Are you and your family exploring the benefits of a vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diet? Don’t let the holiday season tempt you! Shop these 5 seasonal vegetables and enjoy them in last-minute vegetarian recipes for the holidays. They work as side dish recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any meal you plan to share with family and friends.
Last-Minute Vegetarian Recipes for the Holidays
Don’t throw shade at this nightshade! Tomatoes have a surplus of health benefits such as antioxidants that help in reducing heart disease. Their abundance this time of year, makes them a great ingredient to inspire your Thanksgiving recipes. You might want to consider eating them raw, as even two minutes of heat decreases the vitamin C content of tomatoes. However, there’s also a case for heating them up, which makes the antioxidant lycopene easier to absorb. Why eat tomatoes in a few different ways to balance a mix of vitamin C and antioxidants? They are in season for Fall in the U.S. Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, and Northeast.
Vegetarian Recipes with Tomatoes:
- Moroccan Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumber – This simple dish is really delicious and can accompany most meals as a side. Don’t go too heavy on the parsley or you will regret it! It’s also great for dipping bread into.
- Homemade Guacamole – Make something everyone loves in the summer for holidays with colder temps. Alton Brown’s iconic guacamole recipe is worth memorizing or bookmarking, trust me, I’m drooling.
- Tomato-Beet Salad – Bored with a standard salad? Beets are another great healthy vegetable to enjoy this time of year.
The cutest vegetable of them all, if you ask me, with their pink hue, round-ish shape, and little green sprout-top-hat. Besides being adorable, radishes are high in vitamins A, C, and E as well as great for your digestion and immune systems. Eat them on their own or with a touch of butter and salt, pickled, or roasted. They’re also great to add sliced to salads or sandwiches. They are in season for Fall in the U.S. Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, and Northeast, as well as in Winter for the Southwest.
Vegetarian Recipes with Radishes:
- Potato and Radish Salad – I think these two textures work really well together and make something delicious just a little more nutritious.
- Crunchy Green Beans with Radishes – Try this classic French recipe as a side for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
- Crispy Roasted Radishes – I love to eat raw radishes, but now I can’t wait to try roasting them to a yummy crisp.
This root is another great source for Vitamin C as well as a helpful aid to keep your heart and blood pressure healthy. My favorite way to eat fennel is raw, cut into bite-sized slices with white onion and drizzled with olive oil. It’s also great grilled or in salads. Fennel is in season for Fall in the U.S. Northwest and Northeast, as well as Winter for the Northwest.
Vegetarian Recipes with Fennel:
- Shaved Fennel Salad – This easy salad recipe is already on my regular rotation. Try it out for your family this year!
- Roasted Fennel & Carrots – Warm, roasted vegetables are what fall and winter are all about, right?
- Citrus Fennel Slaw – Throw this recipe on top of mixed green salad or as a side.
4) Porcini Mushrooms
These fungi are high in protein, Vitamin B, magnesium, and more. They’re delicious grilled, sautéed, added to pasta or risotto. If the texture of mushrooms isn’t your thing, then use a food processor to liquify them into a soup so you can appreciate their great nutty flavor. They are in season in the U.S. Northwest, Southwest, and Midwest, as well as in Winter for NW, SW, MW, and NE.
Vegetarian Recipes with Porcini Mushrooms:
- Porcini Mushroom Soup – This soup is perfect for fall and winter meals. Use it an easy appetizer soup for a few or many guests.
- Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms – This is a divine Italian dish, try to recreate it at home for a festive holiday.
- Roasted Porcini Mushrooms – Enjoy this solo, alongside a risotto, or atop your favorite pasta.
Aside from boosting your immunity, giving your skin a glow, and helping with weight loss, peppers are also great for frying or munching fresh. They can stand slicing or stuffing and add great crunch as well as flavor to whatever you’re cooking up. Peppers are in season in the U.S. Northwest, Southeast, South, and Northeast.
Vegetarian Recipes with Red Bell Peppers:
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – This recipe is great as a dip or a spread! It’s a versatile dish and easy to please!
- Vegan Chili Stuffed Peppers – Craving a warm and hearty vegan Thanksgiving recipe? Enjoy at home or bring along to a family dinner or friends-giving party.
- Roasted Peppers with Garlic and Herbs – Here’s another easy dish to stir in with pasta or enjoy as a side.
Image credit: NGOC MINH NGO via MarthaStewart.com