Category Archives: Holiday

Creamed Winter Greens (vegan, gluten-free)


Although you may be familiar with creamed spinach, this mix of leeks, curly kale, and swiss chard is a much fuller-flavored mix. Rather than cream, a roux is used to thicken these stewed veggies. Make sure to use an unsweetened milk and preferably a thicker type; a high-fat soy or almond milk will bring much more creaminess and body than a thinner rice milk.

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Winter Quinoa Croquettes with Satsuma Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)

vegan-gf-quinoa-croquetes These may not be your typical croquettes, but they are delicious. The outer crunch of croquettes typically comes from a deep-fried bread crumb coating, but the quinoa used here for the body of the croquette crunches beautifully with only a light frying in oil, and sans breading. 

The earthy, nutty flavors of quinoa and buckwheat are brightened with lemon zest and tangy fresh cranberries chopped with sea salt and a touch of sugar. Lightly-toasted pecans bring even more nuttiness and crunch, and fresh aromatic rosemary balances it all out its peppery, piney flavor.  Use red or black or a mixture of different-colored quinoa and serve with a couple slices of satsuma mandarin for a party-worthy presentation. A sprig of rosemary never hurts, either – plus it looks just like a mini pine tree sprig and is perfect for a Christmas dinner.

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Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Jumbles (vegan)


It’s not often that you come upon truly local foods. Sure, there is the black and white cookie (we non-city New Yorkers call them half-moons) or Chicago-style pizza, but you can get those pretty much anywhere in the US.  

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Gingerbread (vegan)


Update: I will probably never be able to make this again… I couldn’t stop eating it. It’s spicy, gingery, with a crispy, caramel-y top: gone in 2 days. Good luck.

It’s been pretty chilly in Oakland the past few nights. It’s nice to have a reason to cuddle up under a blanket, but it’s also nice to have an excuse to get the oven going and bake something sweet – gingerbread seemed like the perfect choice. Sweetness comes second to the warmth of molasses and spices. The smell of it in your kitchen is almost worth making it on its own. 

It’s quick to put together, so make it right after dinner to enjoy warm with some coconut whipped cream or a (generous) sprinkle of powdered sugar. If you want to throw this together even faster, substitute the crystallized and grated ginger for 2 teaspoons ground ginger.

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Pumpkin Cider Biscuits with Cornmeal (vegan)

apple-cider-pumpkin-drop-biscuits-with-cornmealRecipe Card

These drop biscuits are a great addition to your Thanksgiving meal – sweet, nutty, and hearty. They have a crispy exterior from the cornmeal and are light and fluffy on the inside. They are also quick to put together and utterly unfussy

 Do you really need biscuits on Thanksgiving, even with mashed potatoes and stuffing? Yep. Especially when they bring some more fall flavors to your table.

Regardless – they’d be great for a simple, quick, and healthy Thanksgiving breakfast to fuel up for a full day of cooking and eating: spread with a bit of butter and cranberry sauce or even a side of tofu scramble and you have an excellent breakfast. 

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Pear and Sourdough Stuffing with Prunes (vegan)

pear and sourdough stuffing-dressing with prunes vegan

I’m a sucker for stuffing (dressing, really, since what are we stuffing but ourselves?). It’s a bread casserole, essentially, and my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. 

This version combines the sweetness of browned onions, stewed pears, and caramelly prunes with a tangy sourdough base. The baguette soaks up the flavors and broth but doesn’t get gummy; this stuffing still has a nice firmness to it and crunches up beautifully on top. 

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