Top Picks for Quick Vegan Holiday Meal Prep Featuring Products From the Plant Based World Expo Fall 2022
by Karin Olsen / Plant Powered Productions Dinner in under an hour? No problem. The following products are delicious time-savers I discovered at the Plant…
by Karin Olsen / Plant Powered Productions
Dinner in under an hour? No problem. The following products are delicious time-savers I discovered at the Plant Based World Expo in NY last fall.
The holidays can be a challenging time for vegans, from answering questions from family members to making a meal out of sides. Fortunately, there are many products on the market now that can make your holiday meals delicious and nutritious without compromising on your values.
Whether you’re vegan or cooking for one this holiday season, the following products are sure to delight everyone, all while helping your holiday meal prep go by in a flash.
Pure Vegan Pantry Dairy Free Cheddar Cheese Sauce + Three Trees Original Almondmilk
Vegan cheese sauce in minutes! I paired Pure Vegan Pantry Dairy Free Cheddar Cheeze Sauce Mix with Three Trees Original Almondmilk, and the results exceeded my ingredient, taste, and speed criteria.
Pure Vegan Pantry’s Dairy Free Cheddar Cheeze Sauce Mix could not be faster or tastier. The cheeze mix is nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. The ingredients are nutritional yeast, organic tomato, potato flour, tapioca starch, sea salt, organic cane sugar, and organic veggies and spices – carrot, garlic, onion, turmeric, and paprika. Eating cheezy foods always makes me happy, but it’s not all in my head. The nutritional yeast also ensures a healthy dose of the happy vitamin Bs – B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12.
To prepare, simply mix one packet with two cups of unsweetened dairy-free milk (Three Trees Original Almondmilk is one of my favorites – see below) and one tablespoon of dairy-free butter (I used Miyoko’s European Style Cultured Vegan Butter – it’s one of the best I’ve found!).
I’ve made my versions of vegan cheeze sauces, but Pure Vegan Pantry tastes just as rich as the seasoning mixtures I’ve concocted without all the effort. The company offers 12 products to make sauces, soups, dips, salad mixes, and plant-based crumble and meatless chick’n. I’m looking forward to checking them all out!
The simple ingredient list also stands for Three Trees Original Almondmilk – you can’t get simpler than filtered water and 100 percent sustainably grown organic and non-GMO almonds. Three Trees almond milk truly tastes homemade but doesn’t require the effort or make the mess I do when making my own. (You can see my somewhat comical almond milk video here – think Lucy in the kitchen.)
The Three Trees lineup includes four other organic plant-based milks — Vanilla Bean Almondmilk, Pistachio Nutmilk, Black Sesame Almondmilk, and Oatmilk with Seeds. All are made with organic nuts and seeds to create deliciously simple milks rich in healthy fats, plant-based protein, and micronutrients such as vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.
Another easy and delicious find is Broth Bomb. A fizzy one-use seasoning blend shaped like a ball, Broth Bomb simplifies cooking and refines the taste and textures of plant foods, giving beans a “meatier” texture and lending a slow-cooker quality to such dishes as soups, stews, chilis, and curries in under an hour.
Available in 14 spice and herb blends, each Broth Bomb comes with easy, no-chop recipes suggesting canned and frozen foods to reduce prep time, and all are gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and vegan. Handcrafted and not to be confused with bouillon or stock, Broth Bomb is the first product of its kind, taking the well-known trick of using baking soda to soften beans to the next level by using food science in the recipe. It acts as a marinade infusing seasoning into the dish as it cooks. Broth Bomb’s uniquely modified baking powder also creates a bubbling fizzy reaction when dropped in while cooking.
Broth Bomb flavors include Scarborough Fair: A melody of familiar fragrant herbs (think pot pie and folk-rock Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme; Drops of Jupiter: Savory sage with a touch of sweetness and a punch of black pepper; Speckled Rain: A classic chili seasoned with mild peppers; and Drunken Dare: Vibrant basil doused in hot red pepper with a medium spice level.
You can check out my first videos using the product to make a “bubbly brew” for a Halloween party here and the Broth Bomb party drop here.
Strong Roots Spinach Bites
Strong Roots Spinach Bites are easily integrated into the main dish or an hors d’oeuvre. Each bite is filled with veggies and packs a nutritional punch: spinach, sunflower oil, potato flakes, crumb [carrot, potato, yeast], onion, water, cooked sunflower seeds, wheat flour, salt, dried vegetables [onion, tomato, garlic], and black pepper.
While the bites can be a stand-alone side dish, the company offers many serving ideas that add flavor and, of course, prep time, like garden veggie wraps, romaine cup tacos, and a fresh take on avocado toast.
In addition to the spinach bites, Strong Root’s other plant-based offerings include burgers and hash browns.
Upton’s Naturals Vegan Holiday Roast Slices in Gravy
If you have a meat-eater coming for dinner, I suggest you serve Upton’s Naturals Vegan Holiday Roast Slices in Gravy. I’m a big fan of Tofurky and Field Roast, as well as a few other delicious plant-based options, but Upton’s has it right when it comes to appealing to guests still craving traditional turkey and gravy. The flavor and texture reminded me of holiday dinners when I was a kid before I ever heard of being vegan or having a turkey-free Thanksgiving. Plus, the gravy tastes homemade.
The Vegan Holiday Roast Slice’s ingredients include water, vital wheat gluten, soy sauce, chickpea flour, tapioca, nutritional yeast, whole wheat flour, canola oil, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, plus spices.
There’s enough for two to enjoy holiday roast dinners and have leftovers for a couple of sandwiches, not that we had leftovers! Prep is quick – five to 25 minutes. I heated a few pieces of thawed roast on the stove, and it was ready in five minutes. You can bake it frozen if you have 25 minutes to prepare. This really is a quick, easy way to enjoy a delicious vegan holiday roast.
Want to see all of these products in action? I’ll be sharing videos for each on my Plant Powered Productions social channels – follow along on Instagram and Facebook. I hope to see you there!
About the Author
Vegan for 10 years and vegetarian for many years before, Karin Olsen is passionate about living and sharing the plant-based lifestyle. Born in Dallas and raised in Tulsa, she grew up in cattle country, knowing from a young age that she didn’t like eating meat and didn’t understand why some animals were considered pets and others food.
Karin believes food is medicine and has a passion for helping people heal themselves through plants-not-pills. She recently earned the T. Colin Campbell Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate and is a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Karin has also practiced Bikram Yoga for more than 30 years and is a certified instructor.
After many years of working in PR and marketing in Los Angeles and New York, she moved to Dallas where she launched Plant Power Productions. She recently relocated to Phoenix. The company offers consulting services in PR, marketing, communications, content creation, business development and sales. She has a special interest in projects focused on whole-food/plant-based/vegan lifestyle, holistic health and healing, sustainable living, and animal welfare.
She enjoys working with VEGWORLD Magazine and encourages readers to check out her vegan product reviews.
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