Christmas with the Desjardins: A Vegan Menu Review for 2013

Hello blogging world!  I apologize; had I realized that the busyness of the Christmas-New Year season would pull me away from my blog for so long, I would have hung a sign!

I had been planning to post this menu BEFORE Christmas day but obviously I did not anticipate the enormous amount of work it would take to work full-time, host and plan a Christmas movie night for my son and several of his little friends (Saturday December 7th), then host and plan our friends Christmas party (Saturday December 14th) and then clean, pack, grocery shop and prepare food for our two 12-hour day drives to visit family in northern Ontario.  I guess I over-estimated my blogging super powers, hahaha.  Nonetheless, I thought I would go ahead and post our Christmas party menu if only to a) demonstrate that I actually was busy with a party, b) was trying new recipes to showcase on the blog and c) because you can still use these individual recipes for other yummy meals in the new year!  Oh, and d) because I want to!  🙂

I must say I was very pleased with how our Christmas party turned out both friend and food-wise.  All of our invited guests were able to come and we had a great time talking and eating together.  Sadly, I was so overcome with the sights and smells of the delicious food that I forgot to take photos until it was all half-demolished!  Bad for the blog but a very good review of the actual recipes below, lol.

So I have inserted “official” food pics where able and a few decimated food pics.  Our party was a potluck and I have indicated which dishes were supplied by guests.  Our guests were almost all omnivores with a couple of vegetarians and those who were gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (the desserts and rest of the menu are refined sugar-free with the possible exception of the store bought items and breads), so I did invite one guest to bring a meat dish – she brought a roast chicken but I have not included that in the menu description below because the menu is complete without it.  I know that there are many vegans who would not make that choice but our intent and desire is to invite people to explore and learn about how delicious and satisfying a whole-foods, plant-based diet can be without alienating and making them feel judged in the meantime.  For more about that topic, check out one of my earlier posts, The Versatile Vegan.

Meantime, here is the menu and links to the recipes.  May I wish you Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking in 2014!!

Christmas Theresa Peters - 2013    Christmas Bunch - 2013

Christmas with the Desjardins, 2013 Menu


*Cranberry-Orange Punch, garnished with frozen cranberries & fresh orange slicesChristmas Punch - 2013

Selection of Herbal Teas & Coffee

Selection of unsweetened natural juice boxes for the children


Vegetable Samosas (store bought time saver!)

Vegetable Spring Rolls (store bought time saver!)

Ranch flavored Cheeze Ball served with crispy homemade & store bought crackersChristmas Cheeze Ball - 2013


Jewel Salad (supplied by guest)

Jewel Salad

Mixed greens (supplied by guest)


Crusty Thick-slice Homemade Bread (supplied by guest)

Homemade Croissants (supplied by guest)

Mains & Sides

Maple Smoked Baked Beans (Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker – Robin Robertson)

Christmas Baked Beans - 2013

Whole Grain Stuffing with Caramelized Onions and PecansWhole Grain Stuffing with Caramelized Onions and Pecans

Maple Glazed Carrots

Honeyed Sweet Potatoes

Honeyed Sweet Potatos

*Dilled Peas & Walnuts (New Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book)

Christmas Peas & Carrots - 2013


Pumpkin Pie Brownie in a Crunchy Pecan Crust

Christmas Brownie Pie 2013

Tropical “Cheese” Cake (guest supplied)

Tropical Cheese Cake

Irresistible Chewy Trail Mix Cookies

Ground Rice Pudding Cups


Cranberry-Orange Punch

Mix equal parts chilled unsweetened cranberry juice (I found a cranberry juice that was sweetened with other natural juices), 100% orange juice and soda water.  Garnish with frozen cranberries and fresh orange slices.

Dilled Peas and Walnuts

This is an amazingly simple recipe that I could almost make with my eyes closed thanks to a friend who had an obsession with it and requested I bring it every time we went there for dinner (which was a lot until they moved away, boo.)

2 cups frozen peas, thawed

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tbsp. vegan margarine

1-1/2 tsps. snipped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp. dried dill

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

3 tbsps. broken walnuts or slivered almonds, toasted

Cook peas and onions, covered, in a small amount of boiling water; 3 to 4 minutes for frozen peas, 10 to 12 minutes for fresh peas.  Drain; return to saucepan.  Stir in margarine, dill, salt, and pepper; heat through.  Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.


About dosedependent

Hello! I'm passionate about my faith in Jesus Christ, eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet and living life with my family in northern Manitoba.
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