21 Vegan Christmas Cookies You’ll Want to Make this Holiday Season!
Nothing says Christmas time like baking cookies!
It’s always been a tradition for me to make an absolutely ridiculous amount of Christmas cookies during the holiday season. It started when I was little. I even remember my mom putting me in charge of making most, if not all, of the Christmas cookies one year when I was a teenager. Or, was it before I was a teenager I can’t quite remember.
We’d start a week or so before Christmas to start making them, and it didn’t end at Christmas, either. I remember my mom staying up late making more cookies on Christmas eve so that we’d have plenty on Christmas day. We ate SO many cookies.
Since I’ve become a mom, I’ve slowly started to remake the Christmas cookies I loved as a child to be a bit healthy and 100% vegan! For my kids, and for myself. (My husband seems to run away from any food I make that I call ‘healthy’ or ‘vegan’; honestly, he’s truly missing out. This is the only healthy vegan recipe I’ve been able to get him to eat…and love. And it’s only because I simply told him to try it…..he ate half a batch.)
So, if you’re looking for healthier, vegan, possibly gluten free Christmas cookies; take a look below and enjoy!
I usually opt for an easier cookie to make, but these are so adorable they are worth the time and effort you put into them. Plus, their great for impressing friends and family; just wait til you tell them they’re vegan, too! And, yes, these are egg whites free, which is why they are called vegan.
This was my all time favorite recipe as a child; now veganized and a bit more filling. You know, to help us from eating them all at once! Even this healthy version is the first type of xmas cookie to disappear in my home.
Peanut butter blossoms were another one of my favorites growing up. However, if you or your kids have a peanut allergy try out Laura’s peanut free recipe, so you all can still enjoy the glory of this Holiday time cookie!
Don’t you just love walking into the kitchen when Christmas cookies are baking in the oven?
It’s such a warm and welcoming scent, that’s probably why they make sugar cookie candles. Warm up your home this year with the vegan Christmas cookies above. Don’t be afraid to try them all, if you want, and make a ridiculous amount of Christmas cookies this year, like I always do! Don’t forget to share with friends and family, especially those on specific diets such as vegan, gluten free, and paleo!
What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Let me know in the comments!
Thanksgiving would not be complete without the delicious desserts after dinner; because you know, we don’t stuff ourselves enough during dinner!
And, thankfully, because of the recipes below and many others, we don’t have to feel left out as vegans. There are plenty of vegan Thanksgiving desserts that will make us feel thankful we’re vegan and not adding to the cruelty of this festive Holiday.
From pies to puddings and more; you’ll be sure to find enough vegan desserts below to feed your whole extended family for Thanksgiving! They won’t even know these delicious desserts are vegan, either.
So, save a few animals from suffering this Holiday season, save some calories, and encourage healthy eating (without even realizing it); enjoy the recipes below!
You CANNOT have Thanksgiving without Apple pie, and Rhian’s recipes are some of the best recipes I’ve had. I am constantly going back to her site to try new recipes and feature them in my posts. Check out her apple pie recipe here!
Looking for a healthy alternative to sugar filled pumpkin cookies? You’ll want to try, and give your kids, these pumpkin cookies; made with oat flour instead of white, at least half the sugar you’re used to, and a secret ingredient! Check it out here.
There are so many vegan Thanksgiving desserts you can try, like the ones above, that you won’t feel left out when it comes to stuffing yourself at Thanksgiving.
Whether you veganize an old family favorite, like I did with the pumpkin cookies and apple crisp above, or find a brand new vegan recipe you love; you’ll be sure to get more nutrients in than fellow Americans eating a SAD (standard american diet).
You may not eat as much, either, keeping your health (and waistline) in check, with all of the filling nutrient rich desserts there are available!
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family and I do. Don’t forget to save this post on Pinterest and share with friends looking for a vegan or healthy alternative to Thanksgiving desserts!
31 Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Even Your Kids Will Eat
Raising a vegan child, or coming up with food to eat on Thanksgiving as a vegan doesn’t have to be hard!
Even though this holiday is sometimes called ‘turkey day’ does no mean you’re missing out, or denying your child of Holiday fun, by replacing unhealthy non-vegan food with recipes that will actually provide nutrients and value to the diet!
Sides are a really simple way to add in more veggies to a Thanksgiving meal. Plus, most sides are already vegan, or only need a few ingredient swaps to make them so.
Check out the recipes below for some delicious ideas for vegan Thanksgiving side dishes that your children will actually eat!
Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side. There’s also around a thousand (exaggeration, but then again, there’s probably more) ways to make mashed potatoes! So, there are certainly plenty of ways to make mashed potatoes vegan, check out the recipes below.
There’s even a purple mashed potato recipe below, to make things fun for your little ones who are picky eaters, let’s not forget to make this fun!
Gravy is a Thanksgiving classic, so be sure to check out the vegan and gluten free recipe of that below. Plus, kids love to dip their food in things, have them try the hummus below for a healthy alternative to store bought.
Whether you were looking for ways to turn your favorite side dishes into vegan side dishes, or find some new vegan family favorites; I hope you were able to find them here!
The recipes above are delicious, healthy, and ones that even my picky eater will eat! Be sure to save this post as a future reference for Thanksgivings in the future, and be sure to subscribe to receive my emails and get access to some great printables. (Like, the list of produce in season in the fall, questions to ask your children to encourage thankfulness, and plenty more!)
My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four
So, you had an unexpected expense come up….again, and you’re determine to still come up with a way for your family to eat healthy. Even when you have a tiny budget to get your groceries; much less than the average amount people spend on groceries in this country!
