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Chef's Corner: "Vegan-ish" Holiday Foods

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Ever thought about going vegan? While the term might make you think "absolutely no meat or dairy" there are no rules when it comes to your diet.

You can even be "vegan-ish!" Here are some mostly plant-based and completely tasty holiday recipes. 'Tis the season for food, food and more food!

But if you want to stay healthy this holiday, Chef Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose says load up your plate with more veggies and less meat.

She was a vegan for 12 years, but decided to include some meat and dairy when she realized she was lacking certain nutrients.

"My biggest mistake was being black and white, like I thought it was all or nothing," Chef Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose told Ivanhoe.

Mielle's cookbook is about being vegan-ish. That's incorporating mostly plant-based foods into your diet, like this festive holiday polenta torte.

First, add olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and garlic to four cups of water or organic chicken broth if you want to add a little meat. Bring to a boil and add polenta.

"As you put the polenta in, you want to make sure the water is rapidly boiling," Mielle told Ivanhoe.

Whisk and stir. When it's cooked, add half of the mixture to spinach and the other half to a tomato paste. Then make the ricotta filling. Combine lemon, nutritional yeast, salt and raw cashews in a blender and mix.

Spread the creamy mixture between the red polenta and the green polenta layers. Refrigerate, reheat and top with a garnish sauce and a little "not exactly vegan" parmesan cheese and you've got a colorful holiday dish.

For dessert, slice dates and fill with tahini or cream cheese, salt, lemon zest and top with rose syrup and pomegranates. It's a vegan-ish way to stay healthy and satisfied this holiday season!

Mielle decided that a completely vegan diet wasn't right for her or her family when her two-year-old vegan daughter started to develop tooth decay.

She was able to heal the decay by incorporating bone marrow from animal products and limiting grains.