My make-ahead vegan holiday recipes plus handy tips! — Oh She Glows

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Before we dig into today’s juicy post, I want to share that, starting tomorrow (Nov. 23), the new Oh She Glows Boxed Set is 50% OFF! Whoa baby. The sale will continue until Tuesday, November 28th, so plenty of time to take advantage. Mine arrived last week, and I gotta say they’re b-e-a-utiful. A “glam shoot” soon followed, lol.

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Every morning while sipping my coffee, I respond to your questions and comments that have come in since the previous day. It’s one of my favourite relaxing morning rituals…right up until the kids realize “Mommy’s in the office!” and BUST THROUGH THE DOOR UNLEASHING TOTAL CHAOS. How do they always know? And how do I clean baby fingerprints off my camera lens? Anyway, I’ve been receiving a lot of holiday meal prep questions, and while I always try to troubleshoot your questions immediately, I’m often left needing some time to try out my ideas. So, this month my recipe tester Nicole and I have been busy tackling make-ahead versions of my most popular holiday recipes!

Last year, Eric and I hosted two big holiday meals while juggling a newborn and toddler (we didn’t want to travel so everyone came to us which was so nice), and looking back I REALLY could’ve used these tricks and tips then. I felt pretty frazzled. Oh well, I’m here today to help take some of the guesswork out of your preparations—from mains and sides to breakfast and dessert recipes too. Even if you walk away today with one new idea or trick up your sleeve I’ll consider it a holiday WIN. I realize this post is probably too late for American Thanksgiving tomorrow, but for those of you who cook holiday spreads in December like we do, I hope it’ll be helpful.

Oh and please feel free to share your tips and tricks because the more the merrier when it comes to simplifying this time of the year. Do you have a game plan? Are you being treated to a meal or are you hosting this year? Be sure to let me know if you have any lingering questions. I’ll try my best to help.

I’d like to wish my American readers a fun, safe, and delicious Thanksgiving! If you make any OSG recipes, please tag your photos with #ohsheglows and @ohsheglows. I’d love to see them! Cheers, friends.

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Make Ahead Mains & Sides

1. Butternut Squash Casserole
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free option
Prepare up to 2 days in advance
Prepare entire casserole (do not bake it yet). Wrap the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove casserole from fridge and unwrap, setting it aside while the oven preheats. Bake as directed.

2. Thanksgiving Panzanella
Vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
Prepare up to 2 days in advance
Follow recipe directions which include detailed make-ahead instructions.

3. Shepherd’s Pie
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free option, grain-free option
Prepare 1 day in advance
Recipe found in Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 167
Prepare entire casserole as directed, but do not bake. Wrap the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge one day before you intend to serve it. Day-of, remove wrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed.

4. Sweet Potato Casserole with a Crunchy Nut Crumble
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
Prepare up to 3 days in advance
Prepare entire casserole (do not bake it yet). Wrap up the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge for up to three days. Remove wrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed.

5. On The Mend Spiced Lentil and Kale Soup
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free
Cook up to a month in advance
Also found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 131
Cook the soup as directed. Pour into freezer-safe containers leaving an inch for expansion. Cool the soup, secure lid, and freeze up to one month before serving. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature and transfer to a pot. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.

6. Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry-Pear Sauce (updated recipe!)
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
Prepare cranberry sauce 1 to 2 weeks in advance; lentil balls 1 to 2 days before serving
Cranberry-Pear Sauce: Cook the cranberry sauce as directed. Cool and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze one to two 1 to 2 weeks before. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls: Prepare the lentil balls (do not bake yet), and place the unbaked balls on a plate. Wrap the plate and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. Remove wrap and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake as directed.

7. Ultimate Lentil-Walnut Loaf
Vegan, soy-free
Prepare 2 to 3 days in advance
Prepare the loaf as directed (do not bake yet). Cover the loaf pan with wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Uncover, sit pan on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed (you’ll likely need closer to 60 minutes since it’s baking straight from the fridge).

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Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes

1. Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan
Prepare Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting 3 to 5 days in advance; cinnamon rolls up to 18 hours before serving
For the frosting: Prepare frosting as directed and place in an airtight container before refrigerating 3 to 5 days in advance.
For the rolls: Simply follow the recipe until you complete the second rise. Place the wrapped dish in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the dish from the fridge, flick on your oven light, and let the rolls sit in the unheated oven with the light on for about 20 minutes. After that, remove the dish from the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Remove the plastic wrap and bake as directed.

2. Vegan Banana Bread
Vegan, nut-free option, refined sugar-free, soy-free
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Prepare and bake the loaf as directed. Cool it on a cooling rack, and then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of tinfoil. Alternatively, place the cooled loaf into a large freezer bag with the air sucked out. Freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

3. Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free
Up to 24 hours in advance
Prepare the oatmeal (do not bake yet), wrap up the dish, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. In the morning, unwrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (make-ahead option below).

4. Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free
Up to 24 hours in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 39
Prepare the oatmeal (do not bake yet), wrap the dish, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. In the morning, unwrap and set dish on the counter while the oven preheats. Bake as directed. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (make-ahead option below).

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Make-Ahead Dessert Recipes

1. Chilled Chocolate-Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust
Vegan, gluten-free
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 241
Prepare the torte as directed (hold off on the Coconut Whipped Cream until serving). Freeze as directed, 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream.

2. Raw Pumpkin Pie with Baked Oat Crust
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free option
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 247
Prepare the entire pie as directed. Freeze as directed, 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream.
Tip: for a nut-free version, make my Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts with a Sunflower Cookie Crust.

3. Coconut Whipped Cream
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
Prepare 1 to 2 weeks (if freezing) or 2 days (if refrigerating) in advance
Freezing: Prepare the coconut whipped cream as directed. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and press out the air. Seal the bag and freeze for 1 to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and whip with a whisk before using, if needed.
Refrigerating: Prepare the coconut whipped cream as directed. Transfer to a dish and cover. Refrigerate for up to a couple days before using. Whip with a whisk before using, if needed.

4. Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies
Vegan, nut-free, soy-free option
Prepare 1 week in advance
Found in Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 219, similar here
Make the dough. Shape balls of dough and roll in turbinado sugar. Place unbaked balls into a freezer-safe bag, seal, and freeze. If baking balls from frozen, add an extra 3 to 4 minutes to baking time. Or you can thaw the balls at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes day-of and bake as directed.

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