A Very Vegan Christmas


A Very Vegan Christmas

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

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This week for a Very Vegan Christmas, I want to share one of the most delicious side dishes along with two holiday main dish recipes. These all taste amazing and are perfect if you're vegan, will have a vegan at your holiday shindig, or if you just want to try something new and delicious! Enjoy!

These vegan cranberry meatballs are perfect for the holiday season! They are great for appetisers too!

Vegan Meatballs Base
8 ounces (1 cup) roasted cauliflower (instructions
1 cup (137g) cooked quinoa
2 Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacers or flax eggs (if using
flax eggs, minus one tablespoon of liquid per flax egg)
cup (114g) red onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup breadcrumbs (gluten free if needed)
1 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon light soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme (or both)

Tangy & Sweet Cranberry Sauce
14 ounces cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Tangy & Sweet Cranberry Sauce
Mix all the ingredients together, bring to a boil, then to a medium low heat in a sauce pan until completely incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Set aside until ready to use.

Vegan Meatballs Base
Preheat oven to 450F/230C. Cut the cauliflower's stem off, and cut into even-sized florets. Drizzle the cauliflower with a teaspoon of oil. Roast the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes in the oven. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes

In a food processor, add the cauliflower and pulse it until it's completely riced. Remove from the food processor. You only need 1 cup of this for this recipe and 8 ounces should make about 1 cup.

Add the 1 cup of riced cauliflower and all the other meatball ingredients, except the coconut oil. You can pulse them or mix them together until they form into a tight ball, combining everything. You want to ensure they are so mixed together that you're not seeing individual cauliflower or quinoa florets, it's all one big mixture. That's how you'll ensure the meatballs will hold together.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. While it's heating, use a tablespoon measurer to form one raw meatball and shape into a ball with your fingers. You can place them on a plate while the oil heats.

Add one meatball to test the oil. Cook on one side for about 1-2 minutes, turning on all sides until fully cooked inside and out, about 4 minutes. You can add as many meatballs as can fit in the pan without overcrowding it, cooking them all for about 4-5 minutes turning on each side, to cook them through.

Lower/turn the heat off. Prep the sauce either in the cooled down pan, or in a separate pan then add the meatballs to it as in the sauce directions. You can enjoy these vegan meatballs alone, in a nice hoagie or with cauliflower rice or quinoa on the side, you know, for a double down. You could even have them on toothpicks as an appetiser at your parties! Enjoy!


Freeze these meatballs without the sauce on. Then allow them to thaw, crisp them again in the pan, and then coat in the sauce. These meatballs will last in your fridge for up to a week (assuming your cauliflower/base ingredients are fresh, of course!). If you're soy-free, you can use coconut aminos or vegan Worcestershire sauce!

This vegan lasagne recipe is the best and an absolutely delicious high protein main dish! It's an ultimate comfort dish, and perfect for the holidays!

16 lasagne sheets
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant (14 ounces), evenly cut and cubed
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
9-12 ounces vegan meat alternative crumbles (I used
Beyond Meat crumbles for this)
28 ounces jar or can of tomato sauce
14 ounces jar or can of tomato sauce
2 cups vegan ricotta
3 cups shredded vegan mozzarella
Basil for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the lasagne sheets according to directions on the box, swirling every now and then so they don't stick together.

Set aside a cup of vegan mozzarella cheese (this will be for the top layer).

While the pasta is boiling (it took 10 minutes for me), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saut for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and fragrant.

Add the chopped eggplant, salt and pepper, and cook for another 10 minutes until the eggplants are soft enough that the wooden spoon or spatula can slice right through it. Add the vegan beefless crumbles/veggie chunks/ crumbled veggie burgers and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes. Depending on your palate, you may need to add a bit more salt at this point. Taste and add accordingly. Reduce heat to medium low, then add all the tomato sauces and stir to combine, for about 3 minutes. Taste and add salt accordingly. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a 13” x 9” pan, add 1/2 cup of “meat” marinara sauce mixture to the bottom and spread with a spatula to create an even layer. Cover the bottom with about four lasagne noodles lengthwise, overlapping a bit. This will be your first layer.

Next, add some of the “meat” marinara sauce mixture (just ensure you have enough for four even layers) and then 1/3 of the vegan ricotta, and about 1/3 of the remaining vegan mozzarella on top of the ricotta.

Repeat layers until you've reached the top layer. Add the remaining meat sauce on top, then sprinkle/ spread the 1 cup vegan mozzarella that was set aside over it.

Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes covered. Then broil for about 3-5 minutes on low broil to brown the cheese on top. Top with basil, and allow to set on the counter for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices. Cut into 9 or 12 even slices. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan Mashed Cauliflower is so buttery and creamy!Roasting the cauliflower first infuses a depth of flavour and ensures for a solid mashed cauliflower texture. It's
infused with roasted garlic and is an incredible side dish option!

3 to 4 cups of cauliflower florets (1lb 11oz)
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, skins still on but slightly smashed
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons vegan butter
3/4 cup to 1 cup coconut milk
Optional but delicious add-ins: dried parsley, chives, black pepper


Preheat your oven to 450F/230C. Prepare a baking pan by lining it with a silicone baking sheet or greased foil.

Remove florets from the cauliflower (aka don't use the stem). Drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil and rub all over. Place on the lined baking sheet. Add the smashed garlic (skins still on) on the baking sheet. The skins help to prevent it from burning; you'll remove thee afterwards. Roast for 20 minutes in the oven.

Remove the cauliflower and don't let cool. Add the roasted cauliflower, the garlic (skins remove), and the sea salt into a food processor.

In a microwave (or on stove top if you prefer), add the vegan butter to the coconut milk and microwave for about 45 seconds until both are hot and the butter is melted. Add it to the food processor.

Turn on the food processor to high to blend everything together. Blend for about 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape down all the sides. If you need it, add the last 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to make the mashed cauliflower even creamier and smooth. Blend to your desired texture.

Your mashed cauliflower should be smooth and creamy when you're done. Taste test and add more salt, depending on your taste. Blend again until all incorporated. Serve with veggies and crackers. Enjoy!


All recipes were created and all photos were taken by Jessica Hylton Leckie.

Jessica Hylton Leckie is the founder and CEO of Jessica in the Kitchen, an award-winning vegan food blog, where amongst recipes, she also shares guides, travel and wellness posts. She is also a food photographer and a videographer. She's been a speaker at over a dozen conferences on the topics of young entrepreneurship, photography, food and wellness. Jessica's work has been featuring in numerous publications including the Jamaica Observer, ESSENCE magazine, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, SELF magazine, Buzzfeed and many more. You can find more recipes on jessicainthekitchen.com

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