A Vegan, a Vegetarian and a Butcher: The Vegan Holiday App Taste Test

Hovering over a holiday buffet is a common tradition that brings friends families and dietary needs together. Vegans and vegetarians often are confined to side dishes and hors d’oeuvres to sustain themselves throughout the holiday gatherings. Putting together interesting, delicious, and hearty vegan-friendly appetizers can be simple and enjoyable for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. Here are three recipes to try at any gathering, tested by three Lakewinds employees of varying dietary preferences.

The Panel :

The Vegan:

Jared ( Richfield Produce Manager )

Been a Vegan for:
18 years

What is a traditional holiday dish you typically miss out on?
Turkey/ stuffing / gravy

Do you consume many meat/dairy alternatives? Any favorites?
Field Roast meat alternatives, Earth Balance Vegan Butter , Almond milk


The Vegetarian :

Jacqui ( Graphic Designer )

Been a Vegetarian for:
8 years

What is a traditional holiday dish you typically miss out on?

Do you consume many meat alternatives? Any favorites?
Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan / Flax Milk


The Omnivorous Butcher:

Ben ( Meat & Seafood Buyer )

Been a butcher and omnivore for:
22 years

What is a traditional holiday meat dish you could give up?
Turkey. It’s everywhere. 

What is your favorite vegetable?


Fried Plantains with Uncle Simon’s Picante 

¼ cup Avocado oil

2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Butter Spread

2 Plantains, sliced diagonally

Uncle Simon’s Colombian Picante Sauce in Medium

Add the oil and vegan butter to a pan on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add in the plantains to the pan in one layer. Flip the plantains once they have browned and crisped up. Once both sides are crispy and golden, remove from pan, and place plantains on a paper towel to blot. Plate the plantains and spoon 1 tsp. picante sauce onto slices. Serve and enjoy.


The Vegan : 10/10

Out of sight!

The Vegetarian : 9/10

Baller. Great texture & flavor. 

The Butcher : 5/10

Lots of flavor and bite. Wouldn’t make them myself.



Vegan Cheese Plate

– Punk Rawk Labs Cashew of the Woods Nutmilk Cheese

– Punk Rawk Labs Shishito Gold Mustard

– La Panzenella Original Croccantini Crackers

A new cashew-milk cheese alternative with mushrooms, truffles, celeriac, and white pepper. Punk Rawk Labs is a Minneapolis company featuring local peppers in their new Shishito Gold Mustard. Arrange on a plate and serve.


The Vegan : 8/10

Not a big fan of Dijon. Without the mustard it would be a 10.

The Vegetarian : 7 / 10

Big fan of the mustard. Nice cheese texture.

The Butcher : 6/10

Overpowering horseradish flavor in Mustard. Cheese is bland, but the texture is okay. Crackers aren’t bad.



Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Coconut Date Rolls

16 Medjool dates

8 tsp Almond butter

1 cup Dark chocolate chips

1 tbsp Coconut oil

1 ¼ finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

Melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl either on the stovetop or microwave. Set aside. Pit the dates and smear ½ tsp. of almond butter in the center, and roll the date into a ball so the almond butter is contained in the center. Dip the dates in the melted chocolate until fully covered, and add directly to separate bowl of coconut flakes to be coated. Date rolls can be immediately enjoyed, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.


The Vegan : 10/ 10

Awesome. ( Ate 3 )

The Vegetarian : 7/ 10

Would like to try one with a sea salt coating rather than coconut.

The Butcher : 6/ 10

Not a fan of coconut or dates, but they are pretty decent considering those are half of the ingredients.