by Down to Earth

With the holiday season upon us, the time has come once again to start planning for sumptuous dinners, decadent desserts and the comfort of family to share it all with. Whether you are hosting this year or bringing a dish to a potluck, the good news is that you can enjoy many of your favorite holiday dishes while maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

If you are a Down to Earth shopper, you probably already have an inclination toward whole, organic, plant-based foods, but even if your guests don’t share your inclination, our recipes have something to satisfy every palate. If you are hosting a potluck meal and would like to keep it plant-based, ask your guests to bring a vegetarian side dish (most traditional holiday sides are already plant-based) and focus your energy on preparing a stunning main dish. A vegetable loaf, tofu loaf or tofu-turkey can make for a show-stopping main dish. Surround it with fresh, locally-sourced versions of traditional favorites (or perhaps a few non-traditional surprises) and everyone will be asking for seconds—and recipes!

What follows are a few ideas from our online recipes page to get your wheels spinning and your mouth watering.  If you look at only one recipe, you must check out the recipe for the Tofu Turkey pictured below. This recipe is the first one on the Mains list below.  It looks great, tastes great, and is always a hearty party favorite. Add the Mock Turkey Gravy (below) and you'll rock! 

As always, from the team at Down to Earth, Love Life! Eat Healthy, Be Happy!

Vegetables and Side Dishes

Flavor vegetables with herbs, spices, vinaigrettes, and drizzles of olive oil. There are many ways to steam, sauté or bake side dishes without slathering them with butter or cheese sauces. Some fun holiday side recipes are below:

Mains

Plant-based versions of traditional holiday fare are a great way to trim the calories and cholesterol while adding more disease-fighting plant nutrients! Try these recipes that are a win for everyone:

Potatoes

Substitute butter with unsweetened almond or hemp milk, low fat or skim milk, light cream or coconut milk. Add garlic and herbs to enhance flavor. Try sweet potatoes instead -- they are high in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants! Here are some easy, tasty alternatives:

Desserts

Cut the calories by cutting smaller slices! Sweeten desserts with natural sugars such as organic raw cane sugar, raw honey, agave, coconut sugar, or even real fruit. Use phyllo dough, whole grain flours, or ground nuts and seeds for a healthier crust! Below are some traditional -- as well as raw, vegan, and even gluten-free -- versions of yummy holiday treats:

Gluten-Free

A special section just for our gluten intolerant or sensitive friends. Enjoy all the holiday flavors without any gluten in sight! Many of these recipes are naturally gluten-free or have been adapted. These dishes are so tasty, no will know or care that they’re gluten-free!

Search Down to Earth recipes

If you’re tired of the same old recipes you make every year or tired of guessing at substitutions that fit your diet, check out the Recipe page on the Down to Earth website.

You can easily find recipes that accommodate a vegan, gluten-free, nut-free or soy-free diet.  To find recipes for meals that are easy to prepare, you can search by special categories such as Quick and Healthy, One Pot Meals, Budget Friendly Meals, and Cooking with Kids.  There’s even a “Holiday” category to make it easy to find recipes for special ocassions.

Whatever your individual recipe requirements, our recipe page makes it easy to take the next step. Put in your keywords, adjust your criteria, and then hit “search”. Instantly, you’ll have a list of possibilities tailored to your unique needs.