Today I made my annual call to my sister-in-law to ask what she wants me to bring for Christmas dinner. Before going vegan it was really just a formality. I always had my assigned dish specific to the holiday. It never changed from year to year. Now things are a bit more complicated. Thanksgiving I always bring cranberry salad and a pie. The cranberry salad is naturally vegan but this year no one wanted a vegan pumpkin pie. I couldn’t taste a difference but they did. Easter my dish was always scalloped potatoes. Last Easter I made a vegan version that I think everyone liked. For Christmas however, we haven’t found a traditional dish for me to bring. Last year was my first vegan Christmas and none of us could remember what I fixed for Christmas dinner so this year I get to bring something completely different. Just another perk of going vegan among meat eaters.
For Christmas dinner I have decided to try and incorporate some traditional holiday foods. I’m making roasted chestnuts with brussel sprouts and for dessert a twist on traditional sugar plums. Hopefully these will be welcomed more than the pie at Thanksgiving but just like the pie, if no one wants any it only means more for me! In my opinion life is good either way.
My recipe for roasted chestnuts and brussel sprouts is based on Martha Stewart’s recipe. However, instead of butter I use Earth Balance and I altered the ingredients for the caramelized syrup.
Ingredients• 1 pound fresh chestnuts
• 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
• 1 pounds brussel sprouts cut in half
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/4 cup hot water
• 1 cube Not-Chick’n bouillon
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a line across each chestnut and roast for 15 minutes.
2. Melt Earth Balance in a frying pan and add brussel sprouts cooking until almost tender
3. While the brussel sprouts are cooking, peel and chop the chestnuts into large chunks.
4. Add the chestnuts to the brussel sprouts and cook until the brussel sprouts are tender
5. In a small bowl mix the balsamic vinegar, sugar, water, and bouillon cube until the cube has melted.
6. Add mixture to the chestnuts and brussel sprouts.
7. Cook until the liquid has turned to thick syrup and the brussel sprouts are browned.