Vegan Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Pecan Salad, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes
Christmas is creeping up quickly, so I wanted to share a few of the simplest recipes from my vegan Christmas menu. When it comes to the cranberry sauce, many people love the orange cranberry flavor combination, and that’s what I made last year for the masses, but I much prefer the plain cranberry, sugar, water recipe. As for the cranberry mandarin pecan salad, it doesn’t really need a “recipe”, but I included one anyway for those of you who like to know the exact amount I use of each ingredient. I love this salad so much that I had it served at our wedding!
Most green bean casserole recipes call for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, and since I’ve never come across a vegan version, I simply use cornstarch to thicken Imagine’s boxed creamy portobello soup. The result is a delicious vegan casserole that tastes just like the classic soup can recipe. You can make the casserole heartier with sauteed mushrooms and other additions, but my theme this year is “classic” so I’ve stuck to the basics. And since we’re talking about the holiday classics, you just have to have mashed potatoes! I really love rosemary in my smashed spuds, so you’ll always find me sprinkling a little in, but my grandma makes amazing mashed potatoes and she certainly doesn’t use anything more than potatoes, soy milk, vegan butter, salt, and pepper, so however you like them, work it! Maybe my theme next year will be “we’re all sick of the classics”!
Basic Fresh Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water or orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine water (or juice) and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and continue to boil for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in cranberries and return to a boil. Boil for another 5 minutes or until cranberries have begun to pop, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl or dish, and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.
Cranberry Mandarin Pecan Salad
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 4 mandarins peeled and sectioned or 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle of creamy poppy seed dressing or your own homemade creamy poppy seed dressing
Combine ingredients in a large salad bowl and chill until you’re ready to serve.
Green Bean Casserole
- 3 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 2 cups Imagine vegan portobello soup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup crispy onions
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Steam green beans until tender. Combine room temperature portobello soup and corn starch in the measuring cup, making sure there are no clumps left behind. In a medium sauce pan, heat soup mixture to a boil, stirring often. Continue to boil and stir the soup until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Stir in sea salt and pepper. In a small casserole dish, combine steamed green beans and soup sauce. Top with crispy onions and bake for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and onions are browned.
- 3 pounds red potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1/4 cup nondairy milk
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add potatoes. Boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add nondairy milk, vegan butter, garlic, rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper. Whip together using a stand or hand mixer until fluffy and smooth. Add more nondairy milk if mashed potatoes or too heavy or thick for your taste, and whip again.