We all want to impress family and friends with decadent vegan food for Christmas, so no doubt excitement over designing the Christmas menu is rising by the minute!
AND OF COURSE, EVERYONE WENT CRAZY WHEN STAR CHEF JAMIE OLIVER SHARED HIS VEGAN CHRISTMAS RECIPE SUGGESTIONS WITH HIS MASSIVE AUDIENCE.
I am saving you the trouble of making the hard decisions on your own, and since I have been feeding a number of picky male meat eaters with my cruelty-free dishes, I believe I am quite good at picking the ones that will leave their taste buds fully satisfied.
If you’re looking for phenomenal Christmas food that will leave everyone begging for more, here it is:
(and don’t forget to share with all your vegan buddies)
We’re starting with this super yummy
BABY ARTICHOKE BRUSCHETTA
“This simple bruschetta recipe is delicious and versatile – piled with beautiful veg you can’t go wro
- 8 baby artichokes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon , juice of
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 handful fresh mint , leaves picked
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Start by preparing the artichokes, peel them back to their pale, light leaves, then halve them and remove the hairy chokes with a teaspoon. Place them in a pan with just enough water to cover them. Add the garlic cloves and a little squeeze of lemon juice and cook until the stalks are tender.
Drain in a colander, then place the artichokes straight back into the empty pan with 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil and fry for 4 minutes to get a bit of colour on them. When they’re slightly golden, remove from the heat, squeeze in a little lemon juice, add the mint and season carefully to taste.
Remove 4 artichoke halves from the pan and put to one side, then mash all the rest in the pan, using a fork to squash the garlic out of the skins (throw the skins away).
Smear across your basic bruschetta, tearing one of the reserved artichoke halves over the top of each. PS It’s also really nice to add a handful of freshly grated Parmesan to the mashed-up artichokes.
VEGAN NUT ROAST
“Being vegan doesn’t mean compromising on flavour, as this recipe proves. Crunchy and full of spices, everyone will be tucking in ”
- 50 g pine nuts , plus extra for decorating
- 50 g linseed
- 50 g sunflower seeds
- 100 g unsweetened chestnut purée
- 50 g gluten-free vegetarian suet
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- gluten-flour for dusting
- For the spinach topping:
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 300 g chestnut mushrooms , sliced
- 260 g baby leaf spinach , or frozen chopped spinach
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 ripe avocado
- 100 g silken tofu
- 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/4 sweet potato
- Olive oil
Recipe by Emma Goss-Custard
Tofu gives this nut roast a creaminess that makes it seem decadent. You can make individual portions or 1 big tart.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Spread out the nuts and seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5–6 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, along with the chestnut purée, suet and maple syrup, and blitz until it comes together into a ball. It will be sticky to begin with, so stop and scrape the sides as you go.
- Place a large sheet of baking parchment on a work surface and sit the dough on it. Then, with lots of gluten-free flour on your hands and rolling pin, roll out the dough as thinly as possible (less than 5mm).
- If you’re making individual tartlets, oil and flour four 10cm loose-bottomed tart tins, then cut the pastry to size. For 1 large tart, roll out the dough and cut to the size of a large, shallow baking tin, and transfer to the tin using a fish slice. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, cover with baking parchment, fill with baking beans or rice and bake blind for 12–15 minutes. Leave to cool in the tray, and keep the oven on.
- Meanwhile, make the topping. Heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil in a pan over a medium heat, then sauté the mushrooms for 6–8 minutes, until golden. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil and wilt the spinach (or heat through if frozen) along with the pepper. Blitz the spinach, avocado flesh, tofu, nutmeg and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth.
- Thinly slice the sweet potato using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, creating a pile of peelings. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small pan, then fry the peelings over a high heat, turning occasionally, for 4–5 minutes, until just turning crisp.
- Assemble the tart by spreading the spinach mixture over the baked and cooled tart base. Lay the mushrooms on top, and decorate with the sweet potato slivers and a scattering of toasted pine nuts. Eat heated or at room temperature, with potatoes and vegetables.
