The festive season is upon us and it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll be serving on the big day.
The dining table will be piled high with food, of course, and you probably already know exactly what you’ll be eating – most of us don’t tend to be at our most inventive on Christmas Day.
If you’re having a vegan over for Christmas dinner this year, you might need to add a few new dishes to the table.
Don’t worry, though, it doesn’t need to be complicated.
In fact, you can knock up a vegan Christmas dinner really easily. Here are some tips.
The main course (yes, really)
You could whip up a fancy vegan nut roast if you have the time and energy, but there’s really no need.
The freezer section of your local supermarket will have a few options for main dishes, and your guest will likely be grateful to not just be lumbered with sides rather than bothered about whether you made it yourself or not.
Pies, bakes, roasts – there are plenty of vegan options readily available that require little more than a simple reheat in the oven.
Linda McCartney products are available in most supermarkets and are clearly labelled so you can see which ones are vegan (not all are, so do check).
Their new vegetarian beef roast is vegan and would make the perfect main for Christmas dinner.
Artisan Grains are another great option, Ocado stock their vegan nut roasts.
If you’re doing an online shop for Christmas, simply type ‘vegan’ into the search bar and see what comes up – you might be surprised at how much choice is available.
Vegetables, although not necessarily all of them
If you think about it, lots of the vegetables you serve with Christmas dinner might not be vegan by the time they reach the table.
Do you smother veg in butter or marinate in honey? If so, those vegetables aren’t vegan anymore.
Be sure to offer a few vegan side dishes – even simple vegetables will do.
You could try switching the honey for maple syrup in your recipes and even use vegan butter or olive oil for roasting.
Vitalite is a vegan alternative to butter and can be found at most supermarkets.
There’s a chance that if you use shop-bought gravy it could be vegan, or there could be a vegetable version of it which is.
Bisto vegetable gravy, for example is suitable for vegans.
If you’re not sure, a quick Google search should be able to clarify.
Make sure you have some vegan-friendly gravy to put on the table, though – it shouldn’t be too much work and can make a big difference to a meal.
If you’re not sure which brands could work, ask your vegan guest to advise – after all, they probably already know all of these things and will be able to save you some time.
Buy a tub of vegan ice cream for the freezer and bring this out when it’s time for dessert.
Vegan ice cream is readily available and easy to find.
Ben & Jerry’s have recently introduced three vegan ice creams so stock up on that for a real treat.
Pretty much all big supermarkets now have a free from freezer filled with ice-creams, ice lollies and other treats.
If you’re struggling, ask your vegan guest to bring some on the day rather than a bottle of wine or a box of Christmas crackers.
Make sure some of your Christmas snacks are vegan.
Plenty of crisps and biscuits are accidentally vegan so take a look online for inspiration.
Kettle Crisps’ sea salt and vinegar crisps, Doritos chilli heatwave and ready salted Pringles are vegan-friendly.
Stock up on breadsticks or crackers, which are often vegan, as well as crudites.
Dips such as hummus and guacamole are usually vegan too although it’s always worth double-checking the packaging,
Chances are, your vegan guest will turn up with food (as a general rule, we don’t travel far without it), but you’ll win some (vegan) brownie points if you go the extra mile.
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