December 2, 2019 8:56 am 2 Comments
Looking forward to a vegan Christmas? Perhaps you’re catering for vegans for the first time? Or just thinking about providing a vegan alternative for some bits of the traditional meal? Today, we’re taking a look at ways to have a very happy – and really tasty – vegan Christmas!
With estimates of the number of vegans in the UK ranging from 500,000 up to over 3 million, it’s reasonably likely that you’ll be catering for someone on a vegan diet over the Christmas period. The estimated number of vegetarians is thought to be even higher (depending how you calclulate it, vegans are often included in the figures for vegetarians too) – and of course, everyone-who’s-anyone is ‘flexitarian’ (eating much less meat) this year. It’s as well, then, to have a few alternative options up the sleeve of your Christmas jumper, even if you’re not strictly vegan yourself.
Christmas dinner vegan alternatives
No turkey, of course – but maybe you’re eating tofurky…..? If you’re not keen on pretend meat, then it’s time to push the boat out with an amazing plant-based showstopper centrepiece of a dish instead!
We often recommend this Nut Roast Wellington from Keith, staff member at NGF. It’s listed on our website as a ‘vegetarian’ dish, due to the inclusion of Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies. For vegans, substitute soy sauce for this and use coconut oil instead of the recommended egg for the glaze. Make sure your puff pastry is vegan (most well-known ready-made brands are – and if you’re determined to make it yourself, then try this recipe.
Another NGF recommendation comes courtesy of our general manager, Maria, who has Swedish heritage. Every year, she tucks into a big dish of vegan Janssons Frestelse (Janssons Temptation), a traditional Swedish comfort-food dish. Traditionally made with anchovies layered in a potato gratin, and baked with lots of cream, this vegan version uses potatoes, onions, mushrooms and vegan cream. Maria says she adds mixed chopped peppers to it and recommends Oatly for the cream element.
Other vegan team members suggest the following recipes to blow your Christmas socks off:
If you’re not having a turkey, what is there to stuff? Well, not much – but then, most ‘stuffing’ is never really ‘stuffed’ anyway, just served up on the side!
It’s therefore really easy to come up with a vegan stuffing – either in a packet, such as the ever-popular Mrs Crimbles sage and onion stuffing or the Just Wholefoods variety here – or to make your own.
Here are three great vegan stuffing recipes:
It’s so easy to find vegan gravy! We stock three versions at Naturally Good Food, from Orgran, Marigold and Free and Easy. All are slightly different and all help you cover one of the traditional bases of the meal.
Even better, however, is this luxury vegan gravy recipe from Jamie Oliver. Not an everyday dish, but one you might have to put out of reach of the meat-eaters, it’s made from porcini mushrooms, blackberry jam, red wine vinegar and marmite.
The meaty trimmings
No pigs in blankets, it’s true – so what’s in their place?
There are commercial fake-meat alternatives out there, of course, and if you’re in a hurry, then they’ll be your best bet. But if you love your vegan guests very much, you might like to try out this recipe:
Vegetables and potatoes
Vegetables are obviously all fine for vegans, so long as you don’t decide to cook them in butter, lard or goose fat. Use a plant-based oil instead (extra-virgin olive oil makes amazing roast potatoes), and don’t forget a dollop of coconut oil, which gives really crisp results.
If vegetables are the main part of your meal, think about giving them a bit of a Christmas makeover. We’ve got three fancy-pants Christmas vegetable dishes here:
Christmas isn’t all about the savoury course, of course. There are mince-pies, Christmas cake, Christmas puddings and Christmas biscuits to think about too! Let’s take a look at alternatives for those as well.
It’s a long time since mince-pies were made of meat, but you’re still reasonably likely to come across butter or lard-based pastry. But not at Naturally Good Food, where we stock the gluten-free dairy-free Foods of Athenry mince pies. Genuinely better than any other mince pies I’ve ever bought in a supermarket – but obviously, never quite as good as the real, home-made thing:
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-mince-pies: you’ll need our vegan mincemeat, various dried spices and nuts, coconut oil for the pastry and (ahem) vodka for this.
We’ve got Infinity’s vegan Christmas pudding here – or you can roll up your sleeves and make one yourself, using this recipe (make sure to use our organic dried mixed fruit for the most wonderful fruity result).
Christmas biscuits and other treats
There’s no need for vegans (guests or hosts) to miss out on the experience of reaching for yet another biscuit. We’ve got some recipes for great vegan biscuits and other sweet treats here:
Vegan food can be really simple – it can also be an opportunity to experiment with new ingredients, combinations and flavours. This makes it ideal food for a Christmas feast, when you’re looking to push the boat out and impress. And of course, if you’ve cooked vegan this year, you might find you’ve established a whole new tradition – you’ll have to do it every year from now on!
Click here to see our full vegan range.
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This post was written by Yzanne