VEGAN MUSHROOM, CHESTNUT & CRANBERRY TART
“This tart is perfect for Christmas – make it the day before and heat through once dinner’s nearly ready. If you can’t get wild mushrooms, use more chestnut ones. ”
- 230 g gluten-free plain flour
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 60 g dairy-free margarine
- 60 g vegetable shortening
- For the filling:
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 5-6 carrots , grated (450g)
- 250 g chestnut mushrooms
- 360 g peeled chestnuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 225 g soya cream cheese
- 2 tbsp garlic oil
- 250 g wild mushrooms
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- For the redcurrant gravy:
- 1 tbsp walnut oil , or garlic oil
- 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 300 ml hot vegetable stock
- 1 heaped tbsp cornflour , mixed with 2 tbsp water
- For the roast potatoes:
- 2.5 kg floury potatoes
- 8 tbsp groundnut oil , or olive oil
Recipe by Pippa Kendrick
- Preheat the oven and a large baking tray to 180C/gas 4. Start by making the pastry. Sift the flour and xanthan gum into a food processor, add the margarine, vegetable shortening and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and cut together with the flat of a knife.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cold water, pulsing as you go (or stirring with a flat-bladed knife, if making the pastry by hand), until the mixture begins to pull together to form a dough. Tip the pastry into a large bowl (or keep in the same bowl, if making it by hand) and, using your fingertips, pull together into a ball. Knead lightly for about 2 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
3 Shape the pastry into a ball and place between 2 large sheets of cling film, then roll it out into a circle slightly larger than the tart tin and no thinner than 3mm. Peel off the uppermost sheet of cling film and carefully flip the pastry into a deep 23cm tart tin. Peel away the remaining cling film and gently press the pastry into the sides of the tin, filling in any cracks with pastry and patting it flat with your fingertips. Trim the edges and set aside.
- Next, prepare the potatoes. Peel and cut in half, quartering any large ones. Place in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. The second the water begins to boil, time the potatoes, allowing them to cook for 4 minutes before removing from the heat and draining. Shake the potatoes in the colander a little to chuff up the edges – this helps them crisp up. Pour the oil into a large roasting tin, tip in the potatoes and a heaped teaspoon of sea salt and firmly shake to coat evenly. Set aside while you make the filling for the tart.
- Finely chop the onion, crush the garlic, then finely grate the carrots. Trim the stalks from the chestnut mushrooms and slice into rounds. Halve 240g of the chestnuts (the rest will be used for the topping).
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frying pan until hot, add the onions and cook gently over a low heat until softened. Add the carrots, garlic, thyme and mushrooms and fry gently until softened and all of the liquid from the mushrooms has been absorbed – around 10 minutes.
- Stir in the cream cheese and halved chestnuts and mix together gently until the cheese has softened and formed a creamy mixture. Season to taste, spoon the filling into the pastry case then level the top. Place the tart on the baking tray on the top shelf of the oven and the potatoes on the bottom shelf. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp.
- Remove the tart from the oven, cover loosely in foil to retain its heat and set aside. Move the potatoes to the top shelf of the oven and increase the temperature to 220C/gas 7. Continue roasting the potatoes for a further 25–30 minutes until golden and crisp.
- For the gravy, heat the oil and redcurrant jelly in a small saucepan, stirring until melted and smooth. Add the hot stock, bring to a simmer and stir in the cornflour. Simmer gently and stir continuously until you have the desired consistency. Set aside.
- Finally, tear the wild mushrooms into pieces, roughly chop the remaining chestnuts and finely chop the parsley. Heat the garlic oil in a heavy-based frying pan until hot, add the mushrooms and fry gently until softened. Stir in the chestnuts, cranberries and parsley and spoon over the tart to form a decorative layer. Reheat the gravy and serve with the tart and roast potatoes.
JAMIE’S OLD ENGLISH CHRISTMAS RUB
“Sprinkle this herby, spicy, zesty mixture on your Christmas lunch veggies for loads of extra flavour ”
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 4 allspice berries
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 8 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary , leaves picked
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme , leaves picked
- ½ nutmeg
Use a speed peeler to peel 4 good-sized strips of zest from the orange and lemon. Add these to a mortar with the bay leaves, allspice berries, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt. Crumble in the cinnamon stick, then pound the lot with the pestle until it’s well broken down. You’ll have to get stuck in as this will take a few minutes! If you’re feeling lazy you could use a food processor, but I personally think the results are better if you do it the old-fashioned way.
