Christmas is upon us, and it’s definitely the most magical time of the year because we get to spend valuable time with family and friends whilst enjoying a big feast around the table. However, for vegans, Christmas can be a daunting process if you are looking for alternatives to the standard traditional roast turkey. Believe it or not, Christmas around the table can still be a treat as there are numerous dishes out there to suit your needs which fit perfectly well with Christmas. But if you’re looking to keep on the traditional path, tofu is the closest you can get to a vegan alternative to turkey.
Baby Artichoke Bruschetta (Serves 4, Ready in 35 minutes)
A quick and easy appetiser to get your taste buds kicking.
– 8 Baby Artichokes (more if needed)
– 4 cloves of garlic
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Virgin olive oil (others if you prefer)
– A handful of fresh mint leaves
– 1 lemon
– Any type of sourdough bread
Begin by peeling the artichokes until they are pale. Cut in half and remove the hairs with a teaspoon. Add the artichokes and garlic cloves into a pan with enough water to cover them. Flavour with a bit of lemon juice, and cook until the stalks are soft.
Next, drain the contents in your pan in a colander and place the artichokes back into your pan whilst adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the artichokes for around 3 to 4 minutes to get a golden colour out of them. Once they are golden, turn off the heat, add the mint leaves and a touch of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Take half of your artichokes from the pan and place to one side. Than combine all the rest of the ingredients together, using a fork to squeeze the garlic out of the skins. Remember to discard the skins afterwards.
Finally, add your squashed artichokes on top of your bruschetta along with reserved halves.
Image & Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver
Stuffed Seitan Roast (Serves 8, 60 minutes baking time)
A fulfilling main course you will want again and again.
For the filling:
– 1 large onion
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
– 120g of tinned kidney beans
– ¼ vegetable stock cube
– 175g chopped apple slices
– 25g of finely chopped hazelnuts
– 40g chopped prunes
– 15g (3 tablespoons) coriander
For the Seitan
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil
– 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
– 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
– 1 clove of garlic (crushed and peeled)
– 1 tablespoon of rosemary
– 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes
– 175g of vital wheat gluten flour
– 250ml vegetable stock
– 120g of kidney beans
Begin by chopping up your onions and then sautéing them in a pan. Once softened, add the hazelnuts, prunes and apple pieces with the onions and carry on to cook over a medium heat for roughly 3 to 4 minutes.
Next add the kidney beans and stock cube and stir well whilst adding a touch of salt and pepper to taste. When the kidney beans have been cooked combine all the ingredients in your pan by mashing it together with a fork or potato masher. Once finished, set aside for now.
To prepare the seitan, grab a mixing bowl and combine the rosemary, garlic salt, gluten flour and yeast flakes.
Next, blend the vegetable stock (it is best to use strong stock to add more flavour in the dish), crushed garlic, tomato puree, olive oil and the remaining kidney beans in a blender. Now pour the liquid into the dry ingredients until you get a dough mixture and then using your hands, knead until your dough becomes soft.
Now, take a large piece of kitchen foil and lay out the seitan on top of the foil. Using your hands create a rectangular shape with the seitan roughly the same size as an A4 piece of paper, making sure there are no cracks or holes in the seitan.
Moving onto the filling. Spread your filling in the middle of the seitan using the kitchen foil to help you roll it just like a Swiss roll. Make sure the you roll it tightly and that the kitchen foil is wrapped around the seitan securely and tightly. Twist the ends of the foil to make sure the seitan stays inside and keeps its form.
Finally, place your roast into a preheated oven and bake for 60 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or gas mark 4. To make sure you evenly cook it, switch the roast around a couple of times.
Image & Recipe adapted from Vegan Recipe Club
Sticky Toffee Pear Pudding (Serves 8, 25 minutes prep time, 50 minutes cook time)
Spoil yourself with this sweet dessert
– 8 small pears (whichever kind you want)
– 1 orange
– 1 lemon
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 200g of golden caster sugar
– 1 star anise
– vegan ice cream (optional)
– 1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice
– 2 tablespoons of linseeds
– 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate
– 250g of pitted dates
– 200g of self-raising flour
– 175g of dark muscovado sugar
– 300ml of unsweetened almond milk
– 200ml vegetable oil
Begin by peeling the pears and cutting the bottom off to give it a flat surface. Using a knife or spoon, remove the pips and discard them.
Next, pour your sugar, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and zests (from the orange and lemon) along with 600ml of water into a saucepan suitable enough to fit all your pears. Bring to boil, then simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
Now, add all of your pears and poach for roughly 15 minutes or until you can pierce the pears with a fork or knife effortlessly. Once done, leave it to cool in the water.
Moving on to the sponge, the dates and linseeds need to be added to your saucepan along with the almond milk. Cook for roughly 2 to 3 minutes or until the dates are soft.
Next blend these ingredients together in a food processor until the mixture comes out of smooth. Add the vegetable oil and blitz again, then transfer the contents into a bowl to cool down.
Now, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius/gas mark 4 and grease your baking tin (preferably 20 by 30 cm) with baking parchment.
Next put the dry ingredients into a larger bowl whilst adding half a teaspoon of salt. Using your hands, combine the ingredients together making sure there are no cracks, holes or lumps. Add your dates and oil mixture whilst folding in the pear scraps. Pour your cake mixture into a tin, so you can put the pears in an upright position whilst the bottom halves are covered in the mixture. Bake in the oven for roughly 35 to 40 minutes. Your cake should be ready if you put a toothpick inside and comes out clean. If there is residue or if it is wet, then continue to bake for 10 more minutes.
Lastly, continue to boil and simmer the pear liquid until it is reduced to a syrup-like texture. Cool the pudding for roughly 5 to 10 minutes, then gently brush your syrup over the pudding.
Image & Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food