Christmas Meal Prep Plan

 

For Christmas this year, I’m pretty much making exactly what I made this past Thanksgiving, with a few changes to the dessert menu.

Here’s my menu and the breakdown of what I make ahead. I make as much in advance as I can to make it a little easier on the big day.

I’m breaking it down between four days. You can do it in two days if you’re pressed for time. I’m spreading it out slowly because I’m not rushed for time this year.

Day 1:

Make a double batch of Buckeyes and freeze them.  Use dairy free subs and coconut oil instead of shortening.

Day 2:

Make Homemade Bread (I use this to make the breadcrumbs I need for Day 3’s Cutlets recipe.)

Make Fudge and refrigerate.

Make Sugar Cookies and decorate.

Day 3:

Make Pumpkin Pie and refrigerate.

Make Cornbread.

Make Double Batch of Chickpea Cutlets and refrigerate.

Peel Potatoes in the evening and completely cover potatoes with water in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in fridge until it’s time to make the mashed potatoes the next day. (Optional step. Can omit and do this on day 4.)

Day 4:

Start Dough for Homemade Dinner Rolls early. When dough is ready, prepare rolls and bake.

Boil and season fresh green beans (I use vegetable broth and season with Adobo, garlic powder and onion powder.) Transfer to a crockpot and cook on high for approximately 4 hours.

Make Gravy. A triple batch. Use the suggested variation of adding poultry seasoning and sage to the gravy.

Make Cornbread Dressing.

Make Holiday Mashed Potatoes.

I hope this breakdown helps. If you need any last minute recipes for Christmas, these recipes will not disappoint!

I hope you have a wonderful week leading up to Christmas.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Southern Cornbread Dressing: Dairy and Egg Free

Y’all, we have some news.  We’ve moved back down south!  Which is why I didn’t post for months.  Life was a little crazy for a long stretch.  But now we have moved halfway across the country, sold our Iowa condo, bought a new house and are kind of settled in.  We’ve been in our house for almost 6 weeks, so there’s still a lot to do.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our new house and I was in charge of making almost everything.  I’ve tried my hand at making my mom’s incredible cornbread dressing before and it was a flop- 2 years in a row.  I gave up on making it last year.  This year, however, I had a lightbulb moment.  I discovered a gravy recipe from about.com and have adapted it to fit our needs.  The gravy is creamy, delicious, and could mimic the canned cream of chicken my mom’s recipe uses.

I didn’t even include it in my Thanksgiving post, because, well, I’ve failed miserably in the past.  But not this time.  This time I ROCKED IT!  Finally!!!

My mom’s recipe uses chicken broth, eggs, cream of chicken soup, butter, cornbread, sage, and minced onion.

I decided to make my cornbread with gravy, but added sage and poultry seasoning to my gravy to give it the same flavor as my mom’s.  I used vegan butter and vegetable broth.

The result?  My father asked my mom IF SHE MADE THE DRESSING!

That was the moment I gave myself a secret high five and knew this recipe was good.

So if you’re looking for a savory and delicious cornbread dressing recipe for the holidays or for any day, I have just the recipe for you!

Southern Cornbread Dressing: Dairy and Egg Free

( Cornbread recipe adapted from here.  
Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe adapted from my mom’s recipe.)

Make the cornbread the day before or first thing in the morning.  I make it the night before as it frees up more time on the big day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup SO Delicious Lite Culinary Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with vegan butter.

3.  Boil the water in a small saucepan and add the ground flax seed. Stir well with a fork or whisk.  Reduce the heat and simmer the ground flax seed in the water for 2-3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Mine was ready in 2 minutes.

4.  Set the flax egg to the side.  You’ll use it in step 6.

5.  Grab a clean bowl and combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.

6.  Add the ground flax seed mixture, coconut milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture. Mix until just until smooth.

7.  Put the cornbread mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Mine was done in 20 minutes.

STEP 2 to be completed the next day or once the cornbread has cooled completely:

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Make homemade gravy but double the recipe and add 1 tsp of poultry seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon sage.

3.  Crumble cornbread in a bowl.

4.  Add 1/2 of the gravy and a generous splash of vegetable broth.  Stir well.  Add more gravy and veggie broth until the cornbread mixture looks soupy.  I used more gravy than broth because the gravy has all of the typical cornbread dressing flavor.  You will not use all of the gravy- I had maybe 1/2 cup of gravy left.  I splashed in veggie broth maybe 3 times.

5.  Grease a larger baking dish (I have one in between the 8×8 and 9×12 pans and used the in between size.)

6.  Pour in soupy cornbread mixture.

7.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until dressing is firm but not dry.  I used convection bake and mine was done in 23 minutes.

8.  Use the extra gravy to pour over the dressing.

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This is the cornbread dressing.  I realized I had no photos of it and snapped this quick photo at the last second.

Savory Vegan Gravy

You guys.  Y’all.  This gravy is awesome.  It really is awesome sauce!

My 5 year old is now spoiled and wants this gravy on everything: baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, cutlets… You get the picture, right?

This gravy is also the superstar in my upcoming “Southern Cornbread Dressing” recipe.  Stay tuned for that bad boy!

Here’s how I make gravy in our house.

Savory Vegan Gravy
(I’ve made some changes from this original recipe, which is yummy, too. You can click here to see the original recipe from about.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Directions:

1.  Heat the vegan butter over medium heat in a medium sized pot and add all of the spices and flour.  Whisk together.

2.  Add the vegetable broth and cornstarch and whisk well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let it simmer, whisking constantly.

3.  When the gravy has thickened, add the nutritional yeast and liquid aminos and cook for one more minute, continuing to whisk the gravy.

**Variation:  Add 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon of sage in addition to the spices listed above.

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Close up of gravy and my homemade mashed potatoes.  YUM!

