Vegan Holiday Survival List:
- Travel sized cruelty-free toiletries, when staying with non-vegans.
- A vegan version of every single holiday dish, to avoid starvation.
- Several vials of blood for concerned relatives to test for protein deficiencies.
- Brochures with graphic images of slaughterhouses: to be passed out at dinner.
- Spiked Soy Nog. Plenty of it.
So 3 and 4 might be a bit much, but when it comes to the most wonderful time of year, for vegans it can often feel like the most trying time of year. The holidays are all about family, friends, and most importantly, food. Celebrations of any kind tend to revolve around food. But at the holidays, food is of the utmost importance. Everybody wants the classics; the savory dishes they’ve eaten year after year. The dishes you can’t get just any old day of the week: Aunt Linda’s green bean casserole, cousin Sophie’s mashed potatoes, and of course, grandma’s turkey. Or whoever’s turkey. Be it roasted, grilled, or fried, it’s just not Thanksgiving without that giant headless corpse in the center of the table.
So what’s a vegan to do, surrounded by a liquored-up horde of famished omnivores ready to attack the first person who refuses gravy, shakes her head at pumpkin pie, or, heaven forbid, wants neither dark nor white meat? Be prepared. Be very prepared. Bring a vegan dish or two, or three, or four. They can be solely for you, in which case, be sure to label them with either the word “vegan” or a skull and crossbones (for some reason, many seem to consider their meanings synonymous). If you’ve got the time and the inclination, make a few vegan dishes to share. Hey, you just might change someone’s opinion. Show them how amazing and non-weird vegan food can be. Don’t forget to bring some Earth Balance margarine in case you can get to the mashed potatoes before a bunch of dairy gets whipped in.
You might want to bring a Tofurky to your holiday gathering. But, if you’d rather not be quite so obvious, you could bring this Holiday Wreath. It’s a delicious masterpiece of classic holiday flavors, that I think will impress and shock even non-vegans, who will most likely be stumped by the Beyond Meat’s meaty texture. It’s amazingly fast to prepare too, which is a big plus if you’re planning on bringing a few other vegan goodies to your Thanksgiving, like perhaps one my favorites, pecan pie.
Thanksgiving is about sharing, so I hope you’ll be willing to share not only your vegan dishes with family and friends, but also your positive experiences the vegan lifestyle. Happy Thanksgiving!
Vegan Holiday Wreath
Veganized version of a Pampered Chef recipe
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 2 packages (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls (I used Immaculate Baking brand)
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- 1 T agave or maple syrup
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 cups Lightly Seasoned Beyond Meat, chopped
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 3 T fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 4 Daiya swiss style slices, chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent dough, separate into 16 triangles. Arrange 8 triangles (wide ends toward the center) in a circle on a round pizza stone or large baking sheet. Corners of wide ends will touch and the points will hang off edge a bit. Match remaining eight triangles wide ends to wide ends, points coming toward the center this time. Seal seams where you matched ends. Do not seal points in center.
Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Scoop filling over seams of dough, creating a ring of filling. Lift a point of dough from the inside over the filling. Continue alternating with outer points, slightly overlapping them as you go. Congrats! You have created your wreath. Bake 25-30 minutes. You may need to cover the wreath with some foil if the top starts getting too browned. Slice and serve hot.