Well, having been brought up in a family of meat and fish eaters, and loving those things myself, I never thought that I would be preparing for a vegan Christmas!
The thoughts of such a thing a few years ago would have seemed absurd; Christmas dinner means Turkey, ham, pigs in blankets, and roast potatoes cooked in goose fat; not to mention the prawn cocktail, pate and toast, or melon and parma ham for starters! Then there was the pork pie, quiche, sausage rolls, and all manner of other foods which make their way to the buffet table at Christmas.
I realise that many of you are probably salivating right now after reading that, I would have been too at one point. Not now, however! After deciding to follow a plant based vegan diet around a month ago, for both personal health and the health of the planet (don’t worry, I’m not going to start preaching), I thought that I would really struggle coming up to Christmas. After all, I haven’t given up animal products because I don’t like the taste of them.
However, I am actually really looking forward to it. When I look at animal products these days I look at them with a different set of values and that puts me off being tempted to eat anyway. I think the most difficult things for me to avoid over the festive period will be cheese and Baileys Irish Cream. I am currently sourcing alternatives to these things.
I had my first real test eating this way when we went on holiday to Lanzarote recently. Eating in is fine but when it comes to eating out it can be a whole different story, especially in a place where even being vegetarian can cause people to think that you have lost your mind! Nevertheless, I actually had some great food whilst I was out there, and didn’t feel at all deprived. This spurred me on and made me realise even more that Christmas probably wouldn’t be that difficult.
I have deliberated over what to have for Christmas lunch; I considered the ever faithful nut roast but then decided I fancied something a little different; I finally settled on a mushroom and chestnut wellington. I haven’t finalised the recipe yet but I will share it with you when I have and when I tasted the results on Christmas Day. This will be served with a homemade vegan gravy, loads of veggies and I am considering roasting some dates in the oven to have instead of the chipolata sausages.
There will be a vegan Christmas cake, mince pies, and all manner of homemade tasty treats to see me through the festive period. I really can’t wait!
I don’t want to try to turn anyone vegan but would love the opportunity to encourage a few of you to try a few more vegan meals. So, with that in mind, I will share recipes and experiences with you as I go along.
Whatever you’re eating and whatever you’re doing this Christmas, I wish you the very best of health and happiness!