Tips for vegans/vegetarians at christmas or for those of you who have vegans coming to lunch at christmas
For me this has always been a difficult time of year being forced to attend events where people chow down on big bits of animal parts. Even at a so called vegetarian gathering some years ago I was gob smacked when I saw a dead chicken on the table. So I have taken the cowards way out and stay home with my beloved on Christmas day. If friends do want to catch up I offer them to come to ours and tell them not to bring anything, that way we can feast on plant based yumminess.
However I know this is not the option for many vegans as they live near their families and not attending a Christmas gathering could cause stress and anxiety for some.
So I offer some useful tips for those of you who are vegan and those of you who have family members who are vegan.
I know some people take the confrontational approach and wear their vegan slogan tshirts but I personally wouldn’t take that approach as where there is alcohol present this could just be asking for far too much than you bargained for.
If you are hosting a gathering and you know your guests will be vegan it would be lovely to include some vegan food on your buffet or in the centre of the table that way everyone can enjoy it and people who are vegan won’t look different as they will have similar food on their plates. I have some great recipe ideas that most people will enjoy.
Refrain from bringing up the issue of why your loved one is not eating animals and if a distant family member or invited guest starts to question your loved one try to divert the discussion onto more festive topics.
For vegans and vegetarians make sure that you take along some really delicious food that others at the gathering might like- if you have no time to cook, buy one of those super delicious vegan cakes from a local vegan bakery or something like Kitty kadamba icecream. Make some of the recipes I suggested on my recent blog or make a most delicious pasta salad this is always a winner. I share two pasta salad recipes with you below. Warm marinated olives with fennel seeds taste like salami pass them around with some crispy bread also heated up. Make some great tasting dips. Wow your loved ones with awesome vegan food, you don’t have to tell them its vegan, they will just love it cause it tastes good.
And if the subject of ‘why aren’t you eating animals?’ arises either excuse yourself and go to the toilet at this point or say I don’t feel like answering right now. If they start to lecture you on the subject the best line to use is to say ‘thanks for sharing and then suggest you play a game of cards or cricket so you can get away from having to converse with someone who may just want to argue.
And if it all goes horribly wrong excuse yourself to the toilet again send me a facebook message and I will give you a cyber hug or at least lend you a cyber ear to rant at because I’m not going to be doing anything this Christmas except hang out with Makrand and eat food that has been cooked with absolute kindness. Can’t wait actually to be in my own space while everyone goes about the thing they are supposed to do each year.
Curried pasta salad
This was always served at out Christmas gathering as children and I loved it. We always made it the night before as it tasted better the next day
500g cooked pasta curls or gluten free pasta pene
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (you can add more if it dries out.
2 tsp curry powder (see recipe)
¼ cup olive oil
1 red onion sliced very finely
1 red capsicum sliced finely
½ pineapple sliced in chunks
300g mushrooms sliced
hand ful of coriander chopped between fine and rough
1 cup pecans toasted or other nuts toasted
salt to taste
Mix the oil, vinegar and curry powder together with some salt. Mix the rest of the ingredients together (except the nuts and coriander) and then fold through the dressing. When about to serve garnish with nuts and coriander
500g cooked pasta curls or gluten free pasta
¼ to ½ cup of yummy olive oil cold pressed
juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ red onion very finely sliced
1 cup Kalamata olive roughly chopped
1 jar of marinated artichokes cut into slices
15 cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
1 red capsicum oven roasted then cut into strips
1 bunch of asparagus cut on diagonal in small pieces
200g green beans cut on diagonal in small pieces
300g mixed mushrooms sliced and fried
handful of basil torn gently
salt to taste
Mix the oil, lemon and nutritional yeast together, add 1 tsp salt and place the sliced onion in here to marinate. Steam the asparagus and beans until aldente. Mix everything together except the cherry tomatoes and basil. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with tomatoes and basil.
More Christmas Ideas
For more Christmas ideas check out last week’s blog post and if you live locally you haven’t left it too late to purchase one of my cook books as gifts. Mullumbimby herbals and Santos stocks them or you can call me direct on 66741507.
If I don’t hear from you I wish you an easeful and deliciously vegan Christmas.