(Family Features) Reconnecting with family and friends over the holidays means food takes center stage. Perhaps nothing says “happy holidays” quite like a plate of seasonal appetizers. Make your traditional recipes extra special this year with a plant-based twist that starts with cheese.

Holiday plant-based cheese dishes combine cheesiness that people love with fresh vegetables so your hors d’oeurve tray can be enjoyed by everyone no matter their lifestyle or dietary needs. Start holiday eating with a batch of Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms loaded with a colorful assortment of vegetables like onions, zucchini, tomatoes and spinach, and generously topped with plant-based cheese shreds to make an especially cheesy, indulgent and satisfying snack. Or try frying up a plate of Vegan Brussels Sprouts Fritters stuffed with melty, creamy plant-based cheddar cheese for a delicious bite of seasonal comfort.

Try the full range of Violife vegan cheeses to bring these party starters to life. There is no sacrificing taste to enjoy delectable holiday recipes made with melty, stretchy and flavorful vegan cheese. These cheeses are free from dairy, soy, nuts, gluten, preservatives and lactose and are non-GMO. They are made with plant-based ingredients and come in a variety of savory shreds, smokey slices, wedges, blocks or as a cream cheese alternative. Plus, these vegan cheeses are perfect for including in plant-forward holiday spreads and starting new holiday traditions. 

Visit violifefoods.com to find more appetizers and snacks for your holiday gatherings.

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

12 button mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large sweet onion, diced

2 medium zucchinis, diced

4-6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large handful spinach

1 pinch rosemary

salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 pack Violife Just Like Cheddar Shreds

finely chopped chives

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Use damp kitchen towel to clean mushrooms. Remove stalks from mushrooms. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on lined baking sheet with empty sides up.

In frying pan, saute onions in remaining olive oil until soft then add zucchinis, tomatoes and garlic. Add spinach until wilted. Remove from heat and add rosemary, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste.

Stuff each mushroom with vegetable mixture and sprinkle with cheese shreds. Bake 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives.

Vegan Brussels Sprouts Fritters

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8

35 ounces Brussels sprouts

3 green onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

pink pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 flax egg (2 tablespoons flax and 2 tablespoons water)

1 pack Violife Just Like Cheddar Shreds

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

mint, roughly chopped

Wash Brussels sprouts and finely slice. Place in bowl with green onions.

In separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, black pepper, pink pepper, paprika and garlic powder.

Add dry ingredients and flax egg to Brussels sprouts mixture then add cheddar shreds. Mix well and let rest in refrigerator 10 minutes.

In frying pan, heat olive oil. Use hands to make one patty with 2 tablespoons of mixture.

Shallow fry 4 minutes on each side. Remove and place on plate with paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining mixture. Garnish with mint.