With an increase in people either opting to live a vegan life, or eating plant-based due to food intolerances or allergies, it’s important to know there are still many tasty options to serve up this Christmas.
Often, many think about Christmas feasts being full of juicy ham and creamy desserts, but those who choose not to eat these things don’t have to be stuck with the same-old veggie dishes.
A vegan menu can be full of flavour, too. Chef Warren Mendes reveals his top five tips so you can put on a delicious spread minus the meat and dairy.
It’s easy to think of vegetables as a side dish, but they can become the star of the show.
Warren suggests roasting veggies whole – just like a piece of meat. Let your vegetables shine as the centrepiece of your lunch or dinner.
Make it spicy
Add a punchy flavour to vegan dishes with some tasty spices.
Warren suggests adding garlic and ginger to give fragrance to your dish.
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Get creative with pretty herb garnishes – they are more important than ever when dressing an otherwise plain dish.
“Be vibrant – we eat with our eyes so don’t leave the garnish out,” Warren says.
Don’t get too creative
There is such a thing as going too far when substituting ingredients in vegan dishes.
Warren recommends not going too crazy, so yes, put that fake turkey down right now. “Don’t substitute ingredients you wouldn’t usually cook with – use ingredients you already love,” he says.
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Instead of dismissing many delicious treats, like mince pies, because they contain meat or dairy, be clever with creative substitutions.
“For mince pies, use margarine instead of butter and use vegetable stock in place of chicken or beef stock,” Warren suggests.
And if you can't go past a trifle, Warren suggests trying this coconut and mango vegan trifle, which uses agar agar instead of gelatin and coconut cream instead of regular cream.