Cravin' for Vegan
The holidays are packed with traditions, and many involve food, family and fun. But living a vegan lifestyle doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your taste buds for delicious, festive food!

Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

At the heart of veganism is a respect and compassion for rights of all living creatures, so there's no flesh, fish, fowl, dairy products of any kind found on the menu. Gone are the days when people thought vegans to be tiny, fringe sliver of the population. A 2008 Harris Interactive poll found that 0.5 percent of the U.S. population, about one million people, are practicing vegans. This is sizeable number of Americans looking for healthy vegetarian alternatives in their diet.

Let's get to the menu then, shall we? The centerpiece of many traditional holiday dinners in meat-based - your basic turkey, ham, roast, lamb choices - obvious no-goes for vegans. Here are three dishes that are sure to be a hit in your family this holiday season.

Vegan Lasagna
Prep time 30 min.; cook time 1 hr.

Ingredients
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can tomato puree
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons Italian-style seasoning
1 (12 ounce) package soft tofu
2/3 (16 ounce) package instant lasagna noodles

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a large skillet, saute garlic and mushrooms in oil until all the liquid is cooked out. Add 1/3 tomato puree to mushrooms and garlic, cook 2 to 3 minutes, and remove from heat.