How To Have A Very Vegan Christmas Dinner
Since going vegan 2 years ago, a lot has changed in my kitchen. Not only has there been a shift from animal products to all plant-based products, there's also been a serious increase in quality of plant-based meat & dairy alternatives.
Our first Christmas dinner was shortly after we went vegan, & so things were ... a little rocky, to say the least. We were trying out a lot of products for the first time, & trying to feel our way through the plant-based world. We were a little too excited to be eating the "same things" as everyone else, so we didn't put enough effort into making sure those "same things" still tasted good.
It may look delicious, but it was truly sub-par. We had found a Tofurky roast that we were very excited about - the thought of having "turkey" without the turkey was an exciting prospect! Unfortunately, the Tofurky felt rubbery and didn't resemble the smell, look, taste or texture of turkey. For people who don't want that similar texture or taste, this may be adequate for you. However, it wasn't for us. It was also my first attempt at making cranberry sauce, at which I failed (it was very sour & the texture was all wrong). The mashed potatoes weren't as creamy & yummy as they should've been because I hadn't yet discovered the amazingness that is Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread. The gravy that came with the Tofurky was OK - and just OK. The roasted veggies were alright, but they weren't the shining star. The buns we later found out weren't vegan, despite being assured they were (huge eye roll). The only thing that was even remotely worth our time was the stuffing that I made. I still use that recipe to this day because it is very, very yummy! And nothing for dessert, because dessert was hard.
We walked away from the dinner table that day feeling a little discouraged, I guess you could say. Maybe being vegan around the holidays wasn't so easy, after all. Thankfully, as our veganism blossomed and we tried new recipes and new products, we realized that we weren't doomed to have bad Christmas dinners forever!
Our second Christmas went much, much better. Unfortunately I was so busy shoveling food into my mouth that I didn't get a photo. Our second vegan Christmas had Gardein's delightfully delicious Holiday Roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, homemade pierogis, cabbage rolls, and dessert. We did get vegan bread rolls, too! The food was so good that our non-vegan family ate a lot of our food, too! We walked away from that dinner filled to the brim. It was so good, in fact, that we've since used pretty much the same foods for all our holiday dinners (Thanksgiving, Easter). This Christmas, we already have our turkey ready in the freezer!
If you're looking for ideas to make your Christmas dinner complete this year, it's not too late! These are my go-tos, no matter the occasion.
- Turkey: Gardein Holiday Roast (comes with gravy packets which are very good, & ample)
- Mashed Potatoes (mashed with Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread + garlic cloves + soy milk)
- Stuffing: Minimalist Baker's Simple Vegan Stuffing
- Pierogis: Isa Chandra's Potato Pierogi with Carmelized Onion (make them in advance and you can freeze them until Christmas!)
- Cabbage Rolls: Ordinary Vegan's Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (if you don't like Field Roast Italian Sausages, I highly recommend Lightlife's Gimme Lean Sausage as a substitute)
- Cranberry Sauce: AllRecipes Cranberry Sauce (this was a simpler recipe that turned out to be very satisfying!)
- Apple Pie: Food Network's Deep Dish Vegan Apple Pie (I used Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread instead of coconut oil in the dough and the filling)
- Pumpkin Pie: Minimalist Baker's Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie (use regular flour if not GF)
- So Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip