This Christmas was the first that I have been vegan for, and it was complete success. On first thoughts it feels like a vegan Christmas dinner could be very different, or lacking, to a ‘conventional’ one – it’s all about the meat right? But, we found that it was pretty simple to make a great vegan Christmas dinner. Last year we had roast beef as our main, rather than the traditional turkey, but in all honesty that was probably my least favourite part of what was an excellent meal. What’s more, the number of people I’ve heard saying this year that “no one even likes the turkey anyway” is quite saddening – the fact that people are completely okay with an animal being slaughtered for their dinner, when they’d be just as happy without it.
So yeah, we started thinking about what we were going to have as our main a couple of months ago. After looking at a couple of recipe ideas, we just decided to create something of our own. Sam came up with the idea of having a pastry main – filled with roasted butternut squash and cranberry sauce, and that’s what we had. Most of the rest of a Christmas dinner is vegan anyway – if prepared with a little thought – aside from things like Yorkshire puddings and pigs in blankets. You can still have roast potatoes, all the veg (we had parsnips, carrots and sprouts), stuffing, vegetable gravy, and we even made some vegan cauliflower cheese.
We got our shopping in a couple of days before, picking up this batch of goodies:
We used this cheese for our gourmet breakfast…of cheese, crackers, chutney, and…mimosas 🙂
We grated this cheese and melted it down to use in our cauliflower cheese. It was pretty addictive! Quite sweet, and slightly synthetic tasting, it was most comparable to the flavour of cheesy crisps like Wotsits/Cheetos, albeit a little milder. Sounds weird, but it was really tasty.
These were used as an addition to the meal, in place of something like pigs in blankets. They taste fairly similar to regular sausages, just a little drier.
These vegan bacon bits I received as a present from Sam, and we mixed them in with our Brussel Sprouts and chestnuts. They’re okay, but not really like bacon. I’ve yet to find anything which can replicate the taste, and I’m not sure I will.
Here’s us plating up the final meal. You’ll see the vegan cauliflower cheese in the top left, plates of the roasted butternut squash and cranberry filo pastry, the Brussel Sprouts, chestnuts and vegan bacon bits mixed, carrots, vegan sausages and a bowl of roast potatoes and parsnips.
All in all the meal was a great success, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with my first vegan Christmas dinner. We had a meat-eating friend of ours over for the day, and he said it was the best Christmas dinner he’d ever had – a glowing review!
P.S. New Year’s Resolution: buy a new phone with a far better camera…