Christmas is that time of year when you gormandise yourself into a coma. Everyone is eating everything in sight. But what to do when you don’t eat turkey, pigs in blankets or cheese by the platter? What do vegans eat at Christmas?!
The starter - Roasted butternut squash & sage soup
Soups are a great starter, they can be hearty and in winter those veggies taste better than ever! I always love a roasted butternut squash and sage soup. It’s just enough before the main deal and it tastes amazing!
Take a ripe butternut squash, cut in half, de-seed and half again. Smother your squash in oil and add a healthy amount of salt and pepper before throwing it into the oven at 200C /gas 6 for half an hour or until it is tender and browning at the edges.
Finely chop half an onion and 1 clove of garlic and get yourself 100ml of vegan-friendly stock. In a pan gently heat up the onion and garlic, just as they start to tenderise pour in your stock and let it simmer.
In a little pan and add around 2cm of oil. Drop in some whole sage leaves until they’re crispy. Be sure to put them on kitchen paper once done to get rid of any excess oils.
Once your squash is cooked take it out of the oven and let it cool a little. Scoop out the fleshy goodness into a blender, add the stock and the pinch of sage. Blitz until smooth and pour into your fave Christmassy bowl. Add the sage leaves and if you’re feeling really fancy, drizzle some oil over the top. Serve with your favourite chunky bread. So simple!
The main event - Enchiladas
The main course has always been a funny one in my family. My mum never knew what to make for me, so I’ve always had enchiladas! Might sound weird, but it’s such a great thing to have, they're so yummy. Plus, if you’re with any non-vegans they will definitely look on with jealousy!
*3 tortilla wraps *vegan stuffing *vegetables of your choice *1 can of refried beans *1 can of chopped tomatoes * rosemary, 2 bay leaves, thyme & 2 cloves of garlic *1/4 of an onion *vegan cheese of your choice
Set your oven to 200C/gas 6 and start chopping up your veggies. I always go for Christmassy veg, so parsnips, carrots, some little chunks of potato, you can even throw in some of the squash from your starter! Cook these until they’re just done, usually about 25 minutes, as they will be going back in the oven.
Whilst these guys are roasting away, make your vegan stuffing by instructions on the packet. Try and make it into oblong sort of shapes, so they will lie on the bottom of your wrap. Pop in your oven for 10mins.
In a blender throw in your chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme and blitz. Take your veggies out the oven and turn it down to 350/gas mark 4. So now you’ve got your veggies and stuffing, grab a roasting dish and set up your first wrap, lay the stuffing along the bottom, spoon on a healthy amount of veggies and a dollop of the refried beans. Roll, tuck, repeat! Do this until all your enchiladas are lay like tight little sardines in a tin. Pour over your tomato sauce. Put the bay leaf in the sauce and add your fave vegan cheese to the top (I prefer violife because it melts well). Put it in the oven at the bottom for at least 15mins. Have a check after this time to make sure they’re not overdone. Once your cheese is all melty take it out the oven, pull your Christmas cracker, get on your paper hat and enjoy.
Pudding - Mulled chocolate pie
Nothing beats a proper pud on Christmas day. That real end of the meal “let’s see if I can fit one more mouthful in me” moment. This sticky gooey, warm pie will be the best end of your vegan Christmas feast. This will make an entire pie, so you can share with all your family and friends and show off all your culinary knowledge!
*1 packet of pre-prepared shortcrust pastry *175g vegan chocolate *50g vegan butter *4 tbps of Orgran No Egg with 8 tbsp of water *200ml maple syrup *50g ground almonds *2 tsp ground cinnamon *1tps of ground nutmeg *The juice of half an orange *2 tsp ground star anise *200g pecans (150g very roughly chopped) *Vegan cream
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas Mark 4.
- Roll out the pastry until big enough to line a loose-bottomed tart tin. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 25 minutes. Throw away the paper and beans and pop it back in for 10 minutes more until lovely and golden.
- Once it’s all cooked, bring it out the oven and leave it on the side while you make the filling.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a big old heatproof bowl over a pan of water. Whisk the “eggs” into the maple syrup, then stir into the melted chocolate with the ground almonds, cinnamon, star anise, orange juice and nutmeg. Stir in the chopped pecans too and pour into the tart case.
- Arrange the whole nuts on top to look awesome and bake for 30-40 minutes until set.
- At this point serve up, pour over the vegan cream, put your new fluffy slipper socks on, with a mulled wine and watch all the best TV with your family.