This Is What A Vegan Christmas Dinner Looks Like
It won’t be long now until we’re stuffing our faces full with delicious turkey, succulent pigs in blankets and too many roast potatoes to handle.
Everyone does their Christmas dinner differently and there are always arguments about how to do the turkey, whether to have Yorkshire puddings or not and if mashed potatoes are really necessary on top of the roasties?
If you’re vegan, there’s actually even more choice, as you have to find a meat and dairy free alternative to the traditional Christmas feast.
I’m pretty sure vegans are sick of hearing about how much they’ll apparently miss the turkey and people questioning them about what exactly they eat on Christmas Day.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s plenty of yummy festive food vegans can make and eat which, sound just as appetising as your normal fare.
Since veganism is growing, it may not be long until you have one or two around the table on Christmas Day, if you don’t already.
Alberto Aragon from the Simple Vegan Blog says you shouldn’t be concerned about cooking for vegans during the festive season as there are plenty of simple dishes you can make.
He told UNILAD:
Make vegan versions of the dishes you love, it’s easier than you think.
Just find a simple recipe and go for it. There’s also so much vegan food you can find at the supermarket.
I ate a delicious salad, french fries and a vegan burger in my first vegan Christmas dinner, it was so easy!
If you have vegan friends coming round, you can propose a few recipes, I’m sure they’ll be happy to know you support them!
Although you may have a different opinion, as long as you are open minded, feel free to ask them questions too.
He advised those celebrating their first Christmas as a vegan to ‘be patient because you may receive a lot of questions’ and prepared to explain your new lifestyle choice.
Alberto himself, who’s vegan because he’s against animal cruelty, believes it’s better for your health, often switching up what he eats on Christmas Day.
I usually make a vegan version of my favourite Christmas recipes, like gluten free chocolate polvorones (it’s a Christmas dessert typical from Spain, my home country) or a meatloaf.
Sometimes I come up with a festive looking dish, like a vegan Christmas salad or roasted pesto potatoes, and other times I just eat some of my favourite foods.
I also have a sweet tooth, so I love eating gingerbread cookies or truffles and drinking hot cocoa or eggnog.
For the main meal, the meat can easily be replaced by something like a burger or meatloaf which is made out of pulses accompanied of course by plenty of delicious roast vegetables – which have avoided goose fat and butter.
Vegan desserts are also easier than you think to make because there are plenty of dairy-free alternatives to traditional baking ingredients.
Almond milk, coconut oil and sunflower spread are all readily available in supermarkets and affordable too.
Julie Van den Kerchove, from Julie’s Lifestyle, also said simple vegan meals and food is always the best.
Following a mainly plant-based diet, Julie eats foods that are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugars. Many of the dishes are raw vegan, meaning they haven’t been heated above 50 °C to preserve as many nutrients and flavour as possible.
However her Christmas dinner sounds just as delicious, telling UNILAD:
I love starting the night with small appetisers like vegan pizza bites with cashew cheese and roasted red pepper soup.
Then, I like to fill the table with several dishes to share, like grilled vegetable skewers with Mexican quinoa – they’re so easy to make and you can use any seasonal vegetables you like.
Oven-baked sweet potatoes with lentil mushroom stuffing are a real crowd-pleaser too. You can sprinkle them with pomegranate seeds to make them extra festive!
I always add a big green salad as well, to balance out all the rich nut cheeses and desserts.
One of my favourite salads is a mix of greens and sprouts with avocado and sweet peas, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Super simple and refreshing!
For dessert, nothing beats a nice slice of raw vegan cheesecake.
See, turkey isn’t everything folks!
However, if you’re a bit nervous about cooking a meal from scratch there are plenty of yummy options you can buy from the supermarket.
We asked the vegans in the UNILAD office about what they would recommend and there was one clear winner – Linda McCartney’s vegetarian beef roast with red wine and shallot glaze.
Easy to cook as all you have to do is whack it in the oven for an hour – I’ve been assured it’s delicious accompanied by maple syrup glazed vegetables and rosemary covered roast potatoes.
With shops like Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda ever increasing their stock of vegan treats, your tables can be easily filled by a wide variety of snacks and chocolates.
See, Christmas food doesn’t have to be all about turkey, gravy and pigs in blankets!