Are you planning the perfect Christmas dinner at your house this year? What’s on the menu?
With high-welfare meat gaining in popularity and meat-free diets at an all-time high, Christmas dinner isn’t just a turkey-crown-and-sprouts affair anymore. Putting thought into a delicious Christmas feast is how we’ve always shown how much we care about our friends, family and loved ones. Now, with the huge range of vegetarian and vegan options readily available, with barely even a little bit more effort we can include everyone’s dietary requirements and create a happy day for everyone!
Here are some of our favourite alternative Christmas dinners, to cook for your vegan and vegetarian guests, or to try for a bit of a change.
Vegan ‘Smoked Salmon’ Canapés
These elegant bites would be welcome at any dinner party! A tray of these delicious toasts spread with vegan cream cheese — which you can make from cashew nuts if you’re feeling adventurous — and topped with preserved carrot ribbons are as delicious as they are bright and colourful.
The carrots are the clever part. Cut thin and then steeped in brine flavoured with lapsang souchong tea, they have a deliciously delicate smoky flavour. Perfect with bubbly or a glass of kombucha.
Chestnut Loaf with Sweet Potato and Apricot
A delicious, modern take on the classic nut roast, this chestnut loaf incorporates the warming exotic spices of the middle east. Using cumin and dried apricot to elevate the dish, and chestnuts for a rustic, hearty traditional flavour.
You can serve this roasted loaf with classic Christmas vegetables, or choose side dishes like couscous or freekeh salads to continue the middle-eastern theme. After all, the baby Jesus was born close to the spice trail!
Don’t take any notice of the name — this gravy is perfect for everyone. Easy to make and packed with vegetables and all good things, it goes with everything, including a chestnut loaf.
Serve this and you’ll even have the meat eaters asking for more!
Creamy Roasted Cauliflower
Who doesn’t love cauliflower cheese? Keep everyone happy with this secretly vegan version, which uses coconut milk, mustard, cumin and vegetable to create a deliciously savoury, creamy side dish.
We’d also use the sauce in this recipe to make a vegan potato gratin. Double the dishes! Delicious!
Is there a better teatime treat than a Florentine? Golden and chewy and coated on one side with chocolate, these nutty, toffy delicacies have been Christmas staples for years. Perfect with a cup of tea while the Christmas Eastenders special is on, and even better with a glass of mulled wine, they also make an ideal Christmas present.
This vegetarian recipe by Delia Smith uses cream to create the toffee that binds the nuts and peel together, which is why it’s not suitable for vegans.
Until next time…