The countdown has begun for our favourite time of the year - Christmas! A time to ‘eat, drink and be merry’ – a time to relax and make memories with friends and family.
This is the ideal scenario but for most of us, Christmas can be stressful and takes a whole lot of planning; buying and wrapping gifts, getting the tree ready, preparing the grand Christmas dinner for the family and a relative who casually announces,
“Oh, by the way, I’m vegan.”….wait…rewind..what? A vegan is coming for Christmas dinner??
Panic. Spreads. Meltdown. Begins.
This could well be you and how you might react to this news, but having a vegan over, or even a new one in the family, shouldn’t be the cause of a festive meltdown. Here are a few tips to make the Christmas meal one to remember, one that I’m sure non-vegans will love too!
So, what is a vegan?
We use the expression ‘un-vegan vegan’ here at LoveRaw as there are a growing number of people who are choosing to eat less meat and opting for either vegetarian or vegan meals. Some are doing this for sustainability, some because they are trying to cut down on how much meat they eat and others because they want to try something a bit different.
These people are ‘unvegan’ vegans. They are dipping their toe in the vegan water and just enjoying some of the delicious vegan products and meals on offer. If you have a vegan coming for dinner, why not encourage others to be unvegan vegans for a day? Then you can all eat the same and you never know, they might enjoy it!
Before you start
The key to success with most dishes is to plan ahead and buy in the ingredients so that there is no last minute rush. Supermarkets are offering an ever-increasing selection of vegan products, from butter/cream/milk alternatives right down to vegan pigs in blankets, so you should be able to find everything you need to swap for your usual ingredients.
Utensils and tools
If you are planning on cooking both meat and vegan dishes, make sure that you have enough implements that you can keep those for vegan food separate – whether this be serving spoons, whisks, baking trays etc There is nothing worse than serving up your best vegan meal with a spoon covered in meat fat!
The main event
Knock up a signature vegan main that will have your non-vegan guests thinking about making the switch. Although there are a number of amazing recipes out there, I suggest my mushroom/chestnut/spinach wellington as it is always a hit with everyone. You could even push the boat out and be an ‘unvegan vegan’ and serve a side of meat for your non-vegan guests.
Vegan, non-vegan, or unvegan vegan, these bad boys are a favourite. Partly cook the potatoes then coat them in a vegan butter alternative before popping back in the over for a crisp coating.
Dress up the veg
Skip the boring veg and instead make yours shine with lots of dressing, eg honey and mustard carrots/parsnips, lemon and coriander sprouts, the list is endless.
Rimi's signature stuffing
No Christmas meal is complete without stuffing but forget what you think you know about stuffing, this traditional side becomes the star dish. A ‘meaty’ mix of mushrooms, chestnuts and packed full of flavoursome herbs, this ‘stuffing’ can become the main on any vegan or unvegan vegan’s plate.
Serve kick-ass vegan dessert
There are so many to choose from but being a vegan chocolate manufacturer, I am going to throw in at least a couple of chocolate options. Favourites of mine are our vegan chocolate trifle and the chocolate log. Now you know that you don’t have to miss out ‘cream’ options, you can really go all out to indulge your guests.
If you have room for anything else, then you have to offer a warm plate of chocolate mince pies (vegan of course!) or some vegan shortbread. Meat eating guests will never know these are vegan so don’t tell them!
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas
Your vegan guests will be blown away if you follow these simple steps and you never know, so might those carnivores you call your family. Why not try the unvegan vegan route and plan to try some amazing vegan dishes and recipes once or twice a week?
In the meantime, wishing you an Awesome Christmas from all of us here at LoveRaw!