Because, let’s face it, in the U.S. food prices are constantly creeping up; whether you eat a vegan diet or S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), and there’s no increase in pay to help even out costs.
According to the USDA, the cost of food for a family of four ranges from $130 and $300…a week! (Source can be found here, I’m not making it up!)
That price range simply blows my mind.
I knew I was a bit frugal when it came to my families grocery budget and trying to keep it around $60 to $80 a week. But, I didn’t know that wasn’t even close to the norm. It’s amazing what you find out when you do a little bit of research!
Even for families who aren’t really frugal, but are simply living paycheck to paycheck, can have difficulty keeping their grocery bill in line.
And, what about with your unexpected expense? How are you to lower your grocery bill then?
You may already feel like you’re stingy when you go to the store.
That’s where meal planning and being intentional about the food your family eats during the week comes in!
With a few tips and a super simple meal plan (with a few repeat meals) you can make it through the tough times and not have to give up eating healthy, or give in to eating non-vegan foods (that contribute to animal cruelty and the destruction of the planet).
Though, my husband thinks it’s perfectly alright to eat ramen during these times- sodium filled packets and all; I like to opt for meals that actually contain nutrients for myself and two girls.
A Few Quick Tips for a Vegan Meal Plan on a Budget
Make sure you make a vegan meal plan for a week!
You won’t stay in your small budget for the week if you don’t write down your families meals. And, then make a grocery list from your meal plan.
Being as detailed as possible when doing this is key.
Make sure you write down EVERYTHING anyone will be consuming that week, and include EVERYTHING that you will need on the grocery list. No one likes running out to the store because they forgot something they needed.
This includes items you’ll need that you have everyday but may not think to write down, such as if you need more coffee. That is something you won’t want to forget to write down!
Meal plan around the food you already have.
If you’re already used to making healthy meal plans on a budget, then you may have some ingredients you can use during the weeks where you’re barely scraping by.
Or, if you’re planning out your budget in advance and can see that money will be tight for a week in the future, consider stocking up on some cheap and healthy food now.
Some suggestions for what to stock up on:
bread (and freeze it)
oats (for oatmeal, baked goods, and more)
bananas (to cut up and freeze for smoothies)
avocado (to puree, freeze, and use for toast/sandwiches)
What you may want to stock up on may be slightly different than my list; what we eat tends to be a personal decision. I know many people who hate being told what they should eat. (My children included!)
This should be relatively easy, seeing as how you may not have the extra money to do so. And, with being on a vegan diet, there aren’t as many choices for eating out. (Unless of course, if you live in or near a city with vegan restaurants. And, in that case, I’m a bit jealous!)
Never Buy Name Brand
Name brand products are almost always more expensive than store brand products. And, in some cases the ONLY difference is the outside box or container; you’re literally paying for the name.
Don’t Forget Your Cheap Vegan Meal Prep!
Once you have your meal plan (or use mine below), your grocery list, and have bought your groceries; make sure you prep your meals as much as you can.
Doing this will ensure no one will have to eat out during the week; everything will be ready for them to take to work or school. And, if you’re a stay at home parent, like me, you won’t have to spend time making food everyday. Which means more time to get things done, spend with your kids, or read that book you keep trying to get to while your kids nap!
Ironically, many people associate a healthy or vegan diet with an expensive diet, but the opposite it true.
It’s the unhealthy, heavily processed food that is the most expensive. Plus, when you eat junk food, you have to eat more of it because your cells are starving for nutrients. So, not only are you spending more money because the processed food is more expensive to begin with; but you’re also buying more of it to try to fill yourself and family up.
(Along with increasing your chances of becoming obese, getting diabetes, and other food related chronic illnesses.)
By focusing on nutrition, you’ll be thinking of how to get healthy proteins, carbs, and fats. And, how to get them in your shopping cart as cheap as possible.
This is where your beans, legumes, rice, veggies, and fruits come in.
Dried beans and rice are ridiculously cheap and often overlooked. And, a cup of brown rice contains 5 grams of protein and 3 and a half grams of fiber. Combine that with half a cup or broccoli and your up to about 7 grams of protein and 5 and a half grams of fiber. (Who was it again that said vegans don’t get enough protein in their diets? This isn’t even a full meal calculated out.)
You can get a 5 pound bag of brown rice and 2 pounds of frozen broccoli for about $6 and it’ll last you quite awhile, seeing as how the rice doubles when cooked.
Now that you know a few of my inside secrets on how I’m able to spend so little on my families groceries every week, let’s get to My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four!
My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four!
I may meal plan differently than others, and as a fair warning I’m not a nutritionist, dietitian, or will ever claim to make a perfect meal plan (because a perfect meal plan doesn’t exist). But, I do consider myself to be fairly healthy and follow a vegan diet. I only ever want the healthier food being consumed by my children!
Instead of going day by day for meal planning; I meal plan by the meal or snack for each day. This allows me to move around different meals depending on what myself or family are in the mood for.
Like I said before, what we eat is a personal choice, and sometimes we can’t even stick to our own strict meal. Instead of driving myself crazy, I created a system to be more lenient, and that allows us more flexibility in what we eat when.
The cheapest and healthiest vegan breakfast options (that are also child approved and requested) are:
oatmeal (my 2 girls under 6 suggest apple cinnamon oatmeal- recipe coming soon!)
crepes (depending on the filling/toppings)
green smoothies (or peanut butter smoothies- recipe coming soon, you’ll just need to omit the cocoa)
All of these options are very cheap and the ingredients can even be bought ahead if you have some time to prepare for your low food budget week. Plus, many of the ingredients are ones you probably already have in your cupboards.
If you don’t have any the ingredients, it of course, will be a little more expensive. To give an example, let’s go over all the ingredients for my girls favorite oatmeal recipe (be advised prices may differ depending on where you live):
oats: just under $3 for about 3 lbs
apples: $3 for a bag of about 9 (you only need one apple per 1 cup of oats)
brown sugar: $2
(optional: raisins, but they can get a little pricey, as in almost $4 for the larger 20oz container)
water: free (it’s getting boiled, but you can use filtered water if you prefer)
So, there you have it; $10 for breakfast that will last your whole family at least a week. Feel free to mix it up, especially if you already have ingredients in your home for other breakfasts!
I am a huge advocate on eating snacks during the day, for children and adults alike!
Just check out the A to Z healthy snack challenge my girls and I did when they were a little younger, you’ll find over 130 snacks we tried in a 26 week time frame!
With that being said, I also admit that making 130+ different snacks over 26 weeks wasn’t the cheapest challenge we’ve ever done. Some weeks were much cheaper than others, and we felt that hit our bank account. Luckily, it wasn’t too expensive where we couldn’t afford it, but we would’ve saved money by choosing two or 3 snacks per week instead!
and single serving of fruit (my girls love cuties and bananas)
The cheapest way to buy smoothie ingredients is by buying the 64 oz frozen bag of fruit you find at stores, buying bananas in bulk (and cutting them up to freeze and save them), buying greens not prewashed, and using water instead of non-dairy milk. Anything else you add to the smoothie is an extra and not crucial, like flaxseeds or chia seeds; however, when bought in bulk they’re pretty cheap.
The bulk frozen bag of fruit may seem a bit pricey at first, costing almost $10. However, this bag should last you at least two weeks for smoothies everyday for your family, if not longer. It lasts my family about a month because my husband opts out of these.
You should also consider that this is much cheaper than buying fresh produce, even when bought in bulk. The frozen bag has the produce already peeled, cut up, and pits removed; all of which would be weighed and paid by pound if bought fresh.
You can also get about 10-12 bananas for around $3, which is plenty for the week, whether in smoothies, all by themselves, with peanut butter (my girls favorite), or used in baked goods. As for greens, you can get a enough kale for the week (or two weeks) for about $1 when it’s not prewashed or bagged. So, that’s less than $15 for a breakfast or snack that will last you about 2 weeks.
Lunch can be a tricky meal for some, as many people aren’t home to eat lunch, but rather at school or work.
But, one of the cheapest ways to save money for lunches is by simply eating leftovers from dinner the night before, whatever it may have been. I know, that’s vague and not too helpful, especially when you have picky eaters.
In this case, let’s get back to basics, and our childhood favorites!
If you can’t feed your family leftovers for lunch, what about sandwiches?
My picky eater insists on eating sandwiches for lunch at school; so, why not let her! They’re not that unhealthy and they can be good on the wallet, too.
To ensure a healthier sandwich than a simple peanut butter and jelly, try peanut butter and banana sandwiches, or avocado and tomato.
You can get bread for as cheap as $2 a loaf, which will make about 12 or so sandwiches (so you’d need 2 loaves). Or, make the bread yourself. This is my go to bread recipe.
Peanut butter is a bit more expensive, but you can get a 4 lb jar for about $6; which should last you a month. (Or, at least 2 weeks, depending on if your kids eat it right out of the jar with a spoon like mine do.)
So, you could get away with spending only $10 additional on lunch for your whole family for the week. (Bananas were calculated above.)
You can do one of other options for afternoon snack as was listed for morning snack, or make it more fun and something your children can look forward to for after school. Such as apple donuts (apples cut with a whole in the middle and peanut butter on top), or chickpea cookies!
If you check out the chickpea cookie recipe, you’ll see that it doesn’t have many ingredients, and most of the ingredients you probably already have. The ones you may be missing are probably chocolate chips, which you can get fairly cheap or omit, and chickpeas. A one pound bag of dried chickpeas is about $1.50, and is enough to make 6 batches of those cookies! (Hint- use the same amount of brown sugar mixed with water to replace the maple syrup, since maple syrup tends to be a little pricey, and omit vanilla.)
To help even more with your budget, and to prevent the ‘Mom, I’m hungry’ rant from your kids every afternoon; make sure this afternoon snack is full of protein. This is why I don’t mind feeding my girls my protein rich chickpea cookies!
Whenever I know my families budget for food is going to be tight; I always rely on the stockpile of brown rice, beans, and pasta I have, along with frozen veggies.
A common meal my family may have is a rice, tofu, and veggie bowl. Brown rice can be as cheap as $1.50 for a 2 pound bag, tofu as cheap $1.50, and the price for veggies varies depending on the type.
Another meal we rely on when on a tight budget is homemade soup. I tend to stockpile veggie stock, dried beans, and pasta.
The soup I make will sometimes be based off of this one, with the ingredients adjusted for my families preference and to ensure savings.
For this soup you’ll basically need veggies, veggie stock or a bouillon cube, beans, and pasta.
You could easily get all your veggies, including the onion and garlic, for under $5, pasta at $1, veggie stock for $2, and the beans at $3 (dried, and will last quite awhile). And, this soup make A LOT! As in, it lasts my family of four 2 weeks if I chop and freeze the veggies and don’t cook the beans or pasta til needed.
