Hosting a Plant-Based, Multi-Cultural Holiday Dinner

By Camille Danielich
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This holiday season, celebrate a multiplicity of cultures at your seasonal feast with a menu that showcases a host of different dishes, the plant-based way.

Start With Appetizers

There’s no country that does finger food and appetizers better than Israel and the Meditteranean — with that said, bring on the mezze platters, hummus, pickled vegetables and pita bread. To build your perfect mezze platter, make (or buy) and assemble a number of spreads, namely hummus, tzatziki and baba ganoush — for an extra special touch, add roasted aubergine spread for a nice surprise. Shop around for a host of fresh, raw and crunchy vegetables, like Persian cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. Adding heaps of roasted veggies is also a nice idea, with eggplant being the primary offering (asparagus, bell peppers and zucchini are also nice options). Sprinkle roasted veggies with tahini and pomegranates and have traditional seasonings on hand, like sumac. And of course, no mezze platter would be complete without olives and some kind of salted cheese — for plant-based parties, consider vegan feta by Miyoko’s, which is a near-perfect dupe. Rice-wrapped grape leaves (dolmas) are a great addition, as are roasted artichokes and figs. To top it all off, piles of warm, pillowy pita are always a necessity.

Move On to Mains

There’s no better and easier main than a comforting bowl of ramen on a dark, wintery night. Fortunately, this is also incredibly easy to make for a crowd — consider checking out different vegan broth recipes to make in batches so that you don’t run out. Fortunately, vegan ramen isn’t difficult because mushrooms offer a great, meaty flavor without the actual animal protein. We like this recipe.

Then, you can pre-cook noodles so that diners can select their desired amount. In the meantime, thinly cut vegetables like carrots, more mushrooms, scallions and bok choy — you might want to consider braising some of the veggies in a miso glaze to give more depth of flavor, but don’t stress too much and let your guests take charge in decorating their bowls. Flash-frying some strips of tofu is another great idea to bulk up a ramen bowl. The strips don’t need to be huge, bite-sized will do. You may also want to provide a small bowl of softboiled eggs for your guests to top their steaming bowls with, as for some, ramen is not complete without it. Finally, be sure to chop up a bunch of green onion for topping, and don’t forget to provide some spicy toppings for those who enjoy a little kick.

The Grand Finale - Dessert

If you’re vegan, you can hit the jackpot when it comes to dessert. Cakes, cookies, meringues and sweets can be made without eggs and milk easily, thanks to substitutes like nut milk, egg replacers and even aquafaba, the liquid that accompanies canned beans that — when whipped — is an amazing substitute for creamed egg whites. Here are a few of our favorite holiday-themed Christmas recipes from Minimalist Baker that make use of vegan ingredients in surprising ways and that range in origin from European to good ol’ classic American.

No matter how you choose to incorporate a host of different culinary cultures, know that your plant-based holiday dinner will be delicious. For more tips and tricks regarding entertaining with a plant-based menu, check out our website or Instagram @EditFeast


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