Vegan and Gluten-Free Holiday Dishes

Eating around the holidays, just like every day eating, should please our senses while it nourishes our bodies. For those of us with dietary restrictions, that goal can seem distant at times. Fortunately, recipes that put the spotlight on whole food ingredients and natural sources of flavor (like herbs, spices and healthy fats) can be made to suit almost anyone’s health needs and taste preferences.

Below are a couple of recipes shared by Dr. Chris Browne, assistant director of our human nutrition and functional medicine program. These two vegan and gluten-free dishes will capture the holidays, while still sticking to your dietary restrictions.

sweet potato

Savory Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and halved
  • 2 tsp avocado or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Rub sweet potatoes with avocado or coconut oil, place face down on the baking sheet and set timer to bake 25-28 minutes (until tender)
  3. When sweet potatoes have baked for 15-20 minutes, sauté the garlic and shallot with olive oil over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, add thyme and continue for 1-2 minutes more
  4. Remove sweet potatoes and top with sautéed mixture

white bean cassoulet

Slow Cooked White Bean Cassoulet

(adapted from Robin Robertson’s recipe featured in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker)


  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 large carrots, diced or thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4.5 cups cooked white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, etc.)
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried marjoram
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs (optional)
  • 4 oz gluten free tempeh, diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced flat leaf parsley (fresh)


  1. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 3-4 mins (until softened). Add carrots, garlic and tomato paste and cook for an additional 3 mins.
  2. Transfer cooked mixture to slow cooker and add beans, tomatoes, wine, broth, thyme, marjoram, paprika and bay leaves. Add salt and paper to taste, stir to combine, then set slow cooker to “low” and set a timer for 6-8 hours.
  3. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and sauté 3-4 minutes or until very lightly browned. Transfer to slow cooker and gently stir to combine.
  4. Lightly toast bread crumbs in a dry skillet and set aside.
  5. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings as needed and remove the bay leaves. Serve with a sprinkling of bread crumbs if desired.