Our First Vegan Christmas

Becoming Vegan

In September we made the decision, as a family, to become vegetarian. As we’re a dairy-free household anyway (Phoebe is lactose-intolerant) we’ve become vegan instead. I’m surprised at how interested other people are in what we eat, so I thought I’d throw a little post together about what we ate over Christmas. In all honesty, it hasn’t really been very hard to have a vegan Christmas and we’ve still eaten plenty!

Christmas Eve

When I was little Christmas Day breakfast was always a bacon sandwich. For Christmas Eve breakfast this year I decided to give Aubergine Bacon (or Eggplant Bacon) a go and it was really tasty! Eleanor really liked it and she doesn’t even like bacon, so I’ll definitely try it again. The only off-putting thing was that the recipe I followed took 50 minutes in the oven which is longer than I ever want to wait for my breakfast!

For lunch I made some spiced parsnip soup, totally inspired by a wonderful vegan meal we enjoyed at Natural Healthy Foods. It was really easy to make too, you can find the recipe here.

Image credit: BBC Good Food

On the evening of Christmas Eve we invited my brother and his fiancee over and had a little buffet. My brother is a meat-eater and probably the most vocal about our decision to eat vegan, so I was really happy that he was prepared to try our food! We had Linda McCartney sausage rolls and mini Wellingtons, lots of salad, pickles, Violife cheese, crackers and crisps. I also used recipes from Vegan Food & Living magazine to make chai-spiced nuts and coconut snowballs, along with some carrot cake balls from my favourite cookbook: Keep It Vegan*.

The best thing I made for Christmas Eve was this coconut nog. It’s really good with or without rum, I definitely recommend you give it a try!

Christmas Day

I tried something new for breakfast. I made carrot gravadlax from Vegan Food & Living magazine. It looks exactly like smoked salmon and the taste isn’t far off either! I prepped it the day before as the carrot needs to marinate and then we had it with toasted bagels and Violife cream cheese. You can also find the original recipe here.

Christmas is always just the four of us, so dinner isn’t ever really that complicated. This year though I did use my bullet journal to good effect and write myself a list with timings to keep everything on track. We had a mushroom Wellington and I’d prepped the filling on Christmas Eve to make things easier. To be honest, it wasn’t quite as nice as I’d hoped. The stuffing tasted too much like the wine I’d added. I’d make it again, but I’d tweak it slightly to our tastes. With our Wellington, we had roast potatoes, sprouts, and maple-glazed carrots and parsnips.

Image credit: Jamie Oliver

For dessert I decided not to bother with Christmas pudding. I don’t know about you but I always feel too full to enjoy it anyway. Instead I made Jamie’s Oliver’s chocolate pots, but I used minty dark chocolate and they tasted just like Matchmakers! As a kid, we always had minty chocolate Matchmakers about at Christmas.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day was another roast dinner for just the four of us, so I did a Linda McCartney Roast Beef. It’s nothing like roast beef, but we all enjoy it. It’s what I imagine a meatloaf to be like.

Have we missed the turkey? Not really!

We don’t feel like we’ve missed out on anything by having a vegan Christmas, in fact we’ve discovered some new and interesting food! I’ll admit, it was a little strange not to be eating turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day, but I haven’t really thought about what I’m not eating. I’ve been more excited about what I am eating to feel like I’m missing out. Of course, it does mean that this year I haven’t mindlessly been eating tins of Roses in front of the TV, which can only be a good thing!

Preparation was definitely  the key to success and I used my bullet journal for planning, list making and recipe-collecting. That’s really not any different to any other Christmas, except I had to be more organised in shopping for a few special ingredients. I’m glad that I’d bought the Christmas edition of Vegan Food & Living, as it gave me plenty of ideas, so I’ll be putting that away again for next year. I guess by next Christmas cooking a festive vegan meal will feel completely normal anyway!

If you’re interested in trying a vegan diet, have a look at Veganuary which kicks off tomorrow on January 1st!

Toria

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