As a vegetarian that occasionally ventures into the realm of veganism, I have come to realise that most people think your whole life must be a task, let alone Christmas, and that the inevitable ‘what about pigs in blankets?’ will rear its ugly head. However, thanks to the range of meat and cheese substitutes that there are out there in 2016, being a vegetarian has never been easier (do I sound like I’m doing promo work for PETA? Sorry).
Brands like Vegusto, Violife, Sheese and Daiya are just some of the companies offering vegan cheeses that will genuinely make you sit back and wonder whether someone is just taking the mick. Sainsbury’s now has a huge line of vegan cheeses, including festive Wensleydale with cranberries and strong cheddar. Tesco also offers a free-from range (I know, who’d have known) that blew my tiny mind. Personally, one of the most enjoyable parts of Christmas includes sitting in front of Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Christmas (it is a bad as it sounds) spreading mountains of Brie and Stilton on endless crackers and feeling no guilt whatsoever. There can’t be vegan versions of Brie, Camembert and Stilton, I hear you cry. Think again! Immediately after logging onto Vegusto’s online shop, you will soon be swimming in the river of soft/mould ridden cheese that you desire.
Turkey may be, arguably, the most important aspect of Crimbo for most people. It’s the centrepiece of the table, the guy we’ve all been waiting for. Surely, there can be no cruelty-free replacement? Enter, once again, Vegusto, the kings of the world. They offer roasts so convincing that I genuinely do not know whether I could consume them without checking for beaks. From lamb substitutes, to beef, to chicken and to turkey, this site also includes roasts stuffed with vegetarian stuffing, vegan cream cheese and also other veggie meats. Hallelujah! Quorn, the old faithful, also offer delicious roasts, seasoned with festive flavours. Wrapping one of their cylindrical chicken roasts in their vegetarian bacon is a tried and tested success, and perfect for any Chirtsmas Day centrepiece.
If you don’t want any reminder of meat on your table at all, a nut roast may be the way forward. This recipe is from ‘ChristmasFood.com’:
Luxury Nut Roast
- 250 g mixed nuts, (walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, almonds, cashews)
- 100 g shallots, (about 4 small or 0.5 banana shallot), finely chopped
- 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 eggs, beaten
- 100 g gruyère cheese, or mature cheddar cheese, grated
- 0.5 tsp dried thyme
- 0.5 tsp dried sage
- 0.5 tsp dried mint
- 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Marmite, or other yeast extract blended with 1 tsp boiling water
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 pinches black pepper
- 1 cubes butter, for greasing tin
1. Place the nuts in a dry frying pan over a moderate flame. Toast, stirring gently, until golden and fragrant, taking care not to burn. Remove to a bowl and leave to cool.
2. Whizz in a food processor until thoroughly ground.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Generously grease a loaf tin with butter.
4. In a large bowl, combine the ground nuts with all remaining ingredients. Mix very thoroughly.
5. Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until firm and golden. Cool slightly, then turn out.
And there you have it! The perfect Marmitey nut roast. Prep time is 15 minutes, whilst the cooking time is 45 minutes. It seems long, I know, but worth it for the photo you upload to Instagram and the 12 likes you will probably receive. Find other recipes here: http://goodfood.uktv.co.uk/recipe/luxury-five-nut-roast/.
Booze (you knew it was coming)
Most wines are not vegan, due to the way they are filtered. Most of Tesco’s Finest wines are vegan, and also only £7! Three Mills wine is also vegan friendly, and even cheaper at £3 (it would be rude not to, really). If you’re looking for something stronger, Absolut, Bacardi, Grey Goose, Hangar 1, Malibi and Skyy are all vegan friendly. Party awn.