Vegan Christmas Menu
Image: Pexels.com / All other images Sabrina F. Henry
For a more sustainable option this Christmas, why not go vegan? For some traditional and not so traditional alternatives, Sabrina Henry shares her Christmas Vegan Menu.
A vegan Christmas Dinner doesn’t have to be a dismal affair. Quite the opposite, it’s a great excuse to really explore all that the Winter season has to offer. It also offers an opportunity to consume a lot of wholesome foods, as opposed to calorie redundant junk foods. Sabrina Henry is keen on not only nutrition, but more importantly, flavour. She shares her tried and tested favourites for a slap up Christmas Dinner. While she’s addressed traditional vegan substitutes, she’s also suggested some less traditional ones that will give your menu an edge. Why not add a little extra element and make your own festive cocktails? For some ideas on how to decorate your Christmas table, using seasonal and sustainable items, check out our tips.
Alternative hors d’oeuvres
Contrary to the idea that fruit is best served as dessert, it can actually be beneficial to eat raw fruit before a meal. This is because raw fruit contains enzymes that actually break down food. Some fruits, like pineapple and papaya, contain potent digestive enzymes that can have a very positive impact on digestion when eaten before a main meal. Depending on where you are in the world, exotic fruit may not be your local produce, so it’s not always the most sustainable option. However savouring a feast of exotic fruit for a special occasion – like Christmas, could help you to not consume it all year round. It’s unrealistic to think that food suppliers will go back to selling only local food post COVID. However we can make choices that support more balance, for the planet and ourselves.
It’s definitely not a boring option. It acts as a light warm up to a hearty roast dinner! Without filling you up too much. Serve with croutons or a side of cauliflower bites for something a bit unexpected. Bang bang Cauliflower bites by Deliciously Ella are such a hit! I suggest serving without the sauce, when offering them alongside soup.
Vegan Roast dinner
There are so many plant-based variations that can substitute meat for a delicious roast dinner. My ideal substitutes are always wholefoods, rather than actual meat substitutes. However, if that’s something you don’t mind there are ‘vegan turkeys’ being sold in various supermarkets, some of them with great reviews. A vegan roast dinner with all the trimmings is actually fairly easy. Once you have decided on your Centerpiece, source or make your dish from scratch. Everything from stuffing to gravy and Yorkshire puddings (they are traditionally made with eggs and milk) can be vegan friendly. I love this recipe for Perfect Vegan Yorkshire Puddings by ‘A Virtual Vegan’. They’re even gluten free. Add them to a colourful variety of steamed and/or stir-fried veg.
If you would like to try a wholefood centerpiece, I can assure you that being creative with the plant-based foods you like, when cooking a roast dinner can really work well. So far I’ve made some yummy roast dinners with roasted celeriac and cauliflower. Seasoned and roasted chickpeas work well in place of chicken as does a nut roast. If you have nut allergies then a ‘lentil roast’ is a great alternative. There are so many recipes out there, and my advice would be to find one that suits you and experiment at least once before the big day. Minimalist Baker has to be one of my all-time favourite places for recipes. Especially during the festive season when there’s so much to think about. The recipes tend to be made using minimal, good quality food items, so for me, the wholesome simplicity fits nicely.
I love the Vegan Lentil Nut “Meatloaf” recipe as it contains only 10 ingredients and is so tasty! To make a nut-free version, substitute nuts with sunflower seeds or pulses in the same quantity.
200g Mixed nuts – crushed with a pestle
200g Almond flour and
150g Gluten-free crispbread crumbs
1 Bulb of Garlic
2 handfuls of Fresh herbs – sage & rosemary or your favourite alternatives
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons of Paprika
One Tablespoon of Sea salt
Chop the onion, garlic & herbs and sautee them on a low heat in olive oil. Mix all ingredients together, and add the lemon juice. It will form a dough-like texture. Place the mixture across a sheet of baking paper and roll it into a sausage-like shape wrapping the baking paper around the mixture. Bake in the oven for around 30/35 minutes. And voila a lovely nut roast with an all-round crispy coat.
Cooked fruit crumble or fruit pies are fantastic vegan options that can also easily be gluten or nut-free. However if you would like an adventure that does contain nuts, making a raw vegan cheesecake is quite an experience in itself. I find vegan cheesecake to be a tantalising and uplifting way to end a celebratory meal. Especially when you think about the colossal nutrient content, So on that note, I’ll leave you with yet another recipe from Minimalist baker. The Easy Vegan Cheesecake creates festive cheer and beauty. Simply decorate with flowers.
by Sabrina F. Henry
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