Have you got a vegan coming to visit you this Christmas? STOP PANIC-GOOGLING.
I present to you 5 essentials for the perfect vegan Christmas dinner spread – all easy to make and so tasty that they will be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike:
1: Mushroom, chestnut and cranberry stuffing
This stuffing is so blinking good!
It is juicy, herby and packed with flavours. The chestnuts and cranberries add a welcome sweetness that contrasts against the savoury and herby mushrooms. It’s a beaut.
- 100g dried cranberries
- Purple grape juice for soaking
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Coconut oil for frying
- 450g of mixed mushrooms
- 1 tsp of chopped fresh thyme
- 140g of peeled, cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 140g oats, lightly pulsed in your food processor
- 2 tbsp of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp of flax meal with 3 tbsp of water, left to soak for 5 minutes)
- Start by soaking the cranberries for an hour in enough purple grape juice to cover them.
- Fry the onion and garlic in a little coconut oil over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the onion has softened.
- Chop the mushrooms and add these to the pan along with the thyme. Drain off any excess liquid during cooking but reserve it as you may need it later. When the mushrooms are tender and browned, tip the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool.
- Once the onion and mushroom mix has cooled, add the chestnuts, soaked cranberries, pulsed oats, parsley and the flax egg. Season the mixture and if it looks a little dry add some of the liquid you reserved from when you were cooking your mushroom mix; you want it just wet enough to bring together.
- Preheat your oven to 190C. Add your stuffing mix to a lightly greased baking dish and press it down so its around 1 1/2 inches thick. Bake it in the oven (covered) for around 35 minutes before removing the lid and baking for a further 10 minutes to brown it off before serving.
- If you are feeling super fancy, you could encase this stuffing in pastry to make a rather fine tasting mushroom, chestnut and cranberry wellington!
2: Oven roasted seasonal veggies in a coconut amino glaze
This is such an easy dish to make and tastes so good it’ll become a regular in your winter meal repertoire. It’s not a joke to say that I have this exact dish on average 3-4 times a week at the minute!
Get a good selection of roasting veggies that are, if possible:
Try carrots, aubergine, beetroot, pumpkin and of course Brussel sprouts.
- Cut your veggies into bite size chunks and put them in a roasting tin in a hot oven (210C) with a teaspoon or two of coconut oil.
- Roast them for around 25 minutes before drizzling a couple of tablespoons of coconut aminos over them, seasoning with plenty of pepper, a little salt and stirring them around.
- Put them back in the oven for another 20 minutes, checking halfway to see if you need any more aminos.
The result will be perfectly roasted veggies, packed full of flavour, nutrients and Christmas goodness with a mild sweet and salty amino glaze.
The sprouts will be a revelation! No mushy, overcooked bitter mini cabbages here – just cut them in half and bake them into perfection; think sweet, al dente, gently roasted and caramelised – yum!
3: Crispy thyme roasted potatoes
The thought of these is making my tummy rumble!
Easy peasy, perfect roasties in 45 minutes – you can’t go wrong.
- Peel your potatoes, cut them in half or in thirds depending on their size and par boil for around 15 minutes until they are starting to soften (stick a knife in to test, you don’t want them too soft).
- Whilst your potatoes are boiling get your roasting pan ready by putting it in the oven to heat up with enough coconut oil to fully coat the bottom of the dish when it is melted. You want to get the pan nice and hot.
- When your potatoes are par boiled, drain them and shake the pan a bit to rough them up. Put them (carefully) in your pre-heated roasting pan with a few sprigs of thyme and cloves of garlic. Roast for around 30 minutes until they are soft on the inside and crispy and golden on the outside.
4: Maple glazed parsnips
Who doesn’t like parsnips?! No Christmas dinner is complete without this vegetable king.
- To bake them to sweet and gooey perfection, first peel them, cut them in half lengthways and par boil them for around 8 minutes whilst you heat your oven up around 210C.
- Once your parsnips are parboiled, drain them and pop them on a baking tray with a teaspoon or so of coconut oil and bake them for 10 minutes.
- Brush them with a generous helping of maple syrup or coconut nectar and bake them for 10 minutes until they are perfectly cooked.
5: Fruity stollen cake with a sweet marzipan centre
You can’t beat a hearty, fruity stollen cake with a marzipan centre that is like a little nugget of joy when you bite into it.
Or in this case, a rather large nugget of joy. What can I say, I like marzipan!
This stollen can be served to vegans and non-vegans alike and it is a good one to make in advance as it keeps well in an airtight container.
- 50g of dried cranberries
- 50g of sultanas
- 50g raisins
- Orange juice for soaking
- 5 tsp ‘quick’ yeast
- 50g coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 350g oat flour (just finely ground oats)
- 2 chia eggs (2 tbsp of ground chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp of water and left for 10 minutes to thicken up)
- 75g coconut oil
- 150ml warm almond or soya milk
- 150g citrus peel
- 200g marzipan
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Soak your berries and currants in orange juice for around an hour.
- Mix together your dry base ingredients – yeast, sugar, salt and flour.
- Add your wet base ingredients to your flour mix – chia eggs, oil, milk, citrus peel and the soaked berries and currants (minus the orange juice). Mix well to form a dough.
- Knead your dough on a lightly floured surface for around 10 minutes.
- Lightly oil a bowl, add your dough and brush the top of it with a little oil. Cover with a warm, damp cloth and prove the dough for an hour in a warm place.
- Once your dough has proved, flatten it with your hands and place a small cylinder of marzipan down the centre of your dough. Fold your dough over the marzipan, press the seam together and place the dough seam-down on a greased baking tray.
- Cover with the warm, damp tea towel and prove for a further 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Bake your stollen for 10 minutes before turning the temperature down to 150C and baking for a further 30 minutes.
- Once your stollen is cooked, transfer it to a cooling rack and leave to cool.
- Once your stollen is cool, dust it generously with icing sugar and serve with lashings of hot custard.
I’ve adapted this recipe from the fabulously popular Christmas Stollen recipe from All Recipes.
Merry Christmas to you all!