V for Life

Chef Claire’s Christmas tips

Posted by Claire on 01/01/22 in Recipes

After the unusual Christmas that Covid restrictions brought us last year, I'm sure everyone will be excited for a more ‘normal’ Christmas this year, packed full of Yuletide cheer. With retailers predicting a shortage of traditional festive favourites this year, it could be the perfect time to host a veggie/vegan Christmas, maybe even winning over some of your non-vegan friends and family.

The thought of feeding your family and friends at Christmas can fill even the most experienced of cooks with dread. Fear not, help is at hand with our Christmas dinner top tips and recipe suggestions to save you time and effort – and hopefully give you more quality time to spend with your nearest and dearest as you celebrate the big day.

Spruce up your sprouts

It wouldn't be Christmas without sprouts. Love them or loathe them, sprouts can be delicious and nutritious. My mum always used to crosscut the bottom, but I find this really time consuming and it makes little difference. You can give your sprouts a little extra lift by parboiling with a pinch of sugar, then pan-frying them in a dash of olive oil with veggie bacon (such as Vbites or Vivera). Or for something extra special add some ready-cooked chestnuts.

Perfect for Boxing Day leftovers, stir-fry halved sprouts with a sprinkling of Chinese five-spice powder. I love the hints of cinnamon and cloves, which have a sweet, almost floral aroma that always conjures up that festive feeling.

You could even make the sprout the star of the show with our fantastic festive gratin recipe.

Perfect potatoes

Most cooks have a finely tuned roast potato recipe to achieve a perfectly crispy and flavoursome spud. Yet we often underestimate the time it takes to peel, parboil and roast potatoes to perfection. Take the pressure off Christmas Day by prepping – peel, chop and parboil your potatoes in advance. At this stage you can freeze the potatoes and roast them from frozen whenever you need them. The freezing process even makes the potatoes extra crispy.

Christmassy cabbage

My best tip is to very finely shred the cabbage so it takes less time to cook. When prepped in this way it takes just a few minutes to steam. Drain well, and season with salt and pepper, then toss in melted vegan butter or olive oil.

Add some colour and a little wow factor to your Christmas meal with a red cabbage accompaniment. Braising it with sugar, onion, vinegar, red wine, vegan butter, and some Christmas spices means it will keep for at least two days in the fridge. This can also be made in advance and frozen

Classic centrepiece

Every Christmas dinner table needs a centrepiece, and our festive take on cauliflower is sure to turn heads. Although we wouldn’t knock back a great nut roast, the cauliflower is veg patch royalty in these dishes, the perfect alternative to traditional nut roast.

Serve these showstoppers with all of your usual Christmas trimmings and a rich onion gravy:

Christmas Stuffed Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower Tart

Sweet treats

Cream is a Christmas staple, and one that we can’t really ignore. We all love to drown our festive desserts with it, so it's lucky that switching your classic dairy with a Cashew Nut Cream version is easy, delicious and great with so many puddings and desserts.

In our house it's not Christmas without a mince pie! Mince pies don't have to be pastry based, our Angelic Mince Pies use almonds for a wonderfully flavourful crust.

A great alternative to mince pies, why not try our Mincemeat Muffins, packed full of the flavours of Christmas?

We hope we’ve given you some new recipe ideas and time saving tips for your Christmas feast. Have a lovely veggie/vegan Christmas however you choose to celebrate.


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