The holidays are a time for loved ones and good food. Unfortunately, this food isn’t always vegan-friendly. After all, it wasn’t roast tofu that the grinch carves. However, eating vegan for the holidays is a lot easier than you may think; it just requires a little bit of planning. So here’s how to ensure your holidays fit your dietary restrictions.
For the Host
Consult a Cookbook
Let’s face it; veganism is a bit intimidating. No eggs, dairy, animals, nothing. So now what? You find yourself scratching off the list of traditional Christmas dishes: roast, rolls, cookies. But that’s where you’re wrong, lucky for you. All these items can easily be made vegan. All you need is the right recipe, and that’s where cookbooks come in. Recently, my friend gave me a Vegan Holiday Cooking book, and I absolutely love it. Just reading it makes my mouth water. Not only does it have traditional recipes, but it also has ones I would have never thought to try, like a Mushroom Chestnut Tart. If you’re not much of a cookbook person, you can also find recipes on Pinterest or YouTube.
When looking for recipes, don’t try to replicate the exact meals you used to have before you went vegan. They usually require a lot of random ingredients, what the heck is tapioca flour, and can sometimes be disappointing. Being vegan is the perfect excuse to experiment and get crazy with recipes. If you’re planning on sharing these vegan dishes with non-vegans, the less traditional ones will probably go over better since they’ll have nothing to compare it to.
Often, we tend to overcook, especially around the holidays. However, when you’re vegan, it’s not only not necessary, but it often leads to excess food waste. Chances are not everyone in your family is vegan, meaning you don’t need to feed as many people. So those five appetizers, two main courses, and three desserts might be a tad overkill.
For the Guest
Bring Your Own Food
If it’s a family dinner, feel free to bring your own dish. Most of the time, people contribute to family dinners, so why not contribute some vegan items. This way you’re not awkwardly sitting in front of an empty plate as your family feasts. If you’re up for it, you can even make something that everyone will enjoy. Let me tell you Christmas cookies are a hit no matter what’s in them. Who knows, you might even inspire some people to incorporate more plant-based options in their diet.
You show up to your office holiday party only to find the extent of the vegan options is a veggie platter. By the end of the night, the grumble of your stomach will be ringing out over the Christmas karaoke. If you’re going to a party and you don’t want to bring your own dish, eat before you go. You don’t have to eat a five-course meal, a snack to hold you over will suffice. You’ll be able to focus on Carol’s questionable sweater instead of how hungry you are.
If you’re having dinner with loved ones, chances are they’ll be willing to accommodate you. Does that mean they won’t get the Christmas roast beast, probably not, but they might switch to vegan butter for the rolls. A lot of times people don’t know how simple vegan switches can be, so if they ask how to accommodate you, don’t be afraid to be upfront.
Let’s talk about sides, arguably one of the best parts. Sides are probably the easiest thing to turn vegan with green bean casserole, butternut squash, balsamic brussel sprouts, and bread; you’ll be in a food coma for days.
Comment down below what your favorite holiday dish is, and let me know if you decide to try any of these recipes!