I have been trying out some meat replacements for the centrepieces of your roast dinner and as tradition goes, have found a pretty yummy alternative to Turkey!
Yes, the wonderful people at Vbites have a Turkey style meat, that roast deliciously and is extremely filling. I like to add mine to a pot of stock that has veggies in and let them all cook together, but it roasts really well by itself also and only take 45 mins to an hour to cook, meaning you can plonk it in the oven for the same time as your spuds. I like to slice my really thinly, in doing this you can serve 4 people easily but if you like thicker slices then it will easily feed 3. Either way, I recommend getting 2 of these beauties and keeping them in the freezer for up to a month before Xmas, defrosting them on Xmas eve, will enable them to ready to roast up a storm on Xmas day!
I also love Linda McCartney’s beef replacement, it is absolutely delicious with a red wine and shallot glaze, this is tasty and actually lured some of my non-vegan family to try it. They thoroughly enjoyed it also, this is great for sandwiches the next day also. This can also be frozen and is worth stocking up on for the months leading up to Xmas. Just as a side to this, if you are wanting traditional horseradish for this, you may want to check that it is vegan as a lot of them aren’t unfortunately, or you can opt for a mustard instead, which is equally delicious. Top tip from Mumma Piglet, is to add a bit of Marmite to the gravy to really whack up the flavour!
When it comes to sausages on Xmas day, there are many ways you can eat them, but the only piglet in a blanket will be me, after my food coma! Vegan bacon is really something that comes down to taste preference, you can get tempeh, seitan, use aubergines, there are a million ways to make bacon yourself, or you can skip all of that an go for my personal favourite Vbites bacon, either way, which sausage you decide to wrap it around is also up to you, which is why I like to have options, this year, I have decided I am going to be using good old Linda McCartney’s sausages for my pig-less blankets and then have some delicious sausages on the side as well, I mean Xmas dinner isn’t technically correct unless you consumed double your RDA in one sitting so let’s not be too hard on ourselves, when it comes to what we eat!
I really like GOSH!’s sweet potato sausages, admittedly they are nothing like a ‘usual’ sausage in the taste sense but they are delicious and when covered in gravy, they make a mean rival for any other sausage opponent. Yes, these lovely sausages are delicious and also work very well in a sandwich for boxing day!
Stuffing is a bit of a sore subject for me, because I love it but I prefer it to be slightly wetter in consistency than everyone else and they all like theirs in neat balls that for me are more like falafel than stuffing, however you like it, whether it is like me or like them, this is something you can stock up on weeks before Xmas and keep in your cupboard, not only is this one of the things that always seems to be sold out leading up to Xmas it keeps for so long you can start stocking up on it whenever you are ready and if you are anything like me, it might be best to hide it from yourself, failing that, have someone else hide it for you, otherwise you may find yourself have a few test runs of your own and that will really mean you having to head for the last minute dash to the supermarket.
This works so well with meat replacements mixed together for a sausage meat alternative, my Nan seems to make this look effortless, though I have tried a few times and it has never come out the way that I have wanted it to,
There are so many options when it comes to Xmas day and if you aren’t wishing to have a meat alternative on your plate then fear not! I have been working on vegetable recipes all year to give you some truly delicious alternatives to the Xmas norms. I mean, nut roasts are fine and all, but they aren’t quite managing to give me the same excitement now as when I first turned vegan and was being given them left, right and centre, sometimes it is better to just cut out all of that and have a good plate full of amazing vegetables cooked in a variety of ways.
I have recently discovered cauliflower after eating at 100 Hoxton and since then have been eating it regularly, as a child, I would sit at the table staring at it hoping it would vanish or miraculously turn into broccoli, now, I cannot seem to get enough of it , so will be featuring a few recipes with that for Xmas too. All veggies great and small will be featured and this year, as I am feeling brave, I may even mention sprouts. The relationship between myself and sprouts really isn’t that great but now that I have braved cauliflower and love it, I really don’t see why this should be any different.
I have seen some amazing recipes for sprouts over the last year and have been wanting to try them out, so that they are not entirely unrecognizable but they are tasting a little less like sprouts and a little more like Xmas, that is honestly the only way I will be eating them!
Carrots and parsnips are a given, as they are usually regulars on my roast dinner list so it is really no surprise that I have so many recipes for these. I also love beetroot so these are going to be roasted up a treat also.
I should probably have said at the start, I am keeping prep to a minimum with my recipes as I believe that Xmas should be a time when everyone is together and not slaving away in the kitchen, which is why this festive beauty from Terra Vegane is going to be my choice for Christmas day as it already had stuffing inside and boy, is it tasty. Made from lentils with sage and seitan complete with a buckwheat and cranberry stuffing and they even give you the delicious gravy mix. This is perfect for throwing in a roasting dish with everything else!
If that doesn’t sound good enough then I am also going to be limiting the amount of washing up as well, as I am aware it is usually the ones who didn’t cook that have to do the washing up so this makes it fair all round and for me, the longer families and friends get to spend together around the dinner table the better, Xmas is all about families being together and there is nothing worse than having half in the kitchen and half hanging around the dinner table or the lounge. Everyone should be together and that can’t happen if we have a million dishes to cook and tonnes of washing up to be done so it is best that all of this is kept simple. As I keep saying to everyone Xmas dinner is really just a bigger, bolder roast dinner, it is nothing to be scared of. It is just a bigger roast than normal, that’s it, (my Mum is going to kill me for saying that!)
Anyway, I will be back with less rambling and loads more recipes very soon, so in the meantime, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram with your festive snaps and let me know what recipes you would like to see!
If you haven’t followed me on Instagram already… what are you waiting for? I post as many times as I can per week, usually what I have been eating and drinking and where the best places are to grab a bite. I like to eat in vegan restaurants, as well as not strictly vegan restaurants, and share them with you guys as I think that gives you a good idea of where you can go with your non-vegan friends and family, though you will find that they will want to taste everything you order, and then make strange faces as if they never thought vegan food could be tasty and then say things like ‘that’s actually not bad’ or ‘are you sure this is vegan?’, at which point you will scoff and grab your food back off of them, as sharing time is over.
It is a wonderful thing to be vegan in general, but to know that you are not taking part in the mass slaughter of turkeys at this time of year really is something that makes me quite emotional. It may seem like you aren’t making a difference as it is only you but I promise you the more vegans that come together this time of year, the more innocent animals get to keep their lives and don’t think that it is just turkeys, meat sales go through the roof from the end of November to New Years and to not be a part of it is something I truly treasure.
If you aren’t vegan yet but are wanting to make the transition, then it is a great idea to be vegan over the holidays and then you will be totally ready to being vegan for the new year. It is nowhere near as hard as every make it out to be before going vegan. I promise.