Vegan Cooking Tips

Quick & Easy Festive Treats for the Holiday Season

Tis the season... to come up with tasty treats that don't take too much time to make! And, it might be nice if we can use some of our holiday foods as gifts as well.


Nothing is faster and more fun than a pretzel mix. This takes shopping plans but very little preparation. Purchase a variety of bite-size pretzels, including different shapes and different flavors, and toss them in a big bowl with crumbled nori (dried seaweed, also known as sushi wrappers). That's your basic savory mix. You can place small dishes of chopped nuts (such as walnut, pecans or peanuts), red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, assorted cold cereals, or roasted soy beans on the side, or mixed in, as you think your guests might like.

For a sweet mix, toss pretzels with golden and black raisins. On the side, or mixed in, you can have shredded coconut, assorted bite-size dried fruit (such as dried pineapple, apples, blueberries, papaya, or mango), assorted cold cereals, and carob chips.

You can make up a bowl of the sweet or savory mix, place it in attractive gift containers, tie it up with a bow, and you've got your contribution to a holiday gathering.


Try the same thing with popcorn: prepare a sweet or savory mix and serve at your own gatherings or bring to the holiday festivities.

Try placing popcorn in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet, sprinkle it with shredded coconut and drizzle with maple syrup, then bake for just a few minutes until the flavors have time to meld. Place in a bowl and serve hot.

For your pretzel or popcorn mixture, you can set up a flavoring bar with soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce, chili powder, cinnamon, powdered ginger, various herb and spice blends, dried lemon or orange peel, etc.

Layered Sandwiches

Save slices of bread from different loaves and refrigerate until you are ready to use them. Line a deep casserole dish with parchment paper. Layer slices of different types of bread and your favorite sandwich fillings. Before starting a new layer, tamp down the existing layer with a plate or heavy food-safe weight. Continue to layer until the casserole is full. Top with parchment paper, place several plates on top and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Serve right out of the casserole or cut out sections and place on a serving plate to reveal all the layers.

Layered Dips

Locate a deep glass serving dish or bowl. Either prepare or purchase a variety of dips including hummus, guacamole, corn relish, etc. Have tomato paste and vegan sour cream available to create colorful “barriers” between the layers. Layer the thicker dips first, separate with a layer of tomato paste or sour cream, and continue to alternate dips until the dish or bowl is full.

Hot Salads

Wilted greens are fast, colorful, and make a nice hot complement to cold appetizers or dips and chips. Simply heat a deep pot, such as a Dutch oven, and add a small amount of oil. Toss in washed greens & spinach, kale, beet greens, etc. – and toss and cook until all are cooked. Serve as a stand alone, or over some steamed grains or as a topping for toasted bread.

If you have any leftovers, purèe them and add to hummus to make a “green dip” or add to salad dressing or vegetable soups.


Make a note when dried fruit is on sale and start to accumulate a variety of dried fruits including prunes, raisins, apricots, apples, peaches, pears, etc. Toss your dried fruit mixture in a large pot with a small amount of apple juice, cinnamon, and ginger and allow to slowly simmer until the fruit is soft. Refrigerate until ready to serve (when you can warm it up again). This lasts for at least a week in the refrigerator, and can be served by itself or over sorbet or toasted pound cake. Compote makes a pleasing addition to parties and is easy to pack up and bring along. To create an edible gift, clean and sanitize re–sealable glass jars. Place a layer of colorful dried fruit, such as golden raisins, apricots, or pineapple. Spoon compote into the jar, top with more dried fruit and seal.