Don’t panic – we’re here to inspire you
Catering for vegan guests at Christmas might seem like a challenge. But there’s quite a range of foods you can serve – it’s how you prepare them that counts if you’re cooking from scratch. Don’t panic – we’re here to inspire you.
So, how to tackle party nibbles when Christmas staples like cheese are off the menu? Hummus is a vegan lifeline at Christmas. Just watch out when you’re buying it that milk or Greek yogurt don’t feature on the ingredients list.
If you want to go homemade, follow this basic recipe for Roast garlic hummus and you can embellish with your own flourishes like caramelised onion, lemon and coriander, piri piri and smoky jalapeno-topped, to name a few. Serve a selection in separate bowls on a big platter filled with crunchy crudités.
Provide strips of multi-coloured peppers, and carrot and cucumber batons, plus some raw broccoli and cauliflower florets. Have a bowl of mixed olives with sundried tomatoes or Queen olives with lemon & coriander to hand, too.
Another great vegan-friendly nibble is popcorn – very much the snack du jour. Make your own, adding seasonal spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.
For a quick and easy sweet treat, these Spiced apple thins are a doddle.
And actually, even cheese isn’t entirely off the cards. Yep, it’s true. Check out these dairy-free cheeses.
Kick things off with a starter-size portion of Butternut squash risotto (although a full-sized portion would also make a good main course for Christmas lunch). Skip the cheese shavings on top, of course.
Or, for a lighter, refreshing start to the meal, a tomato and mint salad is a nice way to ease guests into feasting, while Portobello mushrooms with thyme and red wine have a satisfyingly earthy richness, suitable for the occasion.
Pumpkin farro risotto with sage and pesto makes a great starter if you serve half a portion (or a full portion for a fabulous Christmas main course). Don’t cheat by buying the pesto, though – unless it’s specifically vegan-friendly it’ll contain cheese.
Don't give up on vegan guests who can’t tuck into a goey chocolatey dessert. These Vegan blueberry pancakes are easy to make, taking just 15 minutes in all. Alternatively, if you make Poached bottled pears (which can be prepared up to a week in advance), you can bring a bottle to the table and serve the pudding with a flourish!
You can also buy a range of Sainsbury’s sorbets – why not serve a colourful selection of raspberry, lemon and mango in an old-fashioned sundae glass.
The rise in veganism means we're getting better and better at discovering vegan substitutes - the latest creative foodie innovation being meringues made with chickpea water instead of eggs. Check these elegant beauties out.
It gets better. Here, vegan friends, is a recipe for Chocolate and banana molten cakes, and it's suitable for all.
Let them eat cheese
There is a great range of vegan, soya-based ‘cheese’ that you can buy from the chilled shelves, including Tofutti Creamy Original Cream Cheese. Better still, there are some great vegan cheese recipes available online.
It may be a bit more of a faff than just laying out pre-bought cheese, but if you can go the extra mile, your vegan guests will love you for it! And to serve with your vegan cheese? Ritz crackers. Yes, surprisingly, they’re a vegan food!
How can wine be anything but vegan? It’s to do with the clarifying (or ‘fining’) process. Many wines contain either casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) or isinglass (fish bladder protein).
But there are wines that don’t. Here’s a selection of wines you can buy from Sainsbury’s that are suitable for vegans (and non-vegans!). There are lots more! Just apply the filter ‘vegan’ to refine your search.