That’s $11 for dinner for 2 weeks, though, you may want to do the rice, tofu, and veggie bowl as well. So, it could creep up to $20 for dinner for 2 weeks.
If you may have noticed, everything you may consume in a week may not be noted above. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘but where’s the coffee?’
Extra items that we believe we need, we can simply go without when need be. OR, simplified to make them cheaper.
For the coffee that we, as parents, always need so badly; never buy it out, and buy the big container at the store that will last you at least a month. This way you won’t have to worry about your coffee fix when your budget is tight.
And, instead of buying non dairy coffee creamer, buy flavored soy milk instead! It’s a bit healthier and a lot cheaper, plus it’ll last you longer. If it’s not sweet enough, add some brown sugar to it; you probably already bought it for the oatmeal or cookies anyways!
So, what does this look like in a meal plan template?
Click here to download the meal plan! Feel free to print it out and use it for yourself, or use the extra adjustable meal planning template for your own cheap meal plan. (This also includes the grocery list for the meal plan, for your convenience!)
Grocery list for a super cheap vegan meal plan
To make this section as simple and as easy to digest as possibly, I’m just writing it out in lists depending on sections in a regular grocery store.
Veggies for soup: ~$5 (broken down below)
onion: ~75 cents
garlic: ~50 cents
yellow squash: ~75 cents
(optional) Avocados: ~$4
(optional) Tomatoes: ~$1.50
Mixed Fruit: ~$10 (will last at least 2-3 weeks)
Soy Milk: ~$2.50
Brown Sugar: ~$2
Peanut Butter: ~$6 (will last 2-3 weeks)
Baking Powder: ~$1
White Beans: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
Kidney Beans: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
Chickpeas: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
Rice: ~$1.50 (should last all month)
Veggie Stock: ~$2
Pasta Sauce: ~$2
Olive Oil: ~$2
Italian Seasoning: ~$2
Alright, so if you added up all of those groceries you’ll end up with a grocery bill of about $66.50.
This may seem super cheap to some people, but a little high for others (such as myself) when thinking of a super cheap vegan meal plan for a family of four.
What you need to consider is the fact that you probably already have some of these ingredients, especially if you’re used to eating vegan on a budget.
For example, this is what I usually have already in stock (and recommend you keeping in stock as well) just in case the budget gets tight:
These ingredients are non-perishables and I buy in bulk when getting them, making them cheaper to buy for the long run.
Having these items already at home brings the grocery bill down to $24.50. That’s the power of buying in bulk when you can!
And, if that is still too much; don’t make avocado and tomato sandwiches and replace that with peanut butter and banana sandwiches. It’ll bring the bill down to $19, and even if your budget is extremely tight; you should be able to spend $20 on groceries for the week.
You can’t get much cheaper than that!
A few things to remember to for a super cheap vegan meal plan
To recap, let’s go over the gist of eating healthy (and vegan) when money is tight.
Make sure you make a meal plan
Make your meal plan based on food you already have
Avoid eating out at all costs
DON’T buy name brand
Write down your grocery list and stick to the list
Meal Prep as much as you can
Focus on Nutrition and whole foods
Don’t buy pre-washed veggies
Buy dried beans and rice
Buy in bulk when you can to save money when times are tough
It’s never fun to be on a tight budget, especially with kids or when it changes what you normally eat. But, it is still possible to eat vegan on a budget; just don’t expect to be eating something different everyday of the week or buying the highly processed fake meats, or anything else like that.
The closer we get to whole unprocessed, or even local, foods; the cheaper our grocery bill gets. If you live in a place where you’re able to grow your own produce, then you’ll be able to save even more money on your grocery bill. However, that takes time and won’t help out in an immediate situation.
So, take this for what it is; use it to the t, adjust it as need be, or only use the tips I provided. Anyways, I hope it’s able to help you out in a time of need, or if you’re simply trying to cut back on expenses to pay off debt or save up for something.
Don’t forget to grab the print outs for this exact meal plan, grocery list, and blank templates to help you become organized and save money!
p.s. Also share with friends and family; they don’t have to be vegan to appreciate this cheap meal plan!
Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving classic, at least for my family! Luckily, you can still eat it when vegan; simply make a ‘cheese’ sauce, instead of using cheese made from cow’s milk. No need to buy the ‘alternative’ or dairy free packaged ‘cheeses’ either (I’m not a fan of those). Follow the recipe above or use this one which makes it’s sauce from veggies.
Need to through something together quick to bring to Thanksgiving, or hosting Thanksgiving and just found out you’re going to have a vegan guest; whip up this main dish in no time and help them feel more welcomed!
These are just a few of the many vegan Thanksgiving main dishes that are out there that you can make!
You can veganize almost any Thanksgiving family recipe, search for more on google, or on Pinterest. I’ve even started a board on Pinterest to collect some delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes. Follow me @stresslessbehealthy
Comment below with your favorite vegan Thanksgiving main dishes and don’t forget to share with vegan friends, or Thanksgiving hosts who will having vegan guests. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the extra help. Maybe you could even make a board on Pinterest that you all share for recipes you might want to try for Thanksgiving; make sure to pin this post for some inspiration and the amazing recipes above!
15 AWESOME Vegan Dishes for Thanksgiving; Picky Eater Approved!
Are you vegan, or curious what vegans can eat on a day celebrated by eating turkeys?
Well, just to let you know, in 2016 there were 45 million turkeys killed for thanksgiving. Can you believe that? It’s the real number; it may be slightly estimated, but a simple google search will prove that I’m not making it up!