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

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On Thanksgiving day, I decided to deviate from my planned homemade ranch mashed potatoes, and try my hand at “regular” mashed potatoes.

It turned out perfectly!  The Huzz told me to please write down what I did before I forgot how I made them.  Yes!

If you are looking for creamy and “normal” tasting dairy free mashed potatoes, then you must try my Holiday Mashed Potatoes!

Here’s how I made them, on a whim.

Holiday Mashed Potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 8-12 Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • SO Delicious Lite Culinary Coconut Milk
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Vegan Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Garlic Powder

Directions:

  1. Peel and chop potatoes.  Add to cook pot as you chop.  Keep a small amount of water in pot to keep the potatoes from browning.
  2. Place pot on burner and set to medium high until the water boils.  Reduce heat to medium.  Boil potatoes until tender, stirring occasionally.  I use a wooden spoon across the top of my boiling pot to keep the water from boiling over.
  3. Drain potatoes in a colander.  Return the potatoes to the pot.
  4. Mash potatoes using potato masher.  Use an immersion stick blender for even creamier potatoes.
  5. Add several large spoons of vegan butter and a generous splash of coconut milk.  Add a small splash of vegetable broth.  Mash a bit more.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste along with 1 or 2 generous shakes of garlic powder if desired.  Mix well.
  7. Taste.  Add more coconut milk, vegetable broth and butter, a little at a time.  Mix well, taste, and repeat until desired consistency and taste is achieved.
  8. Serve with homemade gravy. (Optional, but totally amazing!)

Yummy Christmas Recipes: Dairy & Egg Free

The only thing I've done so far- make amazing fudge!

The only thing I’ve done so far- make amazing fudge!

Hiya. Merry (almost) Christmas friends! We have been quite the busy bees with vacation, traveling from Iowa to South Carolina to Florida and so on!

Things finally settled down for literally, like, ONE day and now we’re ramping up for Christmas.

This year, we’re trying something different. The Huzz’s family always had their big meal on Christmas Eve. Growing up, my family always had the BIG meal on Christmas day. (Seriously, y’all, my mom cooked and baked for days!!! Her spread is crazy big!) This year, we are going to follow in the tradition of the Huzz’s side and have our big meal on Christmas Eve.

Here’s what we plan to make. Click on the colored words to follow the links to the recipes.

And by the way, it’s 8:30 pm on December 23rd and I’ve only accomplished ONE THING on this list…yeah, I better get to getting!

Christmas Dinner and Treats:

Mojo Crockpot Chicken (Click here to see how to make homemade mojo marinade. There’s not a recipe for this one. I’m making it up. I’ll put the chicken in the crockpot. Pour the mojo on a whole chicken. Probably throw in a chopped onion, some adobo seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano. Cook on low for 8 hours.)

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus (Rinse asparagus, snap off ends, season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on medium on grill pan until tender.)

Balsamic Roasted Baby Carrots

Classic Dinner Rolls (Sub non-dairy milk and vegan butter. Use the bread machine to make dough on dough setting.)

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Fudge (I used SO Delicious boxed Culinary Coconut Milk Lite.  This is the one recipe I’ve made so far.  I’ve only licked the spoon and it was AMAZING!)

Buckeyes (Use vegan butter and Enjoy Life chocolate chips)

Vegan Sugar Cookies with Easy Royal Icing (We decided not to use food coloring.  Our cookies will just be decorated with white icing.  And maybe a few sprinkles!)

Pumpkin Pie with Coco Whip from SO Delicious

Easy Cinnamon Roll Recipe for breakfast on Christmas morning (I have a cinnamon sensitivity so I’m omitting the cinnamon.  I might sub allspice but most likely I’ll add brown sugar instead of the cinnamon or allspice.)

That’s our safe menu plan.

This Christmas, we’ve been teaching SG that Christmas is not about getting gifts or Santa.

In our house, we’re trying to focus on the ultimate gift, the gift of a precious babe born into this world to save us from our sins.  God gave us the ultimate gift of Jesus, which is why our little family celebrates Christmas.

“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:10-11

We hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.  I wish you all a safe and wonderful day together filled with lots of safe food!

Easy 5 Ingredient Cherry Pie: Dairy & Egg Free

I’ve literally been wanting to write this post for a year now! I’m working on another post filled with links to dairy and egg free recipes for the holidays. That has finally motivated me to get this done!

Soon I will also share a dairy, egg & cinnamon free apple pie. It’s a great pie! So is this cherry pie. What can I say? We love homemade pies!

It is lovely that this recipe only uses 5 ingredients. I could make a homemade crust (and please feel free to make your own!) but I make so many other things from scratch, that I LOVE using this crust.

The recipe was adapted from the following two recipes. Click here and here to read the original recipes.

Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

For Filling:

  • 3 bags of frozen pitted cherries
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 c cornstarch

For Crust:

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place all filling ingredients in medium sized pan and bring to a boil, stirring gently. Once it boils, lower to a simmer until the filling thickens. Take off of the heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a pie pan, center one of the pie crusts. It will hang over the edge of pan.
  4. Pour the cooled filling into the pie pan.
  5. Center the other pie crust and put it gently over the cherry pie filling.
  6. Roll the top pie crust under the bottom pie crust. You might have bumpy large lumps in some parts but that doesn’t bother me. 🙂
  7. Use a fork to crimp the rolled together edges or use your fingers to crimp the edges.
  8. Use a sharp knife to make a few slits in the pie crust.
  9. Sprinkle a little bit of white sugar on top. (optional)
  10. Place pie on a cookie sheet (in case of overflow) and bake for approximately 50 minutes.
  11. Let cool. Enjoy!

Cherry Pie Filling

 

Homemade Cherry Pie

Homemade Cherry Pie