Happy Herbivore Blog

December 22, 2010

Vegan Christmas Menus

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Vegan Christmas (Holiday) Menus [delayed posting--I had Internet troubles on Tuesday]

In case you missed all my online blabbering: I was hired by a hotel in St. Maarten to create vegan menus for all four of their restaurants and yesterday was my first day in the kitchen!

All I have to say about that is: Top Chef? Hells Kitchen? Child's play! Try working in a busy kitchen when you don't speak the language!

But in all seriousness, I had a great time. It felt like I was cooking on steroids (and if I keep this up, I'm going to have to take steroids to be able to pick up the industrial-sized pots and pans!), but I enjoyed it. Plus the Executive Chef is amazing and I love cooking with him, even if we can't communicate beyond head shakes and grunts.

Anyway, I created a lovely Celery Root Soup (pretty much my HH recipe, but with added Cajun seasonings, smoked paprika and fresh parsley garnish); a wild mushroom ravioli with sun-dried tomato cashew cream sauce and I recycled the carrot soup recipe from my cookbook by using fresh ginger and a splash of citrus (you can see the recipe now using Amazons "look inside" feature).

Then, just as I was just about to leave, the Director of Food & Bev tells me that a certain (mega!) A List vegetarian celebrity is coming to the hotel. I nearly screamed---a celebrity is going to eat MY FOOD?!

But it gets better: The hotel also wanted me to create a special Holiday (Christmas) menu for the celebrity and his/her family.

I'm preparing an A List celebrities Christmas dinner?

(I'm still slapping myself in the face---surely this is all a dream!) I can't believe it!

[Wednesday update: I met with the entourage yesterday (on Tuesday) and I'm getting to make all sorts of neat foods, plus vegan chocolate cake as requested by the celeb's kid! I like this kid already!]

Anyway, these were the possible menus I presented to the celebrity client's entourage... I hope you can draw some holiday inspiration from it!

  • acorn squash & apple soup (starter)
  • chestnut bisque (starter)
  • curried sweet potato bisque (starter)
  • pumpkin sage ravioli in a light cashew cream sauce
  • barbecued pomegranate tofu w. garlic greens and potatoes
  • "meatloaf" w. wild rice stuffing + green beans
  • miniature green bean casserole
  • butternut squash risotto
  • acorn squash stuffed w. cranberries, pecans and grains
  • pecan-crusted seitan w. asparagus and mashed sweet potatoes
  • maple-glazed vegetables over grains (kids option)
  • miniature winter vegetable pot pie (kids option)

If you need help developing any of these recipes or have a question about one of the menu ideas --- please leave a comment.

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