Once you’ve got a rough powder (don’t worry too much if there are still a few bigger bits left), add the rosemary and thyme leaves and pound again until these are bashed up, too. Finally, add the rest of the sea salt, grate in the nutmeg and give it all a good mix with a fork. The rub will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE, CHERRY & HONEYCOMB PARFAIT
“Being a vegan doesn’t mean you can’t create knockout puddings. This dark chocolate, honeycomb, almond and berry dessert is even better than it sounds ”
- 200 g dark dairy-free chocolate
- 85 g blanched almonds
- 150 g dairy-free margarine
- 85 g glacé cherries
- 100 g dried cranberries
- For the honeycomb:
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Recipe by Pippa Kendrick
- Begin by making the honeycomb. Generously grease a baking tray with vegetable oil. Melt the granulated sugar and golden syrup in a high-sided saucepan over a low heat. Once melted, turn up the heat a little and bubble the syrup until it turns to a rich, caramel gold colour.
- Whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. The syrup will foam up – immediately pour it onto your greased baking tray. Set the tray aside and leave it to cool for 20 minutes. Slide the honeycomb off the tray and roughly chop it up.
- Line a 450g loaf tin with enough cling film to allow it to drape over the sides by about 7–8cm, smoothing the cling film into the tin to form a crease-free surface. Break up the dark chocolate and roughly chop the almonds. Place the chocolate and margarine in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir together until melted and combined to a smooth and glossy finish.
- Take the bowl off the heat and stir in the chopped honeycomb, almonds, cherries and cranberries. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and level the top. Fold the overhanging cling film loosely over the parfait then freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove from the freezer and transfer the parfait to the fridge until completely set. Once you’re ready to serve, carefully lift the parfait from the tin, unwrap the cling film and cut into 2cm slices.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
“Gooey, nutty and seriously chocolaty, these vegan brownies are a total joy to eat ”
- 5 tablespoons sunflower oil , plus extra for greasing
- 200 g dairy-free dark chocolate
- 170 g self-raising flour
- 3 heaped teaspoons cocoa powder
- 180 g golden caster sugar
- sea salt
- 1 vanilla pod
- 230 ml unsweetened organic soya milk
- 200 g pecan nuts
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease a square baking tin (roughly 20cm) with a little oil, then line with greaseproof paper.
Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Break 150g of chocolate into the bowl and allow it to melt, then set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds, then add them to the bowl. Stir in the oil, soya milk and melted chocolate until combined.
Roughly chop and stir in the remaining chocolate and most of the pecans, reserving a few for the top. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle over the remaining pecans, then place into the hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked on the outside, but still gooey in the middle.
Leave to cool for around 5 minutes, turn out onto a wire cooling rack, then serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you’re feeling extra indulgent.
GLUTEN-FREE LEMON MILLET BISCUITS
TOPPED WITH COCONUT
“Millet flakes are naturally gluten free, so a great way to get some texture in your gluten-free biscuits – these ones are delicious ”
- 125 ml olive oil
- 4 tbsp soya yogurt , plus extra
- 3 lemons , (the juice of 1 lemon and the zest of 3)
- 125 g light brown sugar
- 165 g gluten-free plain flour
- 75 g gluten-free oats
- 40 g millet flakes , plus extra to top
- 40 g unsweetened desiccated coconut , plus extra to top
Recipe by Anna Jones
These are crumbly, gluten–free vegan treats, which pack a hit of slow–release energy from the millet flakes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Combine the olive oil, yoghurt, lemon juice and zest of 2 lemons in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until you have a soft, doughy consistency. If it’s too dry, add a little more yoghurt.
Roll into 20 evenly sized balls, then place on a baking tray and press down lightly to flatten. Sprinkle with the extra millet flakes and coconut, and the remaining lemon zest. Bake for 10–15 minutes, until golden. The biscuits will be soft when they come out, but will harden as they cool.
DAIRY-FREE VANILLA ICE CREAM
- 2 vanilla pods
- 1 teaspoon vanilla-bean paste
- 1 x 400 g tin of light coconut milk
- 300 ml unsweetened organic soya milk
- 165 g agave syrup
Halve the vanilla pods lengthways, scrape out the seeds, then add to a large bowl, discarding the pods. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker, then churn for 40 minutes, or until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides with a spatula. Give it a final stir, then transfer the mixture to a large freezer-proof container. Pop in the freezer for around 2 hours, or until set, then serve.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the mixture into a large freezer-proof container and pop it in the freezer. Allow to set for 3 to 4 hours, giving it a good whisk every 30 minutes or so.