We love the holidays for the same reasons that everyone else does: family, friends, and all the good things that come with them. However, there’s another reason we think the holidays are a special time, and that’s because they provide lots of opportunities for shared meals.
Here at Oldways, we believe shared meals are one of the core elements of a healthy lifestyle, and we’re not alone—in 2014, researchers at the University of Minnesota reviewed existing research on shared meals and concluded that there is “clear evidence that family meals (among youth) and shared meals (among adults) are associated with better dietary intake.” All of our heritage diets (Mediterranean, African, and Latin American) are built upon this foundation, and it’s something that we try to live in our own lives every day.
Which begs the question: When sharing meals, how do you make sure that everyone gets a seat at the table? Or, more accurately…a dish at the table? As specialty diets become more and more common, the need to accommodate them does, too. And this holiday season, we’re here to help: With three recipes to make sure that your holiday meal has something for the vegans, vegetarians, and—bonus!—gluten-free folks on your guest list.
What says “holiday” more than sweet potatoes? This can work as a side, but is also ﬁlling enough to be your main meal. With the spices, maple syrup, and crunch of pumpkin seeds (or walnuts! or pecans! the list goes on), no one will notice that the dish doesn’t have any butter.
You haven’t had broccoli until you’ve had it crispy. Do it up right in this dish that will please vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores alike. The lemon and olive oil give this dish a tangy taste that goes well with any main meal. And if you’re feeling spicy, make sure to pump up those red pepper ﬂakes.
There’s something uniquely elegant about baked pears, and this recipe is no exception. Dress up your dinner with a vegan dessert that you’ll want to make again and again. The natural sweetness of pears and the satisfying crunch of toasted walnuts will be the perfect close to your holiday meal for all of your guests.
From all of us here at Oldways, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!
Kelly Grace Weaver, Director of Marketing and Communications