Can't Cook, Won't Cook Vegan Christmas
It's very easy to have a very Merry Vegan Christmas - and you don't have to cook everything from scratch, either! Here are our top tips and quick fixes to veganise your favourites and make this Christmas the best ever!
- Supermarkets/chains: most carry bigger ranges than ever – eg Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Holland & Barrett, Morrison, Majestic, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado
- Health food shops: high street or on line stores will supply you with a wider range of brands. See our Useful Resources section below
- Pound and other saver shops - many cheaper lines of chocolate and other items are sometimes vegan - see below
If you aren’t sure if a product is vegan, don’t be shy about asking staff – they can help in the short term - (and in the long term. The more of us who lobby companies, the sooner we get a more consistent labelling system in place!)
THE MAIN EVENT
- Nut and seed roasts: Artisan; Suma - health food shops, including Holland & Barrett and online stores
- Vegan meat-style roasts: Tofurkey, assorted flavours; Vbites Turkey and Beef roasts - stockists as above
- Other: Fry’s Soya & Quinoa Country Roast - stockists as above
- Roast potatoes: Aunt Bessie’s frozen (avoid the goose-fat variety!); Aldi frozen; Sainsbury's frozen; Tesco Frozen - and possibly others too.
- Other veg: most prepped versions are fine, just take care about the pre-cooked sides, many of which contain animal products, eg cream, butter, creme fraiche etc.
- Gravy: Free & Easy ready-made; Marigold; Naturally Good; Tesco Vegetable Gravy Granules. (Health food varieties tend to avoid palm fat, too... read the labels, as always!)
Gravy Top Tips
Make the day before if possible. Let those flavours party, especially if you add some of these extras below!
- Miso – medium or dark. A Japanese paste from large supermarkets or health food shops. Look for brands such as Sanchi, Clearspring or Sainsbury’s. Rich and strong, add a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired flavour
- Tamari or shoyu soya sauce – supermarkets or health food shops. Brands include Clearspring, Essential, Sanchi or Kikoman. Not to be confused with cheaper varieties, this the soya sauce equivalent of balsamic vinegar! Rich, fermented and no additives, it adds depth of flavour to all sorts of dishes
- Yeast extract – Marmite or supermarket own-brands are cheaper but Meridian and Essential also sell excellent versions.
- Red wine, sherry or port – a splash of booze makes all the difference. Even if you’re teetotal, a fair bit of alcohol is burned off in cooking, just make sure the gravy comes to the boil then simmers for a while
CHRISTMAS PUDDING, MINCE PIES, CHRISTMAS CAKE AND THEIR ACCOMPANIMENTS
Christmas pudding: many supermarket brands are vegan - we've listed just a few
- Aldi, as Lidl
- Co-op – some of their range is vegan and very nice
- Lidl – vegan last we heard, but always check the ingredients
- M&S Classic Xmas Pudding
- Sainsbury’s: By Sainsbury's Christmas pudding; BGTY Christmas Pudding; Basics Christmas pudding
Christmas cake: unless you get a local vegan cake maker to bake you one, it’s a DIY job as we were unable to find any vegan versions out there - yet! Try this simple recipe. Icing – Dr Oetker’s Ready-rolled; Sainsbury’s
Alternatively, Aldi Stollen is often vegan (it depends on the year!)
Mince pies: they are out there, but recipes and brands vary from year to year – read the labels to avoid butter, eggs, milk etc. Foods of Athenry GF Mince Pies are vegan and gluten-free! (Ocado and independent health food stores)
Cream: Alpro Coconut; Alpro Soya; Valsoia
Whipping cream: Whiptop, selected Tesco and online
Ice cream: Almond Dream; Booja Booja; Swedish Glace; Sainsbury’s; Tesco
Custard: Alpro or Oatly ready-made; or use custard powder in a tub + soya or almond milk and sugar, eg Birds or Just Wholefoods. (Supermarket packet varieties usually contain milk)
Quick DIY Mince Pies
OTHER VEGAN DESSERTS
Ice cream (frozen dairy-free dessert!):
- Almond Dream – vegan ice cream: Waitrose
- Bessant & Dury – vegan ice cream: health food shops and Ocado
- Booja Booja – vegan ice cream: good health food shops and Ocado
- CoYo – vegan ice cream: health food shops, Ocado
- Swedish Glace – vegan ice cream: health food shops and larger supermarkets
- Food Heaven – vegan and gluten-free cheesecake: selected Waitrose and Asda
- Pudology – vegan and gluten-free desserts: Waitrose and Ocado
CHOCOLATE AND OTHER TREATS
There's so much out there now - obviously, avoid anything with gelatine, dairy etc but have a hunt around and label read. Or just ask staff.
Chocolate: there is LOTS of vegan chocolate out there, including Christmas shapes! MooFree Advent Calendar and Christmas Moos For a larger selection click here (And don't forget Viva!Shop's chocolate range!)
Hotel Chocolat, M&S and other companies sell vegan chocolate - ask in-store.
- Turkish Delight Treats Rose & lemon
- Salted Pretzel Stars
- Salted Christmas Tree Tortillas
- Rudolph's Noses
Look in other supermarkets and pound shops to find similar products and more ... you'll be amazed! See our Useful Resources section below
PARTY FOOD AND SNACKS
- Party Selection, 48 pieces; Pizzas - all by VBites
- Indian snacks are usually vegan, eg Iceland Indian Snack Selection
- Sausage rolls: Linda McCartney; Fry's; VBites
CHEESEBOARD, VEGAN STYLE
- Cheese: Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From, assorted flavours; Sheese (Bute Island): assorted; Tesco, assorted flavours; Vegusto, assorted flavours; Violife, assorted flavours. Most of these are widely available. Vegusto is available from some health food stores and also online, see below. There is also a growing range of artisan vegan cheeses - go online to find out more!
Bubbles: several brands of champagne are vegan, including Lanson Rose right through to Aldi's Veuve Monsigny 2007 Vintage Blanc De Blanc Champagne! Vegan prosecco and cava is also widely available
- Viva! Wine Club to order organic, vegan booze by mail
- Barnivore: the go-to site for world-wine vegan brands
- Majestic and most supermarkets have vegan booze lists – ask staff if you can’t find online. The Co-op labels its own wines if they’re vegan but not any other brands
When in doubt, contact Barnivore, the legendary go-to site for all things vegan and boozy!
- Vegan Womble contains lots of useful and very up-to-date info about ‘accidentally vegan’ products here, including supermarket vegan lists.
www.veganrecipeclub.org.uk for recipes, food tips and much more.