Plant-Based Entrées for the Holiday Season

Celebrating traditional holidays with a plant-based dinner is getting easier all the time.  Here are three of my favourite recipes I know you and your guests will love!   Give one of these  delicious, hearty, seasonal entrées a try and let me know how it goes.  A special shout-out to my Mom, who has tweaked these recipes to make them a perfect addition to a low fat, whole food, plant-based holiday meal. Enjoy!

much love,


Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 cup cashews

4 cloves garlic

1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)

1 can lentils, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish

6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed

1 tomato, sliced in thin rounds

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sauté onions and cashewsin a little veggie broth, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned.  Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.

In large bowl, combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme.  Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place portobello mushrooms top side down on a non-stick baking pan.  Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup of lentil cashew stuffing, then press a tomato slice on top of the stuffing.

(options:  Drizzle a small amount of veggie broth onto baking pan to keep the mushroom caps from drying out.  Alternatively, brush a small amount of oil on cap to prevent sticking.  Avocado oil is the best choice if you will be using oil.)

Bake for 30 minutes or until stuffing is browned and mushroom starts to release juices.  Garnish with extra thyme.

serves 6


Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms and Rice

2 acorn squash, halved, seeded

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons water, vegetable broth or white wine, divided

1/2 lb Cremini or white button mushrooms, trimmed and diced small

1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup brown or white rice

2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup bread crumbs combined with 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  On rimmed baking sheet, season  cut sides of squash with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon water, broth or wine, and turn cut sides down.  Cover sheet tightly with foil and roast until tender, about 35 minutes.

In a medium skillet, sauté mushrooms, onion and thyme in veggie broth, water or white wine over medium-high. Season with salt and pepper.  Sauté until mushrooms are golden, about 8 minutes.  Add rice and water/broth/wine and bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Remove squash from oven and heat broiler.  Carefully scoop out 2-3 tablespoon flesh from each squash half and stir into rice mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Divide rice mixture among halves, sprinkle with bread crumb/nutritional yeast mixture and broil until crumbs are golden, about 2 minutes.


Lentil Shepard’s Pie

(4 – 6 servings)
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic minced
8 oz. (250g) sliced mushrooms
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried marjoram
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt (divided)
2 tbsp. flour
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce (vegan)
1 cup dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and sorted for debris
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled, cut and boiled, or micro waved in a bowl covered with water, until tender
¾ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
2 tbsp. dried bread crumbs
¼ tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 425. F.

In a heavy dry pan sauté onions, carrots and celery over medium heat until vegetables begin to soften. If ingredients begin to stick, add water, ¼ cup at a time. Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme, marjoram and pepper and sauté until mushrooms are golden and liquid is absorbed.
Sprinkle vegetables with flour. Stir in broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire Sauce and lentils and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Add ½ tsp. salt.
Place lentil mixture in a shallow 12″x 8″ (2.5 L) casserole dish.
Mash potatoes, mash in almond milk, ½ tsp. salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon over lentil mixture.
In a small bowl combine bread crumbs and paprika and sprinkle over top of Shepherd’s Pie.
Bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.