How to Host a Successful Holiday Dinner

Sharing holiday tips that will alleviate the stress and give you healthy subs. I’m also sharing with you, my Thanksgiving plant-based menu!

The holidays can be a stressful and challenging time when traveling or welcoming guests into your home, especially if you have a big family and large circle of friends.  Even more so, when planning your holiday meals. Not everyone is going to eat the same foods or have the same preferences. And, some are on a completely different dietary plan.

So what do you do?  

Here are some ideas you may find helpful: 

  1. Turn your holiday dinner into a potluck. This works great for medium to large families and friends.  You can request that everyone, by individual or by family, bring their preferred dish. This way everyone brings something they enjoy to the table. Just be sure to break down the category of meals people bring by appetizers, entrée’s, and desserts for example, so that there is a variety of food for each course. It’s a perfect solution for holiday dinner success!
  2. Note your guest’s dinner preferences. This works fine for a family of 4 or less and even then, your guests can still bring a dish of choice. Once you know what dietary preferences or restrictions your guests have, you can start gathering up recipes and get your dinner plan underway!

Whatever the family size, there is always a way to appease everyone’s desires and it really doesn’t have to be that complicated. The holidays should not be a stressful time, they are intended to be shared with family and friends in good cheer, love, and laughter. Turn them into wonderful memories you will want to look back on and share in future holiday gatherings to come.

The key is to compromise.  I don’t mean compromise your values or dietary preferences, but make it work for all parties involved by meeting each other in the middle.  

There’s no doubt that being raw vegan is challenging because not everyone eats raw, except for me, so what I end up doing is using alternative options and adding cooked plant-based options to the menu versus making it all raw. 

Below are some examples for ingredient substitutions: 

  • opting for vegan butter versus regular butter
  • opting for plant-based vegan mayo, cream cheese and sour cream
  • using an egg alternative versus actual eggs – this could be using flaxseed (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water = one egg) or in this years dinner I gave Bob Red Mills Egg Replacer a try and it worked out perfectly!👌🏼
  • opting for coconut sugar versus sugar
  • opting for oat or buckwheat flour versus all purpose flour
  • using coconut oil versus vegetable oil
  • opting for nut milk versus dairy. I made homemade unsweetened almond milk for this year’s dinner recipes and you couldn’t even tell the difference!

These days you can find just about any ingredient to substitute when it comes to making your favorite dishes plant-based style without having to give up what you love.

My Thanksgiving dinner menu

  • Baked brussel sprouts with a coconut nectar glaze
  • Green bean casserole with cream of mushroom made from scratch
  • Cauliflower mash
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Raw kale salad
  • Pumpkin Harvest Apple Bread

My mom made a raw carrot and raisin salad and corn while my dad made his turkey. (I was not happy about this one!) 

As you can see, I still made the typical Thanksgiving staples but instead of using unhealthy ingredients, I used healthier plant-based options. 

I’m happy to say that our Thanksgiving dinner was a big hit. Everyone loved the dishes I made and they couldn’t even tell the difference! (Yay! 👏🏼☺️)

It wasn’t all raw, but that was a part of my compromise.  However, as I always stress, be sure that the largest portion on your plate is raw.

So you see, compromising doesn’t have to be extreme and is most certainly doable within reason. You too can make your holiday gatherings a success by just simply noting and taking into consideration your guests dietary preferences as well as your own, for a holiday meal you can all enjoy!

If you want the recipe to any of the dishes listed, let me know by commenting below and I will post it to the blog.

Watch my Thanksgiving video VLOG from two years ago in NY here

Happy holiday hosting! xo

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