One of the best things about my family are all the vegan and vegan-friendly folks. My parents are both vegan, and my aunt, uncle and best friend are most of the time. This means there is no lack of good food at the holidays. I mean, just look at this plate:
Tangy vegan potato salad, supremely savory (and crunch from the almonds) brussel sprouts, and the most wonderful lasagna you ever ate made up my holiday meal this year. And seriously, that lasagna that my aunt slaved all day for was amazing. There was homemade vegan cheese and tomato sauce, grilled eggplant and mushroom, and pasta that she drove to Philly to get because fresh pasta without egg just ain't the easy to come by. So worth it though because everything was melt in your mouth good.
In addition to those items there was also vegan stuffed cabbage and vegan chicken paprikash, both of which were also fantastic. And that was before dessert:
On the left you have my mom's creation in the first stages of being made. She took dates, dried pineapple and cashews, threw them in the vitamix with some warm water to reconstitute, and then formed the mix into balls to set up. Once the magic happened, she dunked them all in melted vegan chocolate, sprinkled on some coconut and put them the fridge. They were so yummy. On the right, my vegan-friendly pal Gigi made some adventurous cookies. Adventurous for her because they were her first foray into vegan baking, and adventurous for us because they were chocolate raspberry chipotle cookies. The picture doesn't do them justice at all as they were delicious. I loved the way the sweetness gave way to the heat of the pepper. Kudos Gigi!
On the much more labor intensive side of things, my aunt (of lasagna fame) also make a freakin' ethereal chocolate cream pie. So rich and sweet and yummy it would blow your mind. The kicker is that she also makes her own whipped coconut cream to top it with. I somehow managed to not get a picture, but I assure you it was phenomenal.
How lucky am I to have a family with whom celebrating the holidays isn't a chore... or a time when I get stuck eating the sides or only what I make?! I know it's that way for a lot of vegans out there so I count my blessings every year. Thanks for another great Christmas, fam!
Next up: A break in the holiday action to talk about a new SF joint that recently won me over.