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Yesterday, I stopped into the downtown offices of Allrecipes.com --the nation's leading user-submitted recipe website--to catch up with content producer (and Cooking the Books columnist)

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Your Vegetarian Holiday Meal Planned, Courtesy of Seattle's Allrecipes.com

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Yesterday, I stopped into the downtown offices of Allrecipes.com--the nation's leading user-submitted recipe website--to catch up with content producer (and Cooking the Books columnist) Sonja Groset. I was treated to an impromptu tour of the dot com workplace--rife with kegerators, espresso machines, and shuffleboard tables--and left a little dazzled by the company's metrics. What was once a start up project from a couple of UW students now surpasses websites like The Food Network and Gourmet as the most-visited home cooking online forum. Sonja revealed that chicken is the number one searched for ingredient and joked the company could really be called "Chickenrecipes.com," but it got me thinking: How do things stack up for vegetarians?

I found simply searching the key words "Vegetarian Christmas" generated a bounty of results, from gravy recipes and roasts to savory sides. As we prepare to gather together with family this season, if you're an herbivore looking to create new traditions or spice up the usual spread, these user-approved recipes, rated four-stars or higher, look like tasty options! Season's Greetings and Bon Appetit!

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Sweet Potato Casserole II: This decadent looking side-dish could probably stand in for desert.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios: This spin on the classic holiday side looks marvelous, and says "special occasion" better than the steamed version.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Sunflower Seeds and Sliced Almonds: This crunchy, healthful salad is colorfully festive for the season, and a bright accompaniment to heavy sides on the menu.

Roasted Autumn Root Vegetables: Another highly-rated side dish with seasonal, rustic flavors. Goat cheese and parsnips is a irresistible, tangy combination.

Portobello Pot Pie: This veggie pie looks easy enough to make, plenty hearty for the winter appetite, and something you could easily prepare beforehand and bake when ready.

Lentil Loaf: Lentils symbolize luck and wealth on the Italian holiday table--in savory loaf form, your luck could multiply exponentially.

Vegetarian Gravy: This gravy looks easy to make and received nice reviews. Every vegetarian cook has some version of this recipe, and this one also looks easy to modify to taste, if you wanted to incorporate shittakes for instance, or substitute Bragg's or tamari for soy sauce.

Easy Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna: I have a tradition of making spinach lasagne at Christmas: it's red, green, and white, can feed an army, and simple to prepare when your home is buzzing with family.

Fig Spice Cake: The users don't lie! This five-star rated spice and fig cake scored exceptionally well, and you can't beat baking spices wafting from the kitchen during the holidays.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie: Chocolate, bourbon, pecans: Do I really need to explain this one?

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