Culinary Inspiration

The holidays can pose a unique challenge to those trying to follow a plant-forward diet. While plant-forward diets don’t entirely eliminate animal products, they do focus on incorporating more plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits and tree nuts like walnuts. With the big main courses often centered on a meat dish, the plant-forward eater may feel a bit at a loss as to how to make traditional and festive recipes all their own for the holidays. Here are some creative ideas for a successful plant-based Christmas or Hanukkah celebration this year.

Your Scrumptious Plant-Forward Christmas & Hanukkah Menu Guide

Plant-Forward Christmas Dinner Menu

Christmas week is a never-ending food extravaganza, filled with some of the best kitchen aromas all year long. Dazzle your family with a fully plant-forward menu this year.

Appetizer: Toasted baguette slices topped with pesto, fluffy parmesan and walnut cream, sun-dried tomatoes and crunchy walnuts make up this delicious Crostini with Walnut Parmesan Cream recipe. Fun fact: walnuts and water and spices alone make an amazing cream for this topping, so if you’re watching your dairy intake, you can always experiment with Walnut Cream sans parmesan.

Soup: The color of this Asparagus Walnut Bisque is a vibrant and festive addition to your Christmas table, and the flavor is equally tasty. Walnuts help thicken the bisque for a silky, creamy texture without the dairy.

Salad: This Radicchio Salad with Walnuts and Ginger-Pomegranate Vinaigrette is crunchy, sweet and peppery with a creamy dairy-free dressing, making it a crisp palate cleanser to prepare for your main dish. The sweetness of seasonal pomegranates and the earthiness of toasted walnuts are beautiful additions to your menu.

Side dish: A stunning vegetable side dish is a must for your plant-forward holiday table! Try this simple and delicious recipe for Roasted Vegetables with Walnut Vinaigrette. It has a hearty flavor, with beautiful fall colors and flavors – warm, filling and the perfect sidekick to the main dish.

Main course: This dairy-free California Walnut Cream Alfredo Sauce gets its unbelievable flavor and texture from walnuts pureed with water, onion, garlic, lemon and nutritional yeast. Serve over fettuccine, ravioli or vegetables for a decadent main dish. Looking to add a pop of color to the table? This Pappardelle with California Walnut Pesto is a fan favorite. The recipe makes 16 servings and whatever you don’t use, you can freeze for later use!

Dessert: These Walnut Chocolate Bliss Balls are made with ingredients like maple syrup, Medjool dates and shredded coconut. They make a delicious and adorable dessert. No matter your eating preferences, these are sure to fly off the dessert table.

For the host or hostess: If you’re looking to bring a gift for the host or hostess, we’ve got you covered. Who needs plain old fruitcake when you can bring this scrumptious Italian Walnut Panforte? With various spices and a bit of zesty citrus, this is a classic for every Christmas celebration.

Modern Yet Traditional Hanukkah

Make your favorite vegan matzo ball soup, then enchant your family with the following full-course plant-forward Hanukkah menu to commemorate the Festival of Lights.
Appetizer: This vegan California Walnut, Lentil and Mushroom Pate includes fresh herbs and a hint of lemon as the perfect starter to your plant-based festivities.
Salad: With pops of color from the crisp bell peppers and celery, this Walnut-Dotted Potato Salad with Walnut Gremolata will surely attract the eyes (and stomachs!) of your family. If allowed on your table, you could also add boiled eggs to this dish.
Main course: These Walnut Mushroom Lasagna Rolls feature ricotta, chopped walnuts and cooked mushrooms, creating a savory blend of flavors that simply can’t compare to traditional meat-based lasagna.

Side dish: Leftover Mashed Potato-Broccoli-Walnut Cakes are crunchy on the outside and soft, flavorful and filling on the inside, reminding you of that familiar taste and texture of traditional latkes.
Dessert: What are the holidays without Rugelach? This recipe brings back memories of your bubbeh’s sweet treats with vanilla notes, cinnamon, apricot and finely chopped California walnuts for a lovely crunch and makes a lovely dessert or gift for the host or hostess.

 

Make It Simple, Delicious and Magical

With these delicious recipes, you can plan and serve memorable, traditional and delectable holiday dishes that are exquisitely plant-forward. Be sure to visit our collection of plant-forward recipes for more inspiration.

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