Written by Sarah Crawley, Spoon Guru (www.spoon.guru)
Christmas is not far away now, and cooking the main meal for people following a vegan diet can be quite intimidating. But don’t panic, there are so many excellent plant-based options available now, there’s no reason that meat eaters and vegans alike can’t all enjoy a delicious festive feast together.
There’s been a marked rise in demand for meat-free and plant-based products, and supermarkets are responding by increasing their meat substitutes and ready-made options. In fact, Tesco has even employed chef Derek Sano as their new Director of Plant-Based Innovation, and doubled their meat-free Christmas dinner centrepiece options this year.
With food producers rapidly innovating to meet the growing demand for plant-based options from increasingly fussy customers, the idea that a vegan Christmas dinner can only mean a bland nut roast is quickly becoming a ghost of Christmas past. Whether you want to make your main from scratch or buy something you can simply pop in the oven on the day, there are some fantastic options available for every taste and budget.
If you want to buy your Christmas main
Tofurkey is a plant-based turkey meat replacement that has taken the vegan world by storm. The Tofurkey Roast comes complete with rice stuffing and gravy and although it’s not going to be your cheapest option, it’s bound to be very popular with your guests. For something similar and a little cheaper, keep an eye out for VBites Cheatin’ Celebration Roast as well.
Tesco has introduced two ready-made vegan Christmas dinner centrepieces this year - a Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower Wellington, and a Pecan and Peanut Roast with maple-roasted carrot and parsnip. They’re new to the market, but they both look great!
Fortunately the humble nut toast has come a long way over recent years, and they’re always a good option if you are on a tight budget. Fry's Soy & Quinoa Country Roast is a popular option, as is Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Beef Roast with Red Wine & Shallot Glaze, and Artisan Grains Cashew & Cranberry Nut Roast.
If you prefer to make it yourself
Last year, the team at Bosh! released a hugely popular Christmas Dinner recipe video, the star of which was a Portobello Mushroom Wellington. This recipe was a massive hit with their vegan fan base, and rightly so - it was genuinely delicious! I was one of many enthusiastic vegans cooking it for my meat-eating guests, and everyone was impressed as to just how nice it was. I was particularly grateful that Jus-Rol pastry sheets also happen to be vegan. They saved me so much prep time.
Make sure you check out the rest of the Bosh! Christmas dinner recipes for all the trimmings too!
This year it’s recipes from Avant Garde Vegan that have everyone talking. His Roast Wellington recipe is filled with seitan, a high-protein meat substitute also known as as ‘wheat meat’, and it really does look amazing! Add to this his gluten free festive centrepiece, Roast Stuffed Squash, and you have a festive flavour combination that’s guaranteed to impress even the fussiest of meat eaters.
Don’t forget to add your favourite vegan gravy and trimmings for a memorable Christmas dinner that everyone at the table will love!