‘Tis the season to try out
some vegan dishes!
Montrealers suggest recipes to establish new holiday culinary traditions
By Penny Arsenault and Irwin Rapoport
December 21, 2022
The holidays are upon us, and we wish you an excellent time with family and friends. After two years of cancelled plans, we finally get to gather again to enjoy the festive season to its fullest extent.
Many dishes are reserved for this time of year, making the holiday celebrations all the more special. These holiday meals are full of tradition.
In November, President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys – a Thanksgiving tradition. They weren’t actually pardoned in the true sense of the word since they were completely innocent to start with. But they were being spared the fate of millions of turkeys and granted a lifetime in a sanctuary.
Are you ready to start some new traditions? We went in search of vegan versions of a few holiday favourites, speaking to Montrealers who have tried and true vegan recipes that have struck a stellar chord with diners. Try them out and enjoy, and if you have an opportunity to do so, tell us about the experience and the reception they received.
Monica Han is vegan and her partner Alexis JV is a banquet cook at the Ritz Carlton. They make wonderful vegan feasts at home. Here they’ve made a green soup for their red and green-themed Christmas dinner and agreed to share it with us.
Christmas Green Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch of chopped broccoli
1 handful of spinach
40g (1/3 cup) of green peas
500 ml (2 1/8 cups) of veggie broth
60g (1/2 cup) of coconut cream for soup, plus 10g (1/8 cup) for topping
30g (1/4 cup) of flour and 30g (1/4 cup) of melted vegan butter (to thicken)
*optional – 10g (1/8 cup) of diced sun dried tomatoes (for colour)
*optional – 10g (1/8 cup) of walnut pieces, toasted
Sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
Add all vegetables and stir to mix.
Add veggie broth.
Allow to simmer until vegetables are soft.
Use inversion blender or transfer soup to a blender. After blending, transfer back to pot.
Add coconut milk, reserving 1/8 cup for topping and reheat soup. Add thickeners if desired.
Pour into individual bowls, optionally garnish with nuts, sun dried tomatoes and coconut milk.
Lea Girard Nadeau of Westmount has made this Millet Pie from Louis-Philippe, the Buddhist chef. She said it was easy to prepare and delicious.
This year, she will try a Vegan Wellington recipe for Christmas dinner.
And don’t forget dessert! Finding substitutes for milk, butter and eggs in baking is easy, says Jillian Correia, a young mother of four. Jillian often uses regular recipes, modifying them for the family’s mostly vegan diet.
Here is a family favourite…
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
1¼ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
½ tsp allspice
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple flakes
¼ cup water
½ cup molasses (or half-half maple syrup)
½ tsp vanilla
Combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add dry to wet ingredients.
Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut desired shapes.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 325 degrees.
Et voilà – vegan gingerbread cookies!
Have a healthy and happy holiday season, and should you make one of the dishes, feel free to let us know how they came out. Bon appétit!
Feature image: Vegan Gingerbread Cookies, courtesy of Jillian Correa
A figure skating coach and ballet dancer, Penny Arsenault is a friend to cats, dogs, and all animals, dedicated to fitness and nutrition, and tireless in her optimistic pursuit of the improvement of urban gardens, and preservation of wild spaces.
Irwin Rapoport is a freelance journalist with Bachelor degrees in History and Political Science from Concordia University.