Us vegans; we don’t contribute to that number.
This can make some family members frustrated and racking their brains on what they should serve us at Thanksgiving.
But, in all honesty, it’s quite simple. Many things we eat on Thanksgiving are the same as non-vegans; take it from someone who became a vegetarian at age 7.
And again, this is a day of thankfulness; don’t get caught up on what we can’t eat, there are so many options for what we can eat.
To make it a bit more simple and lay out some vegan Thanksgiving dishes for you; I’ve compiled a list of meal ideas and side dishes.
(That I’d like to bet are even more delicious than your ‘non-vegan’ or traditional Thanksgiving dishes.)
I hope this helps clear a few things up and makes it easier for you to eat, or prepare food, for Thanksgiving. Because, this holiday is mostly about food, you know.
And, don’t be scared, I’m only adding ‘normal’ food to the list, or vegan versions of ‘normal’ Thanksgiving foods.
Only dishes that you’re children won’t say ‘eww, gross’ to, will be on the list below. This way they are safe enough to bring to your own Thanksgiving dinner without getting too many people rolling their eyes at you. Plus, you won’t have to go to a special health food store to buy the ingredients. (Nothing worse than finding a recipe and then realizing you don’t even know what half the ingredients are; or worse, not even knowing where to go to buy them!)
If you need help with teaching thanks to the children you know, head over to 8 Ways to Teach Your Children to be Thankful.
Sure, omnivores have their turkey or ham, and to be honest, I don’t even really know what other main dishes omnivores eat at Thanksgiving anymore.
One thing I can tell you is that vegans have just as many, if not more, delicious options to choose from. Below are a few that I’ll be making (and probably attempting to freeze) for Thanksgiving. We’re going to be eating these for days, if not weeks after, as I’m making a homemade Thanksgiving feast for just my family this year. (This includes myself, husband, and two little girls. We, unfortunately, can’t make it back east for the holidays this year.)
There are a ton of ways to eat stuffed squash for Thanksgiving, and you can use pretty much any kind of squash. This recipe makes a sweet and savory meal that you’ll want to include in your Thanksgiving feast (and your meal plan at least once every month through out the year)!
I found this gem of a recipe Mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole Made Gluten-Free and Vegan that takes a childhood favorite comfort food and turns it into a healthier vegan version. With how sweet this recipe is, I wasn’t quite sure whether to include it in with the main dishes or desserts; let’s count it as a main dish so we can eat more of it!!
Side dishes were my ‘go to’s’ when I was a child and decided to be a vegetarian.
Sides were basically all I could eat; they were the only thing at my families Thanksgiving that didn’t have some type of meat in them, well, besides the desserts.
My favorites growing up were my aunt’s amazing homemade applesauce (that I for some reason never asked the recipe for), cranberry sauce, and my mom’s pumpkin bread. Even my mom knew that these three things would always make it to my plate!
Cranberry sauce always has it’s place on the Thanksgiving table; right in front of me! I have found a recipe for this, but with all of the other dishes to make; sometimes it’s just easier to buy this one. Luckily, cranberry sauce is vegan, even when bought in a can from the store, or even on Amazon.
Whether you add a little brown sugar or maple syrup to them, or not, is up to you; but when I do my 5 year old can’t get enough! You also have the option of having baked sweet potato (stuffed or not stuffed) or mashed sweet potatoes!
Dinner Rolls or Biscuits
My favorite recipe that requires basic dough is Vegan Crazy Dough. Once you make the dough you can add spices or whatever else you’d like to it. Which is exactly what I do. I love to add some garlic and sea salt to this bread. But, for rolls and biscuits; just form and bake, nothing needs to be added.
I used to love my mom’s pumpkin bread whenever she made it. I never knew how much sugar and butter went into it until I started making it myself, or attempting to. Her version also contained eggs; not very vegan friendly. So, I took on the challenge of creating my own vegan version of pumpkin bread. And, even my five year old (who is in a stage where she is convinced everything I make is disgusting) loves this…we split a whole loaf by ourselves (in a single day).
This recipe is a must try, it’s called Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans and it is delicious!! Although, it is a mixture of fruits and veggies. But hey, it is certainly jazzed up enough for a Thanksgiving side; go ahead and give it a try!
Or, mini pecan pies cookies that are vegan. These are even better than making a whole pie. It’s less messy, for the kids, and no worrying about having to cut yet, another full pie. These would even make it worth it to go out and buy the mini muffin tins I’ve been wanting, but haven’t had a good enough excuse yet to buy. Now I have an awesome excuse!!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Feast
Whether you have been vegan for years, just starting out, or simply preparing food for someone who is vegan; I hope these Thanksgiving dish ideas helped you out.
Some of the dishes I tried for the first time this year and fell in love with, others I’ve been making for over a year and my go-to’s that I try to make at least once a month.
If you have any other vegan dishes for thanksgiving suggestions that are vegan, please include them in the comments and links would be appreciated as well, especially if you are the one who created it!!
There are so many instagram accounts now a days you can get lost on the app and it can be difficult to dig through and find inspiration, unless you know who to follow.
That’s why I recommend the above accounts; the best vegan bloggers to follow on instagram. I personally follow them and feel inspired by their beautiful vegan food pictures. Many of them publish the recipes for their food on their blogs, too, which is an added bonus to following them!
Other Vegan Instagram Accounts to follow for some more inspiration:
10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes My Kids Go Crazy For
Want to start eating vegan, but don’t want to give up your favorite comfort foods? You don’t have to! Below you can find the vegan comfort food recipes that my two little kids will go crazy for and eat anytime I make them.
