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Making A Vegan Christmas Dinner: What Are You Planning?

Updated on August 18, 2012

What Is Santa Bringing For Your Vegan Christmas?

Photo credit: kevindooley (Flickr/  Creative Commons Creative Commons License Deed Attribution 2.0 Generic.)
Photo credit: kevindooley (Flickr/ Creative Commons Creative Commons License Deed Attribution 2.0 Generic.)

My Tummy Loves Tofurkey

Photo credit: JASON ANFINSEN Flickr/  Creative Commons Creative Commons License Deed Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
Photo credit: JASON ANFINSEN Flickr/ Creative Commons Creative Commons License Deed Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Merry Christmas, Vegans!

Are you a recent convert to the joys of veganism? If so, then you have probably been perusing a lot of vegan cookbooks lately, and are just finding your feet with vegan cookery. You may have mastered a small number of favourite, reliable dishes. Maybe you’ve discovered vegan baking and your kitchen is steamy with the scent of vegan chocolate cake!

But there’s one thing that gives a vegan pause, at least in their first year: what are you going to eat for Christmas dinner? And how are you going to cook it?

First things first: of course turkey’s off the menu. (Well, real, clucking, gobbling turkey is off the menu. Tofurkey, anyone?) So what are you going to replace it with? It’s not so much that there aren’t any options: more a case of “Oh my God, too much choice! I don’t know what to pick!” For a big day like Christmas you want to pick the right option. Perhaps you could try the various different loaves and vegan roasts available for big Sunday roasts in the upcoming weeks, and mark them out of ten in a little notebook. Then you can pick the highest scorer!

Vegans, Where's The Beef? (Oops.)

Popular vegan manufacturers such as Granose and Paul's Tofu make a wide selection of 'roasts': nut roasts, meat substitute type roasts, lentil bakes and others. The Vegan Society has a great website where you can search their database of approved products and vendors for something to base your festive meal around. You may choose a pre-formed roast or bake or perhaps would prefer a dry mix which you can shape or choose a dish for in any way you please. Suppliers such as Granose do a wide range of dry mixes, e.g. their sunflower seed, lentil and vegetable mix, or you can create one from scratch from a whole host of recipes available online.

But: vegan cannot live by veggie roast alone. What about gravy? My (vegan) other half has for many years sworn by Sainsbury's vegetarian gravy (which was labelled as such, but also with the Vegan approval mark.) He did have a bit of a meltdown when recently they ceased to label it as vegan. Oh no! No more Sainsbury's vegan gravy mix! How can life go on! Fortunately, after a rather persistent investigative flurry of phoning and emailing around to find someone in the know, it turned out to be only a 'labelling error', and he was assured that the product was still suitable for those of an animal-friendly disposition. (Let's hope they get their butts in gear and update the labelling soon to reflect that.)

Making Vegan Yorkshire Puddings For A Vegan Christmas: Hmm...

Maybe you like to make your own gravy though? Sure, it's not as easy without all those delicious meaty juices from a piece of dead animal (sorry!) But you can do it: there's a ton of recipes out there, or I would just adapt my old mum's technique and use the oil and juices from pan roasted vegetables instead, vigorously mix in a dessertspoon of plain flour with splash of a vegan-brand worcestershire sauce (hint: have an Animal Free Shopper Search, very handy) and a little marmite or vegemite, add the water from your boiled veg and a pinch of salt. Delish.

Of course there's one thing that gives festively-minded vegans a special headache. And that's (ta-dah!) Yorkshire puddings! How can you have a festive vegan Christmas dinner without Yorkshire puddings? But on the other hand, how can you make vegan Yorkshire puddings? Well, this year I'll be finding out and reporting back, since my other half only returned to the fold of veganism a few months back. So this is the first year we'll be attempting egg-free Yorkshire puddings. There are a whole lot of recipes out there on the net, most of them with mixed reviews: wish us luck!

There you go, the essentials of a delicious vegan Christmas dinner: roast, gravy, vegetables and Yorkshires. I'm salivating already. Happy vegan Christmas!


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