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'Tis The Season For Green: Popular Plant-Based Dishes To Serve This Holiday

If you are looking for a more healthful way to eat, you may want to consider adding more plant-based foods to your daily diet. Contrary to popular belief, you can get ample protein from plants, produce, nuts, and legumes, to support the body in building lean muscle mass. During the holidays, it may seem difficult to find festive and satisfying plant-based alternatives to the animal-proteins typically eaten.

Some tips for a plant-based holiday meal include:

Please any palate with easy plant-based appetizers.

Feed friends of family a turkey-inspired veggie or fruit tray to snack on while dinner is cooking. This not only saves time cooking or baking in the kitchen, it is something that will be gobbled up by all of the eaters in your home. Simply create the feathers of the bird with small cut fruit or berries, starting in the center of your platter and arranging the fruit or veggies outward.

Fix the family favorites.

Even if you are eating a plant-based diet, you don't have to give up your favorite side-dishes, like mashed potatoes, yams, hot rolls, and cranberry jelly. The key is to simply prepare them without animal-based fats, such as butter or cream. Use vegan margarine and non-dairy milk, such as almond or soy, to recreate these dishes in a more healthful way.

Opt for a pot-pie.

It is easy to make a mock-turkey pot-pie that will taste like the holidays without the animal products. Start with a vegan pie crust, usually made with vegan margarine instead of shortening. Fill with veggies, pasta, potatoes, or beans, and make a roux using veggie broth and a little flour to thicken the filling; bake and serve.

Feed an army with a soothing stew or soup.

There is something very comforting and soothing about the smell of a big pot of soup bubbling away on the stove. Make a soup using vegetable broth and clean out your fridge or freezer by adding all kinds of different vegetables to the pot. Add some barley, rice, beans, or pasta to make a soup that smells delicious and that will warm up friends and family, from the inside-out.

A fruity finish.

Make fruit something special by creating a fruity dessert pizza; make a crust from ground nuts and dates and press into a pie tin. Layer berries and fruits on top of the crust to make the pizza, and drizzle with a little plant-based icing, such as soy cream or coconut whip cream to finish.

Try some of these plant-inspired ideas this holiday season; you may be surprised at how much they are enjoyed by all who visit or dine with you. Whether you follow a plant-based diet or not, there are ample reasons to increase your consumption of veggies, produce, and whole-grains, that include health and compassion-based reasons. Also, keep in mind that many restaurants, such as Giuseppe's, offer vegan options, if you have trouble preparing those plant-based dishes.