Even if you don’t eat a vegan diet, you and your kids will still benefit from the recipes below. They provide more nutrients on average than other homemade snacks and meals, and certainly more than their processed food versions!
I don’t like to make a lot of cookies for my girls, and when I do make them I like them to have quite a bit of nutrients in them. I usually opt for some type of oatmeal cookie, but figured if vegan brownies can be made with black beans, why can’t I combine chickpeas with peanut butter to make more filling peanut butter cookies!
Hint- freeze these cookies to make them crispier! That’s how my girls and I like them best. Unfortunately, even if I freeze these, they don’t tend to last more than a day or two. Get the recipe here.
This coffee cake in a mug from Chocolate Covered Katie is amazing! If anyone in my home is craving something sweet for breakfast, and I offer this, I get an immediate answer of ‘yes’ from everyone. Which is amazing, especially since my husband will even be quite happy eating these, and he doesn’t like eating things considered vegan, or healthy.
To be completely honest, I may use a big soup bowl mug and quadruple the recipe for my two girls and I to split. It’s less of a mess and enough for everyone.
I must make these at least once a month with my two little girls. I usually double the recipe from Baker by Nature and freeze them in hopes that they will last longer than a few days. I can barely get them to last a week, even with freezing them, but I can tell you that they freeze well and only take about 30 seconds to warm up in the microwave.
I sometimes even chop up apples and mix them in the dough before baking these. I don’t know what it is, but I love adding apples to baked goods!
Eating less processed foods, or even vegan, does not mean you have to give up your favorite candy! This recipe from the Healthy Family and Home is proof of it. I make these once a week…for myself. These help with my peanut butter chocolate craving, and are more satisfying than store bought reese’s. They only downside to these is if my girls see me eating one, then I’ll have to share and they disappear even quicker.
I never ate spaghettios as a kid, I hated the thought of them from a can and most had meatballs in them. (I became a vegetarian when I was seven.) However, my husband grew up on spaghettios and other unhealthy food, so my oldest daughter ended up eating the canned spaghettios a few times when I was the working parent. Luckily, I was blessed enough to come across this recipe and both my girls love it!
Make sure you sign up to receive 15 more mother and child approved recipes in this free recipe ebook!
If you are EVER looking for an easy and delicious waffle recipe; this is it! I know there are other posts on my blog that feature this same recipe; what can I say, it’s a favorite in my home. Go check out some of Kelly’s other recipes on her site the prettybee.com.
This crazy dough boasts it can be used for everything, and it comes pretty close! We use it for pizza dough, regular sandwich bread, italian bread, cinnamon swirl bread, rolls, and more! It’ so versatile you can pretty much use it for anything. Go check it out here.
My oldest daughter used to love grilled cheeses, and sometimes she still eats them. But, I wanted to find a healthier alternative that was actually vegan, seeing as how she does not like the taste of vegan sliced cheese and I’d prefer to go a less processed way when it comes to feeding my girls. Enter avocado tomato sandwiches, they can be made just like a grilled cheese, too. They just add in quite a few more nutrients, such as a healthy fat and vitamin C!
I was kind of surprised about how much my girls love this recipe! It has a ton of veggies and a healthy protein in it, split peas. But, they love it and so do I. Go here to check it out for yourself! And, try not to get side-tracked by all of the colorful food on Kristen’s site, I’m a little jealous of all the pictures of her fridge that look like a rainbow.
This may be the last recipe on the list, but it certainly isn’t the least. My girls and I absolutely love this mac and cheese recipe. It makes it so we don’t even miss the boxed mac and cheese that I grew up eating. Go here to check out the recipe and try it for yourself. It’s a great way to get more veggies into your childs diet without them even noticing, too!
I hope that you and your children love these vegan comfort food recipes and include them in your meal plans as much as my children and I do!
How to Start a Plant Based Diet – an easy step by step plan for beginners
Did you just watch a healthy documentary, like What the Health?, Food Choices, or Food Inc.?
If so, then you’re probably wondering how to start a plant based diet, or at least improve your eating habits.
Maybe you’re unsure how to do that; it can be overwhelming at first. And, the first thing you may be tempted to do is to simply throw out all of the things bashed in the documentaries. If you have a very strong will-power and self-discipline and won’t simply go out and buy it again, go right ahead. But, most of us aren’t that strong.
Most of us need baby steps.
We need a plan to get us to where we want to be without being too uncomfortable, and without feeling we’re missing out on the unhealthy food surrounding us.
Some of us need to be told exactly what to do (or to eat), step by step. Some of us will rebel and not eat what we’re supposed to, simply to rebel. We need to strengthen our self discipline and self control. It will help us feel better, look better, and have enough energy to chase after our little ones. (Moms, you know what I’m talking about, especially with toddlers and driving around very busy older kids. No coffee needed, promise!)
I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be super easy and I’m not going to tell you that once you start this journey to health that you won’t slip up once in awhile, it happens.
What I am going to do is provide you with a step by step plan that will get you where you want to be in terms of your eating, if you follow it.
If you don’t follow the steps I provide, I can’t help you and you may have more difficulty than necessary.
p.s. Before we begin, I’m going to let you know some of the steps are baby steps, but you still need to do them.
Step One for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Decide How Badly You Want it
If you just finished watching a health documentary and are highly motivated; how long do you think that motivation will last?
It likely won’t last for more than a couple of weeks. You could keep watching documentaries for motivation.
