A Holiday Centerpiece: Cranberry-Spinach Tart

    One of the questions I most frequently get around the holiday season is "what is your MAIN dish going to be for Christmas dinner?" Over the years I have done a variety of things, and some of our favourites include Veggie Pot Pie, A Savoury Strudel and Chickpea Pecan Bake. But I'd have to say that the one I MOST often turn to is probably my Cranberry Spinach Holiday Tart, and there are a few reasons for this:

    1. It's beautiful and festive-looking, and makes a very special main dish.

    2. It's absolutely delicious, and though it's easy to make it requires a bit of time and attention, so it feels worthy of a holiday centerpiece dish.

    3. You can easily make it ahead of time, and even serve it room temperature (though we do prefer it warmed) so it's easy to take with you if you're going somewhere else for dinner.

    4. It's always a hit with vegan AND non-vegan family members.

    In Episode 20 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen I walk you through the making of my Cranberry Spinach Holiday Tart.

    This episode is full of tips, like:

    • 🎁 how to make a healthy, delicious centerpiece that you can feature at your vegan holiday table, or take as a potluck item wherever you're going
    • 🎁 how to make a successful oil-free crust and avoid burning the edges
    • 🎁 how to make sure you have good consistency on the filling and an evenly cooked tart
    • 🎁 how to finish it off to make it look extra delicious and festive for your vegan holiday table!

    And now, the recipe:

    Cranberry Spinach Holiday Tart
    makes 1 9-inch tart – serves 8

    for the crust:

    • 1 tbsp ground chia + 3 tablespoons water, mixed together
    • 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds, ground
    • 1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, ground
    • 3/4 cup oat flour (GF for a GF version of this recipe)
    • 3 tsp mixed Italian herbs
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 3 tbsp water

    for the filling:

    • 1 block extra firm tofu
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (and save the zest!)
    • 1 tbsp water for sautéing (optional)
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 cups white or cremini mushrooms, chopped
    • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
    • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
    • 1/4 cup fresh/frozen unsweetened cranberries
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 1 cup baby spinach OR kale, roughly chopped
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 1 tsp Italian herb-mix
    • 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
    • black/pink pepper, to taste
    • 1-2 tsp maple syrup OR aquafaba
    • 1-2 tsp Braggs Soy Alternatives/Soy Sauce/Coconut Aminos
    • Garnish: ground pepper and lemon/lime zest


    1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a round 9-inch tart pan (if it’s not a non-stick pan)

    2. Make the crust first:

    • whisk together ground chia and water mixture in a small bowl and set aside to gel
    • in your food processor, grind the almonds, sunflower seeds and oats into a flour, then put them into a large bowl with the herb/spice mix and salt
    • add the chia mixture and water. Stir until combined well – the mixture should stick together when you press it between your fingers
    • crumble the dough evenly over the base of the tart pan and press the mixture evenly into the pan, working your way outward and up the sides of the pan. Poke a few fork holes in the dough so air can escape
    • bake the crust at 350F for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    • Increase oven temperature to 375F.

    3. Now make the filling:

    • break the tofu apart and place it into the food processor. Process until it starts to break up, then add the lemon/lime juice. It will get smooth and creamy. Set aside
    • heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and when it’s hot add water (if using) and onion. Saute the onion for a few minutes, then stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about 10 minutes. Stir in the herbs, cranberries, spinach, nutritional yeast, herb-spice mix and salt and mix until combined. Cook until the spinach is just wilted.
    • remove from heat and fold in the tofu-citrus mixture until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning to taste if desired. Spoon mixture into baked crust and smooth out with a spoon until even.

    4. Grind some black or pink pepper over the top of the pie (I like the pink because of its festive colour)

    5. Bake the tart, uncovered, at 375F for about 35 minutes, until it is firm to the touch. 10 minutes before the tart has finished baking, brush it with the combined maple syrup/aquafaba and soy sauce, and brush the mixture over the top of the tart. This stops it from getting too dry, and adds a lovely finishing colour. When the tart is finished, cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing. (This can also be made ahead and served at room temperature.)

    🎁You can also download this recipe, along with a host of other holiday recipes in my holiday recipe ebook: https://site-hkpj9ruw.dotezcdn.com/uploads/527b89165c8e49a1b0cc4df6807d9ccc.pdf

    Happy, Healthy Holidays!


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