You don’t need to be a professional chef to be able to whip up a vegan Christmas Day feast that will have even the non-vegans at the table asking for seconds.
If you’re nervous about planning a dinner party for plant-based guests and don’t know where to start, sit back and relax, because we can guide you through. From beautiful brussels to Christmas cake and everything in between, we’re going to tell you what to include and the difference your meat-free Christmas Day will make.
Why choose a cruelty-free Christmas?
Christmas is the time of year when excess and indulgence are par the course but for the animals that have been bred for the dinner table, it’s anything but the most magical time of year.
The more people that embrace a vegan Christmas dinner in place of the traditional turkey-based festive feast, the smaller the demand will be and only then will real change can begin.
If you can, go a little further than taking meat off the table and choose gifts that are all vegan and cruelty-free as well. You can easily find a range of vegan gifts that meet these requirements, even on the good old high street, so make sure you vote with your wallet as well as your tastebuds.
What’s on the menu if not turkey?
Once you accept that there are far more interesting, tasty and ethical choices for your Christmas Day extravaganza, you can start to get really creative. After all, nut roasts are delicious, but they don’t have to be the main event, if you don’t want them to be. There are so many amazing vegan Christmas recipes out there to inspire you, but here are some of our favourite recommendations.
There’s no such thing as too many vegetables on a vegan table, but at Christmas, you can go a little more opulent with the dressings, drizzles and accompaniments. Try some of the following.
Amazing all year round, but slow-roasted, mashed and dotted with mini vegan marshmallows, American yam-style? Wow. You won’t miss traditional old mash and roasties with this.
The humble little globes get to step up and be counted during the festive season and we highly recommend drizzling these little omega-3 bombs with some maple syrup before roasting and finally tossing with chestnuts and sesame seeds.
We’ve got one word for you, and that’s panko. If you’ve never panko-coated parsnip wedges, this is the year to try. The crispy coating works so well with a fluffy interior and the natural sweetness brings everything together.
The perfect simple palate freshener, we just keep these julienned and steamed. You want to leave room for pudding and not everything needs to be a masterclass in richness.
Don’t forget the extra finishing touches that bring a festive feast together.
Garbanzo (also called chickpea or gram) flour and aquafaba are the perfect pair for making a crispy, crunchy Yorkie batter that will have you wondering what Aunt Bessie has been doing all these years.
It might be sacrilege to some, but we like to use nut roast recipes for stuffing balls. Add some fresh sage for a really Christmassy flavour and serve in easy-to-grab chunks that are just as delicious cold as they are hot.
It may sound like effort, but making a roux-based gravy is a must. It’s as easy as vegan butter and plain flour cooked together before adding a tasty vegetable stock and whisking until the desired thickness has been achieved. Add in any roasting pan scrapings too, for a delicious rooty taste.
As soon as you say goodbye to cruelty on your plate, you can enjoy a whole new world of festive meat alternatives and exciting recipes. Here are some fantastic options to keep your eyes peeled for.
A vegan take on a classic Christmas dish, a mushroom wellington is filling, decadent and, if you don’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen, easy to buy ready-made with many UK supermarkets offering one.
A great alternative to turkey, nut roasts have come a long way in recent years, with many being available as a ready-to-roast joint and complementary success included too.
If you are eating with flexitarians, why not give them a taste of the familiar with a Tofurkey joint? Delicious and easy to cook, the joints come ready-stuffed so you can do away with another kitchen task.
We think it’s safest to cater to everybody when it comes to dessert, so a Christmas cake, nuts, mince pies, a pudding and a selection of vegan cheeses should all be on your shopping list. Leave no sweet tooth behind.
Taking the turkey off the table doesn’t have to mean a compromised Christmas dinner. Instead, it gives you scope to experiment and enjoy an ethical meal that doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.