Everyone knows one and everyone knows someone who shudders at the thought of them.
If you are expecting a vegan at your table this Christmas, Delicious Editor-In-Chief Kerrie McCallum said it’s best to plan ahead.
KEEP SCROLLING FOR DELICIOUS VEGAN RECIPES
“Vegan Christmas ideas are important because Christmas is tricky in terms of all of the traditional foods such as Pavlovas and big roasts — which are not ideal for vegans,” she said.
Ms McCallum said it was important for cooks with vegan guests to try to rethink the classics from a vegan perspective.
She said that in the last 18 months the demand for vegan food options has been steadily growing, becoming one of the food website’s fastest growing search terms.
Ms McCallum said cooks who wanted a challenge should try mastering the vegan pavlova.
If you’re still stuck for ideas, a few vegan celebrities and experienced cooks have shared what foods they will be enjoying for Christmas.
Their meal ideas are sure to delight any guest, vegan or not.
Australian singer David Campbell is well and truly in the spirit of Christmas, having just released his holiday album Baby It’s Christmas, and gearing up to sing for Channel 9’s Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve.
On top of this he’s also thinking about the delicious meal he’s about to sit down to on Christmas — and yep, it’s vegan.
“A lot of local supermarkets now have a wide range of vegan products like schnitzel and sausages and you can cut those up to put in salads or have with roast potatoes and vegetables,” he said.
“Gone are the days when you just had to have a some lettuce.”
He’ll be enjoying a festive nut loaf and loads of great salads such as rice-based summer salads.
He recommends the Suzy Spoon Festive Roast, a delicious roulade of seitan, nuts, cranberries and traditional herbs with a flavoured crunchy outer layer.
He also had some advice for new vegans at the Christmas table this year: “The first Christmas as a vegan is always the hardest — it’s like doing your first Logies sober! I remember the first year I went to my family’s house for Christmas lunch and they were like:
We’ve made roast turkey’ — so I secretly gave it to Leo (his son) to eat.”
Campbell said he wasn’t bothered by eating at mixed tables with meat eaters and had some words of wisdom for vegans who might come across hostile family members at the dinner table this year, “I don’t judge. You’re never going to change some people’s views,” he said.
A Place To Call Home actor Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood has plenty of reasons to celebrate this year: “Our Christmas dinner, celebrated European style on Christmas Eve, is super special because it’s also my daughter Serafina’s first birthday,” she said.
“She arrived very quickly last Christmas Eve when I was in the middle of baking a batch of vegan panettone!
“Luckily we had friends staying who could put them in the oven while we dashed to the delivery room, and we arrived home from hospital later that morning, babe in arms, to the delightful smell of baking bread.”
Her family will be enjoying a traditional style vegan roast with all the trimmings. Like Campbell, she will also be cooking up the Suzy Spoon roast.
“It will be served with super garlicky roast potatoes, maple-roasted parsnips, sage-roasted pumpkin, snake beans with more garlic, cranberry sauce, and the incredible vegan gravy recipe from the BOSH! cookbook,” she said.
“All this will be followed by my grandmother’s recipe for brandy soaked Christmas pudding -just using coconut oil instead of butter — and coconut vanilla ice cream.
“Christmases past we’ve also had homemade stuffing balls as the roast centrepiece, because let’s face it, the stuffing is always the best part!”
Arianwen said she loved sharing vegan recipes with friends and family over the dinner table: “I could talk about food for hours. And frequently do.”
“Veganism is all about compassion. I try to remember this when people make snide comments about my beliefs — that I should show them compassion rather than spearing them with the carving fork.”
“Christmas is about a baby being born — what better way to celebrate this than to show love and respect to the other beings on this planet by not killing and eating their babies.”
For cooks new to catering for vegans, Arianwen said start with roast veggies and gravy.
“Use coconut or olive oil instead of butter — and if you’re feeling fancy go for a bunch of different vegetables with different herbs. For the gravy, if making your own is a bit daunting, try Massel brand — it’s vegan.
“For a centrepiece try herbed mushroom stuffing balls or savoury pumpkin chestnut pastries. Most brands of frozen pastry are vegan.
“For dessert, summer fruits and dairy-free icrecream are easy and delicious, or just substitute vegan ingredients into your favourite family recipes.”
