Cooking up Xmas

Cooking up Xmas

Serve up some hearty holiday helpings at home


Oh, come all ye hungry (Photo by Mike Kanert)

The holidays are a time for friends and family to gather ‘round a dinner table and enjoy one another’s company over good food. Make this year’s menu one that’s just as memorable as the company with these hearty dishes that cater to both vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Ginger Carrot Potage

Ginger Carrot Potage
Ginger Carrot Potage
(Photo by Mike Kanert)

Start to finish: 35 min
Servings: 4

  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 celery, chopped
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of soy or whole milk
  • 1 consommé cube
  • 2 pinches of white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 pinch of black pepper


  1. In a medium pot, combine carrots, onion, celery, consommé cube, ginger and water. Heat on medium and boil for 15 min.
  2. Using a hand blender, puree mixture.
  3. Add soy milk, white pepper and salt to mixture. Heat on low for 10 min.
  4. Serve with garnish.

Stove Top Tofu Biscuits

Stovetop Tofu Biscuits
Stove Top Tofu Biscuits
(Photo by Mike Kanert)

Start to finish: 20 min
Servings: 4 biscuits

  • 200g of flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 3 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 80g of silken tofu


  1. In a plastic bag, combine flour, salt, sugar and baking powder and shake well.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cooking oil and tofu and mix well with a whisk. Add in the flour mixture. Mix quickly to combine and spread onto a cutting board covered in plastic wrap.
  3. Divide into 4 pieces.
  4. Place the pieces onto a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on medium for 1 min.
  5. On a heated pan, transfer the pieces and cook them on low heat for 3 min on each side (or until brown).

Okara Rum Balls

Okara Rum Balls
Okara Rum Balls
(Photo by Mike Kanert)

Start to finish: 1 h 10 min
Servings: 8 balls

  • 2/3 cup of graham cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of raw okra
  • 2 tbsp of chopped rum raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp of rum
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 40g of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder, powdered sugar or green tea powder to dust (optional)


  1. Microwave raw okra without a lid for 1 min on high. Let dry and cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine the okra, graham cookie crumbs, cream cheese, rum and rum raisins. With a spoon, mix well.
  3. Make small balls. If too sticky, let cool in fridge for 15 min until dry enough to shape.
  4. In fridge, let rest and cool between 1 h and overnight. Optionally, dust with powder before serving.

Okara Tofu Meatless Loaf

Okara Tofu Meatless Load
Okara Tofu Meatless Loaf
(Photo by Mike Kanert)

Start to finish: 1 h
Servings: 1 loaf

  • 200g of firm (momen) tofu
  • 100g of raw okra
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of bread, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp of agar (kanten) powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 pinches of black pepper
  • 2 pinches of dried thyme
  • 2 pinches of dried oregano
  • 1/4 red paprika
  • 6 green beans

For sauce:

  • 50ml of heavy cream
  • 50ml of milk
  • 2 tbsp each of ketchup, oyster sauce (you can skip this ingredient if you want to keep the recipe completely vegetarian) and Worcestershire sauce.


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for red paprika and green beans. Hand knead until the mixture turns into sticky dough.
  2. Chop red paprika and green beans.
  3. On top of plastic wrap, spread dough mixture into a rectangular shape. Place the paprika and green beans onto the middle of the dough and roll into a loaf shape. Tightly close at both ends.
  4. Microwave the loaf for 3 min on medium. Let stand for 5 min.
  5. Repeat the microwave process 2 more times. Let cool for at least 20 min.
  6. In a small pan, add all the ingredients for the sauce and heat on low until boiling. Let boil for 20 sec and turn off heat.
  7. Slice the loaf and serve with sauce on the side.


(Photo by Mike Kanert)

Start to finish: 1 h 30 min
Servings: 4

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 5-6 sausages
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 2/3 cup of green beans or green peas
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 consommé cubes
  • 1 rosemary branch
  • 1 pinch of dried basil, dried oregano, dried dill and dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 2 pinches of black pepper
  • 4 slices of lemon


  1. Place the chicken in a plastic bag with olive oil, rosemary, dried herbs, sliced garlic, lemon slices, salt and pepper. Massage meat with ingredients in the bag. Place bag in a space at room temperature for 30 min.
  2. Heat up a heavy pot and cook chicken (skin first) until golden brown for 8 min with the remaining herbs from bag. Cook the other side of chicken for 5 min with the sausage and bacon slices on medium heat. Take the meat off the pan once cooked and place on a plate.
  3. Finely chop the tomato, onion and carrot. Thinly slice the sausages and bacon.
  4. Place the canned tomatoes, consommé cubes, chopped tomatoes, onion, carrot, sausages and bacon into the pot. Let mixture simmer for 20 min.
  5. Return chicken to pot. Cook on medium to low heat without the lid for 15 min. Add green peas and cook for 10 min more with lid on.