Delicious non-starchy vegetable sides, easily scaled up for many people
December 22, 2014 1:43 PM   Subscribe

My mom just called; I'm suddenly in charge of two vegetable sides for her Christmas dinner tomorrow, which will have 30 attendees. What should I make? Both dishes need to be vegetarian and I'd like one of the two to be vegan. She has the potato/starch end of things covered.

Many involved have an upsetting and unjustified anti-brussels sprouts stance, but besides that and the vegetarian requirement everything is fair game.
posted by charmedimsure to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
In case you missed it, this question from earlier today has quite a few options.
posted by brainmouse at 1:44 PM on December 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Baked/roasted winter squash? The inevitable green bean casserole?
posted by dilettante at 1:45 PM on December 22, 2014

Put asparagus stalks on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil on tips and stems (not much) and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 until roasted.

While baking, soak about 1 tsp of red pepper flakes in a 1/4 cup of tamari sauce. When roasting is done, you can drizzle a drop or two of spicy tamari sauce on the roasted asparagus tips. (Or more, if you want more rich umami flavor or spice.)
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:48 PM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I saw a thing on the Chew today with carrots, quinoa, maple syrup, just skip the goat cheese.

Roasting veggies is nice, Broccoli tossed in olive oil with salt and pepper.

Tzimmes is yummy and while it's a traditional Passover dish, it will be AMAZE-BALLS with Ham.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:51 PM on December 22, 2014

Sweet potatoes or yams go very well with cinnamon and nutmeg. You can either bake them and add butter, brown sugar and spices or make thick slices and fry them in butter or coconut oil and add spices, sugar optional. A little brown sugar is nice, but it doesn't need to be super sweet. If you fry in coconut oil instead of butter, that should satisfy your vegan crowd. Coconut oil tends to be a little on the sweet side, so you may need less sugar (or no sugar) if you go that route. And it smells very Christmas-y.
posted by Michele in California at 1:55 PM on December 22, 2014

Response by poster: Ugh, did in fact totally miss the earlier question.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:55 PM on December 22, 2014

Darn it, Brussels are exactly what I was going to suggest. :)

Greek salad scales up easily as long as you don't mind peeling the cucumbers and doing a lot of chopping (put on some music, it's therapeutic this time of year) and veganizes easily if you leave out the cheese. If you have a Costco membership, their cukes and cherry tomatoes are relatively cheap and good quality for this time of year.

Some kind of slaw, maybe? I love roasted vegetables, but this time of year, something raw is really nice to break up the heaviness of holiday meals. I haven't tried them all, but Smitten kitchen has a ton of slaw recipes. So does Simply Recipes, and I've never gone wrong with any of her recipes. (If you go the roasted vegetable route, I recommend her Braised Pearl Onions, which are AMAZING, but I don't know how that would scale cost wise to 30 people unless you have a source for super cheap pearl onions.)
posted by joycehealy at 1:58 PM on December 22, 2014

Best answer: Can't beat roasted broccoli. You could do the same thing with cauliflower. Skip the parmesan to keep it vegan. This cream corn recipe is also to-die-for, our family loved it at T.Giving. Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots are a classic and I've never known anyone to turn them down. Use margarine or coconut oil instead of butter to keep it vegan.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 2:15 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Creamed spinach might do well as vegetarian-not-vegan. Sautee onion and garlic in butter, add spinach, cream cheese, and milk, simmer, add parmesan cheese, serve. Proportions are really just done to taste, and it's hard to mess up.
posted by MeghanC at 2:45 PM on December 22, 2014

Roast cauliflower. Meanwhile, sautée golden raisins, capers, anchovy paste, olive oil, white wine, and Italian parsley for a few minutes. Breadcrumbs are optional in that sautée. Toss the sautéed stuff with the cauliflower and serve immediately or at room temp.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:47 PM on December 22, 2014

Our Christmas celebrations range from 20-30 people, and I'm often in charge of the green sides. (It keeps me out of family arguments and assures they're vegan.)

Yes on the roast vegetables. Broccoli is cheap and most people like it. Asparagus, cauliflower, whatever looks good and is cheap.

The other thing I that blows people minds is stir-fried shredded Brussels sprouts. I use a food processor to finely slice them and then cook 'em in a wok with olvie oil and salt, making sure to let them get golden brown. People lose their minds for it, and it's really not a secret.
posted by kendrak at 3:54 PM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Kale citrus salad - skip the goat cheese and use canned coconut milk instead of sour cream in the dressing to veganize. (Add pomegranate pips or fresh currants for additional color and pop.)
posted by Lyn Never at 3:59 PM on December 22, 2014

Substitute in olive oil, and these garlic butter roasted mushrooms become vegan.
posted by evoque at 4:49 PM on December 22, 2014

Carrots and parsnips, cut them up.
stir together: brown sugar, some cayenne pepper, water. Should be kinda thick, syrupy. Pour over carrots and parsnips, bake at 350 for a while, then 400/450 for a few minutes.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:34 PM on December 22, 2014

Best answer: Yes to the roasted broccoli recipe posted above. So good. To make it vegan, just leave off the parmesan, but I would bring some in a container for those that fear naked broccoli because they only stuff they've ever had is the nasty frozen-with-cheese-goop kind.

Once they taste it, they will be fine, but lots of people have had Bad Broccoli Experiences and will need encouragement.
posted by emjaybee at 6:11 PM on December 22, 2014

Best answer: Shredded brussels sprouts are a bit less expected than roasted ones, a bit less oily, and easy to scale. If you want the really quick version, just buy the pre-shredded bags at Trader Joe's, and no one will know.
posted by equipoise at 9:56 PM on December 22, 2014

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