Australian musician Jona Weinhofen — best known for stints in Bring Me The Horizon and I Killed The Prom Queen — and his wife Michelle are cooking up a pretty big spread — and it will be entirely vegan, desserts and all.
He said it was amazing time to be vegan in terms of the amount of food on offer.
“There are so many store bought products available across numerous countries these days, and the internet is rife with amazing recipes and info about veganism,” he said.
“My first suggestion to people to keep things simple is stick to what you know and love. Take the recipes and meals you already adore, and simply swap out the animal products with vegan alternatives. For example mac and cheese can easily be made using vegan cheese products or a simple cheese sauce made from soy milk, vegan butter and nutritional yeast.
“Veggie sausages are easy to find no matter where you live, wrap them in some puff pastry and make veggie sausage rolls/kransky rolls.
Like Parkes-Lockwood, Weinhofen also recommended the BOSH! cookbooks for holiday meal ideas.
“Usually we’ll roast a bunch of veggies like sweet potato, potato, carrots … I love making burnt brussels sprouts using a balsamic and agave glaze.
“For the centrepiece we’ll either buy a holiday roast from brands like Gardein, Field Roast; Tofurky or Veggie Delights, but last year I made a huge Christmas sausage roll from scratch that had a veggie mince centre made from beans, walnuts, mushrooms and other goodies,” he said.
“I have a sweet tooth too so I love making desserts, my vegan cheesecake recipe is awesome and tastes identical to a non-vegan cheesecake.”
Weinhofen said he’s been vegan almost 20 years but he still finds he will come across people at the dinner table who are curious to try what he’s eating.
“They’re usually interested in what our food tastes like, or what alternatives we use to replace animal products in certain recipes. Every now and then the questions can be centred around a lack of knowledge of the animal agriculture industries so I’m happy to provide what information I know. Our dinner table conversations around veganism are usually very civilised,” he said.
“The beauty of advocating for a vegan lifestyle is that our motivation is rooted in compassion and factual information. People can disagree with veganism all they like but the reasons we do it remains that we don’t want to create unnecessary suffering. I don’t really think that’s something anyone would argue against. Fortunately I’ve gotten much better at having these sorts of awkward conversations and keeping them civil.
“Fortunately our family have been great at adopting delicious vegan holiday meals, and when we do find ourselves at the dinner table with animal products, we use it as an opportunity to showcase that we can enjoy a meal just as much without any animals being harmed.”
For the last four years everyone has come to Jessica Bailey’s house for Christmas and while the entire family isn’t vegan, her table spread is.
Ms Bailey, the owner of Australia’s largest vegan supermarket — The Cruelty Free Shop — recommends and Eggplant parmigiana and a Spanakopita to satisfy the tastebuds of all guests. Check out the recipes below.
(Recipe by Rory Johnson)
1 large eggplant, peeled, cut into 1cm slices
150g savoury yeast
2-3 tbsp oil
Orgran No Egg, equivalent of 4 watery eggs
Vegusto No-Moo Melty
1 can tomatoes
1 small can tomato soup
¼ tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
1 small onion
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp ginger
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Mix breadcrumbs & yeast flakes. Dip eggplant in watery egg, then coat in breadcrumb mixture. Fry in oil. Drain on paper towel & cool.
3. In a pot, saute the onion in oil. Add crushed garlic, ginger, salt, pepper & Italian herbs.
4. Add tomatoes, soup, ½ cup water & balsamic vinegar & stir. Cook for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
5. Compiling the parmigiana: Put a little sauce & oil on the bottom of a casserole dish. Add a single layer of eggplant, then cheese & tomato sauce. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. Top with cheese, cover with breadcrumbs & bake for 30-40 mins until golden (if more than 3 layers, bake for up to 1 hr)
(Recipe by @veganbyeden)
1 packet vegan filo pastry
375g firm tofu
300g fresh baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
¼ cup Cruelty Free Pantry Savoury Yeast Flakes
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Nuttelex, melted
½ cup soy milk
1. Thaw pastry at room temperature for 2 hrs. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add spinach and cook for 1 min, turning frequently, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Use your hands to crumble the tofu and add it to the bowl.
4. Add garlic, lemon juice, onion powder and savoury yeast. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined.
5. Melt Nuttelex and mix with soy milk in a separate bowl.
6. Brush a 2L baking dish with Nuttelex then lay a sheet of pastry and lightly brush with the margarine and milk mix. Repeat with 5 more sheets. Spread spinach mixture over the top.
