Vegan Christmas recipes

Vegan Christmas recipes for meat-free dining

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Whether you’re a vegan yourself or wondering how to cater for vegan guests, here’s how to create a meat-free, plant-based festive feast that’s packed with flavour.

Dreaming of a vegan Christmas?

You’re not the only one – it’s estimated that around 1 in 10 New Zealanders eat a diet that is, or is almost-all, meat free. This is up 3 per cent, from 7 per cent in 2017, and it’s a trend that has steadily risen since 2014.

In fact, according to Google Trends, New Zealand ranked number three in the world in 2018 for ‘vegan’ searches, with queries about vegan ice-cream and food topping the vegan-related search list. 

But there’s no need to spend time Googling what to cook for Christmas this year: we’ve got you covered.

What can vegans eat for Christmas dinner?

First up, don’t forget that a wide variety of the dishes and foods we tend to think of as being traditional at Christmas time are already vegan. Think roast potatoes and pumpkin, maple syrup-glazed vegetables, cherries and fresh fruit salad, to name just a few. 

But it’s also true that when it comes to finding and using vegan substitutes for those Christmas staples, like roast meats, it’s never been easier. 

Over the past few years, the number of new vegan food products on New Zealand supermarket and specialty store shelves has been on the rise. So much so that Kiwi suppliers of vegan foods have said they are struggling to keep up with the demand. 

Plant-based Christmas menu

A variety of plant-based meat alternatives are available, often made from tofu and wheat-based protein, or even young, tender jackfruit. And many are designed with the festive season in mind, taking the shape of roasts, BBQ-ready sausages and deli slices.

Simply pair them with a few vegetable sides or salads and suddenly your Christmas table is taking shape. 

Dairy and other alternatives

 An ever-growing number of dairy-style alternatives are also available, which means you can simply swap ingredients like cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in your favourite Christmas recipes, with a vegan-friendly option.

Plus, as well as using ‘exact’ vegan substitutes like those dairy-free dairy-style products, you can also make clever use of some like-for-like swaps to ‘veganise’ a recipe. For example, use olive oil or avocado instead of butter; coconut cream rather than cream; and soft tofu in place of eggs when you’re making a Christmas tart or custard.

Just remember when planning your vegan Christmas food that eating a healthy vegan diet relies on following some simple principles to make sure you’re hitting those all-important healthy nutritional requirements.  

Vegan Christmas menu

If you’d prefer to make a vegan Christmas dinner that doesn’t require making any substitutions or purchasing any vegan-approved alternative products, no problem. 

Here’s a  choice of dishes to make a three-course menu, complete with some pre-meal nibbles, that’s vegan, delicious and suitably celebratory.  

To accompany those pre-dinner drinks

Whip up a zesty matcha guacamole, served with sweet potato chips, or a cauliflower and lentil dip, paired with your choice of crackers, vegetable sticks or bread. 

For the starter

Keep it light, healthy and festively green by serving a flavour-packed bowl of broccoli and basil soup with garlic croutons, or a herby lentil and pumpkin salad. 

For the main meal

Cook a rich and delicious vegan lasagne, served with a maple-glazed tempeh salad that’s full of Christmassy colour.  

To finish with something sweet

Choose between a raw Christmas cashew tart or a vegan chocolate cake. 

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