Or, if you’re determined to go plant based, you need to show it. You need to feel the need to improve your life.
Basically, you need to determine how badly you want this lifestyle change.
If you kind of want it, but are unsure, you may not last very long; at least not without support.
If you know you want this, the next step is to think about why you want it so badly!
Step Two for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Decide WHY You Want to Change to a Plant Based Diet
There are tons of reasons why to change to a plant based lifestyle or plant based diet. Some examples of why people change are below. Your reason why may be below, or it may not, but, take a look anyways. Maybe it’ll give you more than one reason why you should switch to a plant based diet!
Help reverse existing health issues
If you watched health documentaries, you know a plant based diet can do this. Do you have any health issues you want t reverse? (Psst….if you do, talk with a doctor or nutritionist who knows you and your condition before you change your diet. I am in no way a doctor, and it’s been years since I’ve even taken an advil.)
Prevent Health issues
If you don’t have any health issues or concerns, are there any health concerns that run in your family that you’d like to try to prevent? (I sure do. I feel like every other month I get notified of another health issue that a family member has.)
Improve your overall health and well being
This pretty much speaks for itself.
Have enough energy to be a better mom (and chase after your toddler).
I feel ya on this one, every time we go outside, my toddler darts towards the road, she’s just at that stage. I have to throw off my flip flops and dart right after her before she gets half way up the driveway. Luckily, I eat the same healthy food I feed her, so I can run after her when I need to!
Feel better and have a more clear mind
Have you ever felt ‘uhhhhg….’ or ‘blah’? I used to all the time, you can check out my journey to health if you want to know why.
Eating plants will help you feel good from the inside out!
Ridding your diet of processed foods will help you lose excess weight effortlessly, other than the change in what you eat.
Be a good example for your children and raise a healthier generation for the future.
Children copy what they see; if they see you eat healthy, they’ll start eating healthy. Simple as that.
Leave a lighter footprint on the earth
It takes more resources (land, water, etc.) for someone to eat meat or dairy, than for someone to eat a plant based diet.
Help reduce the number of animals being abused and slaughtered
This is obvious.
Help reduce health concerns of others who live near industrial sized farms and animal waste
If there’s less of a demand for animal products then they’ll be less industrial sized farms and less animal waste that is causing health issues for those living near them.
Help reduce the destruction of rain forest
This goes along leaving a lighter footprint.
Help reduce the amount of sea life that is being affected by target fish consumption
What do you think happens to all of the sea life that is pulled up in nets with the target fish that people eat?
Help save the Earth
I could go on, and on, and on. But, those are the major reasons people choose to switch to a vegan or plant based diet. If the reason you choose isn’t in the list, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great reason; it simply means it wasn’t one of the first things to come to my mind.
So, choose your why and hold on tight; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
No, seriously, hold onto it; write it down and don’t forget it. There are going to be times when you’re tempted to quit, when others tell you you’re stupid for changing your diet like this and that you’re not going to get enough protein. They’re going to use all the myths against you, and you’ll have to remember and gain strength from your why, to stay on track.
Step Three for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Go Through Your Kitchen and Remove Some Items
You want to do this anyways, so start, just don’t go overboard.
Start with the easiest things to get out of your diet. Maybe the items that you don’t really like but bought because at the time you thought they were good for you.
Then start weaning yourself from all other animal products and processed foods.
This is a lifestyle change, not a diet!
Unless you’re great at changing your life over night, which most of us aren’t; it’s better to go slow than not at all.
Step Four for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Get Prepared
Do some research
Check out some of my other posts on eating healthy. Or, google your questions about going plant based, find a nutritionist if you think you’ll need one. Do the research you need to do to feel comfortable going plant based.
Prepare your answers for all the silly questions you’ll get.
Where do you get your protein?
What do you eat?
Aren’t you missing important vitamins and minerals that you can only get from meat?
When are you going to stop depriving yourself of nutrients?
How can you afford to eat healthy food?
Well, I guess you can’t eat out with us now, right?
Don’t you miss eating ‘cheese’? (Insert any non-plant based food into the sentence.)
Yes, some of these questions may sound very silly with what you know. Just be polite and answer honestly, and try not to sound annoyed, as hard as it may be.
But, seriously, go find a notebook or open up a notepad on your phone and write out the answers to these, that way you won’t be caught off guard when asked; you’ll already know what to say, and be able to say it with confidence!
I want you to go download the Pinterest app on your phone, if you don’t already have it. If you haven’t signed up for Pinterest; sign up!
Go ahead, right now! Make sure to follow me and use the search feature to find recipes that you’d like to try.
Create a few boards for recipes. Label one ‘recipes to try’, label another ‘recipes I like’, or anything that makes sense to you. This way you can keep track of the food you want to try, what you like, and you could even create a meal plan using the recipes you find on Pinterest.
If you already have Pinterest, or once you’re signed up, spend 10 or 15 minutes searching or plant based recipes that look good, and save them to try later!
Read some books, or get some cookbooks if you’re a book person.
Following healthy bloggers will help provide you with the information you’re already looking for give you inspiration to keep moving forward, and give you more people to help support you in your journey towards better health!
Follow my friend, Farin at spiritedvegan.com, too! She’s a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, so you can be sure she knows what she’s talking about!
Step Five for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Start Swapping out Foods
Instead of going straight from whatever you currently eat, to eating an all plant based diet with foods that are foreign to you; try swapping foods.
This is supposed to make the transition easier.
If you love hot dogs, try carrot dogs.
Swap out chicken nuggets for soy nuggets; they may still be processed, but it isn’t meat and you won’t notice the difference.