7. Cover with remaining pastry, brushing each sheet with margarine and milk. Tuck edges into the sides of the dish. Brush the top with margarine and milk and score in diamond patterns.
8. Bake for 30-45 mins or until golden. Serve warm.
Seth Tibbott, the founder of the world’s largest vegan meat brand Tofurky, says it’s not only possible to cook an entirely vegan Christmas meal but it’s now easier than ever.
“Just about any recipe can be “veganised” from mashed potatoes to desserts and even a delicious roast that sits proudly in the centre of the table,” he said.
Mr Tibbott said he most enjoyed a smoked Tofurky roast over apple and hickory woodchips. “After smoking I just put the roast into a crockpot and cook with cranberry and onion veggie broth. Heat for a couple of hours and voila!”
He said for side dishes nothing beat basic garlic mashed potatoes and mashed cauliflower with vegan gravy.
Check out Seth’s recipe ideas here:
Holiday Roast With Bacon Crumble
(Recipe by Tofurky)
½ kg beetroot, quartered
½ kg brussels sprouts
1 red onion, cut into large chunks
5 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 Tofurky veggie roast, thawed
½ pack of Tofurky smoky maple bacon tempeh
¼ cup sourdough breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons of minced fresh sage
¼ cup finely chopped, pitted dates
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius (fan-force) 180 conventional
In a Dutch oven or deep baking dish with a lid, toss together beets, brussels sprouts, onion, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper. Place roast on top of vegetables and brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Cover and bake 1 hour 15 minutes.
While roast bakes, in a food processor or with a knife, pulse or chop bacon until ground into coarse crumbles.
In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add tempeh and cook, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage and cook until crumbs begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in dates, cranberries, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and remove from heat.
Uncover roast and brush with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Bake 10 minutes more.
Slice roast and serve topped with crumble.
Good Vegan Gravy
(Recipe by Tofu Cookery)
Makes about 5 1/2 cups
8 ounces mushrooms (Shitake, Portabello or regular), sliced
1/4 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
3 1/2 tablespoons oil
4 cups stock, vegetable bouillon, or soymilk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Lightly saute the sliced mushrooms and onions in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.
In another pan, combine and bubble the flour and 2 tablespoons of oil together over low heat for 1 minute.
Whisk in the stock, bouillon, or soymilk along with the soy sauce and black pepper.
Cook until thickened, whisking out any lumps. Stir in the mushrooms and onions, and serve.
Grace Watson has had a huge year with her vegan takeaway business Verd expanding across Sydney.
Her family has been hosting vegan Christmas for years now and her favourite part of the spread is the roast potatoes and fresh summer fruit platters.
She loved Christmas as her family always went overboard on vegan desserts. She recommends Verd’s Bondi Broc salad and a peanut butter slice for dessert — to cater to the sweet tooths. She’s shared both recipes below:
Bondi Broc Salad
160ml olive oil
60ml apple cider vinegar
40g fresh turmeric peeled
30g green chilli (less if you find things spicy!)
20g coriander roots (good way to use up the stalks of your coriander)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
100g raw broccoli florets cut small or grated. Alternatively bake the broccoli.
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup cooked black rice
1/2 cup roasted almonds
2 sliced peaches
4 thinly sliced red radishes
10g whole Mint leaves
2 cups Croutons
Blend all dressing ingredients well so that it’s smooth.
Toss all salad ingredients and dress lightly.
Optional — top with Botanical Cuisine vegan feta.
Peanut Butter Slice
(Recipe by Verd)
1250g peanut butter
900g desiccated coconut
600g coconut syrup
500g raw cacao
500g coconut oil
100ml maple syrup
Mix peanut butter, desiccated coconut and coconut syrup together until well combined by hand.
Press the peanut mix into a suitable slice tin and spread evenly.
Place in fridge to harden.
Place coconut oil and cacao together in a bowl and combine with a whisk over a pot of hot water. This will melt the oil and combine with the cacao to form a chocolate syrup.
Add maple syrup to the chocolate mix and whisk through until combined.
Pour chocolate syrup over peanut base.
Place in fridge to set. Chocolate layer is approx. 5mm