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Arts & Life


Happy Holiday Recipes from the Jazzy Vegetarian

Laura Theodore, host of "Jazzy Vegetarian"

Laura Theodore, host of “Jazzy Vegetarian”

Joe Orecchio

Laura Theodore is the host of Jazzy Vegetarian, which airs Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. on OPB TV.

‘Tis the season to eat jolly!

Every year I reminisce about my childhood, when my mother and grandmother served delightfully delicious meals and sinfully scrumptious treats at holiday time. As an adult, I still crave these traditional dishes, so creating vegan versions of these beloved classics has become a pleasure.

If you, like so many Americans, are serving vegetarians and omnivores alike this December, here are some of my newest favorite holiday recipes to savor, serve and share throughout this merry season.

Happy, Healthy Holidays!

Jazzy Vegetarian Happy Holiday Recipes

- Cashew and Quinoa Loaf
- Asparagus with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
- Paprika and Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes
- Creamy Broccoli Soup
- Lovely Lemon Cake 

Cashew and Quinoa Loaf

Andy Ebberbach

I love to serve this loaf for a holiday meal. It is so festive and colorful … but best of all, it is jazzylicious!

Ingredients (Makes 5 to 6 servings)


  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup (packed) sprouted whole grain breadcrumbs (about 2 slices)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (see note)
  • 4 tablespoons wheat germ, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk, plus more as needed
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  •  Fresh pepper


  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced sweet red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper, allowing a 2- to 3-inch overhang on each side of the pan.

Place the cashews in a blender or food processor and process until they become coarse crumbs.

To make the loaf, stir together the cashews, breadcrumbs, quinoa and wheat germ in a medium bowl until combined.

Place the onion, olive oil, tamari and vegetable broth into a medium sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. Add the onion mixture to the cashew mixture and stir together until combined.

Place the almond milk, lemon zest, marjoram, salt and pepper into a medium bowl and stir together until combined. Stir the almond milk mixture into the cashew mixture. If the cashew mixture seems dry, add more almond milk one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is slightly wet, but holds together easily. Or, if the cashew mixture seems too wet, add more wheat germ one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together. Set the cashew mixture aside.

For the filling, place the onion, sweet pepper, olive oil and broth into a medium sauté pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and place in a medium bowl. Cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the optional vegan cheese.

Firmly press half of the cashew mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Top with the filling. Using a rubber spatula, spread the filling over the cashew mixture in an even layer. Top with the remaining cashew mixture, spreading it into an even layer with a rubber spatula.

Fold the excess parchment paper over the top of the loaf and press down. This will keep the loaf moist while baking. Press down again to make the loaf more compact. This will help the loaf to hold together.

Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and peel back the parchment paper that is covering the top of the loaf. Place the loaf back in the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the loaf is slightly golden in color, firm to the touch and heated through. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

Turn the loaf onto a serving platter and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Cut the loaf into very thick slices, using a serrated bread knife and wiping the knife clean after cutting each slice.

Serve warm. Refrigerate any leftover loaf. This loaf makes great sandwiches the next day!

NOTE: To cook quinoa: Thoroughly rinse ½ cup quinoa under cold running water. Place in saucepan with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 17 minutes.

Asparagus with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

Peter Capozzi

Asparagus is an elegant vegetable that is ideal to serve at any holiday gathering. Paired with rich tasting vegan “hollandaise” sauce, it makes the perfect side dish.

My grandmother often served asparagus with a rich hollandaise sauce that I loved as a child, so I came up with this easy-to-prepare vegan version that tastes delicious and is low in fat, too!

Ingredients (Makes 4 to 6 servings)

  • 1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ block soft silken or regular tofu, well drained
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


Steam the asparagus for 4 to 6 minutes, or until just crisp tender.

Meanwhile, put the lemon juice, tofu, turmeric and sea salt in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter and pour the sauce over top. Serve immediately.

Paprika and Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

Peter Capozzi

Rosemary is an herb that my grandma often used when flavoring potatoes. Here I have jazzed it up a bit by adding paprika, giving a pop of holiday color to this festive side dish.

Ingredients (Makes 3 to 4 servings)

  • 6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a medium-large baking pan with unbleached parchment baking paper.

Put the potatoes, olive oil, paprika, rosemary, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper into a large bowl and toss until coated.

Put the potatoes on the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are soft to the touch and slightly golden.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Andy Ebberbach

This delicate, tummy-warming soup makes a lovely starter course for a formal holiday soirée.

Ingredients (Makes 3 to 4 servings)

  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups cold nondairy milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon organic tamari (to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground pepper


Steam the broccoli for about 7 minutes or until it is crisp tender.

Put the steamed broccoli, garlic, nondairy milk, tamari, salt, seasoning, cayenne and pepper into a blender and process on LOW until smooth, making sure to leave air space at the top of the blender to allow for steam to escape.

If the soup is too thick, add more nondairy milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, to achieve the desired consistency, pulsing or blending briefly after each addition.

Put the soup in a medium soup pot and cook until heated through, stirring often. Add more nondairy milk, if needed, if soup is too thick. Serve immediately in deep soup bowls with whole grain crackers or crusty bread on the side.

Lovely Lemon Cake

Andy Ebberbach

Ingredients (Makes 8 servings)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegan margarine, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) lemon zest
  • 1½ cup sweetened non-dairy milk
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting, optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch round or 8” x 8” square cake pan.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a large mixing bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the sugar and stir to combine.

Add the margarine, lemon juice, lemon zest and non-dairy milk. Stir until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Tent the top with foil for the last 10 to 15 minutes, if the cake is browning too quickly).

Put the pan on a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Turn upside down onto a pretty serving plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

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