Published on December 14, 2019

It’s 2019: Odds are you’re going to be cooking for a vegan at some point this holiday season. So we turned to author and restaurateur Isa Chandra Moskowitz for her favorite meat- and dairy-free replacements for popular holiday dishes, all of which appear in her latest book, I Can Cook Vegan

“When I first started cooking, I thought the vegan world needed something a little more adventurous than lentil stew,” she writes. “But how things have changed! Tofu is now the other white meat, more people than ever are going completely vegan, and everyone is warming up to the idea of cashew cream.” Below, four vegan dishes so good we don’t even think staunch meat eaters will mind that you’ve swapped them into your holiday spread.

Instead of French Onion Soup: Cream of Tomato Soup

Vegan Tomato Soup RecipePin It
© Isa Chandra Moskowitz, I Can Cook Vegan, Abrams, New York, 2019.

Serves 6

Ingredients
1 yellow onion, chopped into medium dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
4 cups vegetable broth
1 25-oz can whole fire-roasted tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1⁄2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup whole unroasted cashews
Sliced chives, for serving

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and red pepper flakes in the olive oil with a pinch of salt, just until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and pepper to taste and mash with a potato masher or spatula, just to get the tomatoes slightly broken up. Turn the heat up and cook until hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Place the cashews in a high-speed blender. Add everything from the tomato pot. Blend until completely smooth. The soup will be very hot, so turn off the blender and remove the lid every 10 seconds or so to let steam escape and to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

Return the soup to the pot over low heat and heat through. Serve hot with a little olive oil drizzled over the top. Sprinkle with sliced chives.

Instead of Turkey and Trimmings: Portobello Brisket Bowl

Vegan Portobello Brisket RecipePin It
© Isa Chandra Moskowitz, I Can Cook Vegan, Abrams, New York, 2019.

Serves 4

For the stew
2 cups thinly sliced shallots
2 cups thinly sliced fennel
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp salt
Several dashes freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup green lentils
1 25-oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth

For the portobellos
4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the rest of the bowl
4 cups loosely packed, roughly chopped mustard greens

Make the stew: Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Sauté the shallots and fennel in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute more, until golden and aromatic.

Add the lentils, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Continue to cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the portobellos with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Arrange the caps on the prepared pan, trimmed side up. Roast until tender and juicy, 18 to 22 minutes.

To assemble, line bowls with mustard greens. Place scoops of mashed potatoes (recipe below) in each bowl and ladle stew over potatoes. Top each serving with a sliced portobello.

Instead of Baked Potatoes: Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Three Ways

Vegan Mashed Potatoes RecipePin It
© Isa Chandra Moskowitz, I Can Cook Vegan, Abrams, New York, 2019.

Serves 4

For the mashed potatoes
2 1⁄2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1⁄2-inch chunks
2 3⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄3 cup whole unroasted cashews
1⁄2 cup vegetable broth, at room temperature
1⁄3 cup refined coconut oil, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a pot and add enough cold water to submerge them by about an inch. Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of salt. Cover and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, place the cashews and vegetable broth in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth, scraping the sides occasionally with a spatula to get everything.

When the potatoes have come to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, uncover, and cook for about 12 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Break them up with a potato masher. Add half of the cashew mixture, the coconut oil, remaining 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Mash until relatively smooth and no big chunks are left.

Add the remaining cashew mixture, mix it in, and use a handheld blender on high speed to whip the mashed potatoes. They should become very smooth, fluffy, and creamy. Taste for salt and pepper along the way, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve!

For roasted red pepper mash: Add 3 roasted red peppers (from a jar or homemade) to the cashew mixture and blend as described in step 2.

For pesto mash: Stir 1⁄2 cup pesto into the classic mashed potatoes after whipping them in step 4.

For garlic mash: Preheat a small pan over low heat. Sauté 1⁄4 cup minced garlic in 1⁄4 cup olive oil for about 2 minutes. Stir the garlic oil into the classic mashed potatoes after whipping them in step 4.

Instead of Peppermint Bark Cake: Mini Pumpkin Bundt Cakes With Lemon Glaze

Vegan Mini Pumpkin Bundt CakesPin It
© Isa Chandra Moskowitz, I Can Cook Vegan, Abrams, New York, 2019.

Serves 6

For the cakes
2 cups pumpkin puree
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
3⁄4 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt

For the glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease mini Bundt pans. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, olive oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Sift in the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir until relatively smooth.

Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one about three-quarters full. Bake for 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cakes are done when they are firm and puffy on top and lightly pulling away from sides of the pan. Let cool in the baking pans and, once you can handle it, invert the Bundts onto a cooling rack to cool. Flip right side up to cool completely.

Make the glaze: Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and coconut oil and stir vigorously until a thick and smooth but pourable icing forms. If it seems too thick, add warm water by the teaspoon until the desired texture is achieved.

More recipes in I Can Cook Vegan:

See more vegan recipes:
Thanksgiving Dishes You Won’t Believe Are Vegan
A Stress-Free Dinner Party Menu, Care of Alison Roman
10 Fancy Christmas Desserts That Any Level of Home Cook Can Master

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