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5 Easy Holiday Recipes for your next party!

1. Twice Baked Potatoes with Buffalo Chickpeas & Cauliflower (The First Mess) - serves 8

This super easy appetizer will definitely shock your family when they find out it's totally plant-based. I love the chickpea & cauliflower filling, but you could totally substitute anything - even plant-based meat crumbles if you wish!


  • 8 russet potatoes, scrubbed

  • grapeseed oil (or any other veggie oil)

  • 1 cup finely chopped shallot (about 2)

  • 2 stalk celery, finely chopped (reserve inner leaves)

  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

  • 2 clove garlic, minced

  • 4 cups small cauliflower florets

  • 2 cup cooked chickpeas

  • 1 cup vegetable stock

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted)

  • 1/2 cup Buffalo-style hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Set up the two oven racks in the middle of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack.

  2. Prick a few holes into the potatoes with the tines of a fork. Lightly brush them on all sides with oil and sprinkle them with salt. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack above the baking sheet. Bake the potatoes until tender and the skin feels slightly crisp, about 1-1 ½ hours.

  3. While the potatoes are baking, make the buffalo chickpea filling. Heat a deep skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. Drizzle about a teaspoon of oil into the pot. Throw the shallots into the pot and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the celery and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the paprika and garlic, and stir.

  4. Add the cauliflower and chickpeas to the pot and stir again. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and Buffalo sauce and stir. Season the mixture with black pepper and bring it to a boil. Let the buffalo chickpea mixture simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  5. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle them, cut them in half lengthwise. Lay the halves on a parchment lined baking sheet. Scoop out 1 tablespoon or so of potato from each half. You can eat this cooked potato on the spot or save it for another use. Lightly mash the insides of the potatoes with a fork.

  6. Gently spoon the buffalo chickpea mixture into the baked potato halves. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake potatoes for another 12-15 minutes, or until the buffalo chickpea filling is hot.

  7. Serve twice baked potatoes hot, topped with extra black pepper, extra hot sauce, chopped parsley, and celery leaves.

2. Slow cooker spinach artichoke dip (Real Food Whole Life) - Serves 8 - 10

You've got enough on your plate this holiday season - the slow cooker is a life saver! Just add your ingredients & let it do the work for you. Plus, you know you'll have a recipe you AND your family will enjoy!



  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)

  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 8-oz bag frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed very dry

  • 2 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped

  • 1 8-oz can diced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional*

  • 3 tablespoons avocado mayonnaise or veganaise**

  •  Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Pulse the cashews in a blender until a fine powder forms. You’re looking for a flour-like consistency. Be careful not to overmix or you’ll end up with cashew butter.

  2. Add the almond milk, garlic, salt, lemon juice and mustard. Blend on high until smooth.

  3. Pour the liquid into a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, and nutritional yeast (if using). Stir until well combined.

  4. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3-4 hours, or until warm and bubbly.

  5. Uncover and stir in the mayonnaise or veganaise. If the dip seems dry, add an extra splash of almond milk. Taste and add additional salt or freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.


3. Plant-based Mashed Potatoes (Be Well With Steph) - serves 8

Another shocker for the fam - they'll never believe there's no milk or butter in these! Plus, you can keep them in the crockpot and bring it to the party to plug in and heat up.


  • 3lb gold yukon potatoes, washed & peeled

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 24oz Vegetable Broth, (2 cartons)

  • 3 tbs Dairy-Free Butter

  • ¼ c. Unsweetened Dairy-Free Milk

  • 3 stalks of green onions, chopped

  • Optional: fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme

  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Cut potatoes in quarters or large sized chunks & place them in the crockpot with veggie broth & garlic cloves.

  2. Cook on high for 2 hours

  3. Drain potatoes, saving ¼ c of the broth

  4. Optional: add some butter / oil to the crockpot & cook the fresh herbs to soften & bring out the flavors

  5. If you have a hand mixer, return potatoes to slow cooker with butter & broth, and mix with hand mixer. If you don’t have a hand mixer, mash the potatoes in a bowl with butter & broth, then return to crockpot.

  6. Add milk, salt, pepper & stir.

  7. Save green onions for a garnish on top

4. Mushroom & Pumpkin Risotto (Lavender and Macarons) - serves 8

Forget pumpkin pie, this mushroom & pumpkin risotto is all you need.




  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of Olive oil in a medium skillet and over medium heat.

  2. Add mushrooms and sauté them until mushrooms begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt, add 1 minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove pan from the heat and transfer mushrooms to a clean bowl.

  3. In a large bowl whisk together warm vegetable broth and pumpkin puree and set the bowl next to the pan.

  4. Wipe the pan and put it back on heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté shallots for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add the remaining clove of garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.

  5. Stir in Arborio rice and toast stirring constantly for a few minutes. Pour two cups of pumpkin broth into the rice, add the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper, give everything a stir and simmer on a medium low heat until rice absorbs all liquid. Continue adding broth, 1-2 ladles at a time until rice is fully cooked. If needed, you may want to add another a cup or two of broth.

  6. Stir in Parmesan cheese, adjust salt and pepper if needed and remove the pan from the heat.

  7. Arrange risotto among serving bowls. Top with sautéed Shiitake, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese if you like and some chopped parsley

5. Easy Vegan Crockpot Lasagna (My quiet Kitchen) - serves 8

Forget pumpkin pie, this mushroom & pumpkin risotto is all you need.


For tofu ricotta:​

  • 2 (14 oz) packages firm tofu (no need to press) - Extra firm also works.

  • ¾ cup plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt - Homemade or store-bought.

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning 

Other Ingredients

  • 2 (25 oz) jars marinara sauce

  • 9 to 10 sheets regular lasagna

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, chopped

  • 6 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped

  • 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce, optional

  • 7 ounces vegan cheese, shredded - See Note (Violife Mature Cheddar block and shredded it with a box grater.)



  1. First, drain the packages of tofu and place in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare and gather the other ingredients. Some water will drain out of the tofu as it sits. Discard the water, then add the remaining ricotta ingredients to the bowl. Mash with a fork until the ricotta is fluffy and fully incorporated.

  2. Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat. Dry sauté the onion and mushrooms until softened and dry, about 8 minutes. Add chopped spinach and tamari, if using, and cook for another minute or until wilted. Set aside.

  3. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 6-quart slow cooker, and turn it on to HIGH so it can heat while you assemble the lasagna.

  4. Spread about 1 ½ cups of marinara across the bottom of the crockpot followed by 3 pasta sheets, broken to fit (this doesn't need to be perfect). Spread with 1 ½ cups tofu ricotta, followed by half of the mushroom mixture, and then approximately ¾ cup shredded cheese.

  5. Repeat the layering process as written above. Then, for the 3rd and final round, you'll skip the veggies and shredded cheese and finish with sauce on top. So the 3rd round looks like this: sauce, pasta, ricotta, sauce. Note: you'll likely have a small amount of ricotta leftover, but it's very easy to enjoy in other ways. It's great on toast or added cold to salads!

  6. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, carefully lift the lid straight up to avoid dumping condensation onto the lasagna. Sprinkle the lasagna with more shredded cheese, cover, and cook for another 30 minutes.

  7. The cheese should be melted and the lasagna should be bubbling lightly. Turn off the crockpot and let the lasagna stand for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (with the lid askew). The lasagna can be served right away, but it will be fairly messy, more like a casserole. The rest time allows the lasagna to cool slightly which helps it set. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

Written by Alisa Tiburzi

Will you try out any of these recipes at your next gathering? I'd love to hear how they worked out for you. Get in touch with me and let me know!



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