Do this for any animal products you eat or drink. Swap in soymilk for cows milk, make banana ice cream in place of store bought, and so on.
And, make sure you add in plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Add in so many of these that there is literally no more room fr the animal products.
Honestly, that’s the easiest way to do it. How can you continue to eat animal products when your diet is so full of all the healthy plant based food you eat? There’s no room left!
Step Six for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Meal Plan and Meal Prep
This last step is the most important step in this how to guide.
It goes hand in hand with the last few steps. And, these are the steps that you’ll need to constantly repeat.
You’ll constantly be searching for more recipes to try, and inspiration for continuing on this healthy eating journey.
But, the one thing that will help you the most is creating a solid meal plan, and meal prepping each week.
These two actions will ensure you stick with your plant based eating goals.
They will also help you lose excess weight, save money, and save time!
Honestly though, your health is the one thing you should invest in. You only get one body for your entire life; you need to treat it right, with respect, and feed it the food and nutrients it needs!
This course will guide you, in an easy to understand way:
to become an expert in your own kitchen
reach your health and wellness goals
to feel confident that you’re feeding yourself the nutrients your body needs
to spend less money while eating healthier food
and a lot more!
(Psst….you’ll even get bonuses, including weekly Q&A sessions with Farin that her clients in real life pay quite a bit of money to receive. It’s like going to a certified holistic nutritionist without actually having to go anywhere.)
11 Family Friendly Quick and Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes for Hectic Weeknights
With the school year within reach, and this being my oldest daughters first year of ‘real’ school, who knows what’s to come!
Maybe a sports team, or something else?
You may already have children in sports or other after school activities. And, that may make having a delicious and nutritious dinner a rare occasion. But, it doesn’t need to be!
There are so many recipes available online that are quick and healthy, some may even taste like you slaved over the stove for hours. (Which is exactly what my husbands grandma has always thought I should do, even when he was the one staying home with our kids!)
So, get ready to check out some awesome and easy vegan dinner recipes that will take you 35 minutes or less to make!
This delicious looking mac and ‘cheese’ is completely vegan and only takes 30 minutes to make! It’s rich, creamy, and the sauce even freezes well, so double the recipe for the sauce for an even quicker and easier dinner for a hectic busy school night! Check out the recipe at rhiansrecipes.com.
2. SPANISH BEANS WITH TOMATOES
I know what you’re thinking, how can something so good be considered a quick and easy dinner? Well, you better believe it; this recipe only takes 25 minutes to make (as long as you cook the beans ahead of time, or buy canned). The creator of this recipe even made a video showing you how to make. How much better can it get!
I don’t know of anyone who hates tacos, they’re probably a favorite in your home, too. Being vegan, or trying to eat better as a family doesn’t mean you can’t keep enjoying tacos, either. Try these lentil tacos, full of protein and only take about 30 minutes to make. Up to you if you use the avocado crema topping or something else (just make sure you soak the cashews over night for the crema so you’re not rushing to get them ready.)
So many colors! If your family prefers asian recipes, be sure to check out this recipe. If you want it warm, the longest part will chopping the veggies. Though, it always seems to take me awhile to chop veggies, with two kids at my side pulling at me for all my attention. You can never go wrong with adding more colors of the rainbow into your families diet! If you are aiming for vegan or plant based, just don’t use their suggestion in the post to add cooked chicken.
If you’re thinking that making falafels aren’t easy, or maybe not even healthy; you need to take a look at this recipe! It only takes 25 minutes to make, and you don’t have to worry about it falling apart on you while baking or frying (or maybe that’s just me who has trouble making them). It’s simple, quick, and nutritious; just what your family needs after a busy day at work and school! Just be sure to double or triple the recipe depending on how many people you’re planning on feeding.
7. VEGAN WHITE BEAN SOUP
Usually homemade soups take awhile to make, at least for those of us with kids, but this one can be made in only 35 minutes, and 30 of those minutes are the cook time. Add some rye bread, like the recipe creator suggests, and it’s one the whole family will enjoy! So, grab this recipe, get it on the stove, deal with the chaos of your busy night (whether it be helping with homework or breaking up fights), come back to this 20 to 30 minutes later; dinners ready!
A lot of times when you see a recipe that contains tofu, it requires pressing the tofu; which either takes time and heavy cookbooks, or a tofu press. Well, us moms don’t have time for that. Create this delicious tofu scramble wrap that your whole family will enjoy, and your kids will be asking you for. It takes about as long to make as scrambling eggs, but it’s much more nutritious! You can even make the tofu scramble ahead of time and heat it up for a quicker dinner, or even breakfast.
Want a quick dinner that you can surprise your families taste buds with, in a good way? This nutritious PEANUT TOFU SATAY CURRY can be made in 20 minutes! The creator of the recipe even links to fruity side dishes that would go very well with it. Everything you need to get dinner on the table when getting home from an exhausting day shuffling kids around.
11. VEGAN ROASTED RATATOUILLE SHEETPAN MEAL
You know what’s amazing? How this recipe only takes about 35 minutes to make, and 30 of those minutes are cook time! It honestly looks like it would take and hour or two to make. It’s super simple, too. Impress your family for dinner one night this week….while spending almost no time in the kitchen!
See, you don’t need to spend hours slaving over the stove to make a delicious and nutritious dinner for your family. There’s no need to eat out, either, on busy school nights when your kids are active in sports and extra-curricular activities! Save the money, stop stressing, and enjoy these quick recipes your family is sure to love!