, M., 2016). People want to incorporate more plant based foods into their diet and even fast food chains are jumping on the bandwagon.
Most of us have heard of “Meatless Monday”, so why not encourage your own families to adopt a “Meatless Holiday”. Let’s be honest, vegetarians are often snubbed during the holidays, but this year can be different. A few ideas for a main dish are quinoa stuffed squash, mushroom wellington, seitan roast, and vegetable pot pies.
Guests will hardly miss the traditional turkey dinner with delicious plant-based entrées and sides that are full of vitamins and minerals. It’s a win-win because of course your vegetarian guests will love it, but so will everyone else! The holidays can be stressful, but finding a vegetarian main dish is not! This is a time that inspires everyone to cook festive meals to enjoy with family, friends, and guests. Plant based cooking is fun and can be just as tasty, sophisticated, and elegant as their meat based counterparts. Let the “Meatless Holiday” become a new tradition for you and your family!
de Boer, Joop, et al. (Oct. 2016). “Meatless Day or Less but Better? Exploring Strategies to
Adapt Western Meat Consumption to Health and Sustainability Challenges.” Science Direct, Elsevier Ltd, 1 May 2014,
Janssen, Meike, et al. (Oct. 2016). “Motives of Consumers Following a Vegan Diet and Their
Attitudes towards Animal Agriculture.” Science Direct, Elsevier Ltd, 1 Oct. 2016,
Le, L., & Sabaté, J. (2014). Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from
the Adventist Cohorts. Nutrients, 6(6), 2131–2147. doi:10.3390/nu6062131.
Image 1: https://www.onesweetmess.com/2015/11/16/roasted-butternut-squash-quinoa-salad/
Image 2: https://www.feastingathome.com/mushroom-wellington-rosemary-pecans/
Image 3: https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/holiday-seitan-roast
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