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5 Vegetarian Items To Have On Hand For The Holidays

Here's a list of ingredients everyone should have nearby - plus dishes to make with them! Take care of all your guests, even those pesky vegetarians. No one wants to be unprepared for the holidays, so get a turkey leg up on the crowd!

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Cool people have stock options.

Vegetables for vegetarians? Makes sense.

Be careful, though. You may not be aware of the ingredients of some pre-made dishes, however. Most common box varieties of stuffing include chicken stock or other chicken by-products in the ingredients list; even though you may not add any meat to your stuffing, it's not vegetarian and could affect your guests.

If your stuffing recipe doesn't include meat but does call for chicken stock, just use vegetable stock instead.

What to Buy:

- Carrots

- Onions

- Mushrooms

- Celery

- Sweet potatoes

- Potatoes

What to Make:

Vegan Stuffing

Level 5 Awesome Vegan Stuffing

Three Bean Salad with Quinoa

Winter Root Soup

7 tips for full-flavoured vegetable stock

Heed the herb.

Many dishes during the holidays call for the same herbs. But it's not because chefs are lazy like we are! Some herbs are just more savory and home-cooked-y than others which is why we see them during this season, vegetarian dishes aside.

If you've never bought fresh herbs before, now is the time! Keeping dried herbs in your pantry is okay, but you'll actually use the fresh herbs you buy. (Check out BuzzFeed Food's 27 Ways To Make Your Groceries Last As Long As Possible for plenty of money-and-food-saving tips.)

What to Buy:

- Sage

- Rosemary

- Thyme

What to Make:

Quick Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter

Tofu Skin Roulade with Sage Mushroom Stuffing (It's like a make-your-own Tofurky, even though it sounds scarier.)

Rosemary-Roasted Winter Root Vegetables

Vegetarian Mushroom Thyme Gravy (Even vegetarians need gravy!)

Haters gonna hate, Tofurky gonna tofurk.

It seems like a lot of non-vegetarians are afraid of what proteins vegetarians eat. Don't even worry about it. Vegetarian proteins are simple and just as yummy as meaty things. (Well, you at least won't miss the meat too much.)

If you're the host, ask your vegetarian guests beforehand about what level of vegetarian-"ism" they adhere to; some could be strict vegans, while some may still eat fish.

If you're a vegetarian guest, maybe offer to make your own entrée. This is kind of the polite thing to do, especially if not many other dinner guests eat like you do. It takes some of the pressure off the host and some of the worry off of you!

What to Buy:

- Frozen/refrigerated vegetarian proteins (Morningstar Farms, Gardein, Field Roast, Lightlife, etc)

- Tofu, tempeh or other textured soy protein

- Fish

What to Make:

Homestyle Tofu Pot Pie

Mushroom Scallion Tofu Quiche with Herbed Grain Crust

Baked Fish and Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Cheese Vegetarian Sausages

Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Penne rosa with shrimp

Get nut-ritious with it.

Nuts are also a good source of proteins, just FYI, but there's no way you can make a sane entrée with them. Normally nuts show up in desserts, and that's quite alright.

There's also ways to make them into gifts, to save you some time and energy.

What to Buy:

- Walnuts

- Pecans

- Hazelnuts

- Pistachios

- Peanuts or peanut butter

What to Make:

Amazing Pecan Pie

Nutella and Peanut Butter Bar

Holiday Spiced Nuts

Date Honey Nut Cake

Delicious to the core!

Put apples in everything. Everything.

There are sweet apples, sour apples and even in between apples. Spice them up or make them more sweet, because they can handle it. Apples are a great way to make dishes more substantial while also making them more nutritious.

Apples are basically the representatives for other fruits during the holidays, so throw those in as you feel necessary.

What to Buy:


- Other fruit (like cranberries or pears)

What to Make:

Cranberry Apple Stuffing

Pear Spice Cake with Walnuts

Vegetarian Apple "Sausage" Stuffing

Christmas Apple Pie (This recipe is from, so it's probably the real deal.)

Classic Apple Crisp