Christmas 2018 is here already!
My Christmas routine normally involves working like a mad woman up until Christmas Eve and then doing a last minute mad dash for all of the gifts and food items I need.
Not this year!
I have decided that, with all of the fantastic options available this year for vegans, I would embrace it and prepare better!
Since launching my vegan Christmas recipe season, I can see there is not only a lot of demand for new ideas for Christmas Day food but also in the run up to the main meal itself.
If you haven't already decided on what you're cooking either on 25th of December or for get together drinks and nibbles, Christmas Eve in front of the fire, or panic cooking after that last minute dash to town for Uncle Tom's surprise visit, I hope to have you covered!
I will be sharing lots more during the festive season and in the run up to New Year's Eve (how is this year almost over?). And even better, it's all 100% vegan and cruelty-free!
1 - Drinks and Nibbles with friends
One of the things I love most about the festive season, is that I seem to make a lot more effort to catch up with friends. Running a busy dental practice with my husband and being a full time blogger takes up so much time, but this time of year allows us to close down for a few days and make the most of our time.
My first Christmas as a vegan - 2 years ago and this year I am far more plastic-conscious!
Instagram - December 2016
I often have a small party in our apartment with a few close friends and family where we make cocktails, punch or just prosecco and beers and lay out a small buffet.
I normally cook everything from scratch, but there this year I have been working on a lot of projects both at the dental practice and in my blogging life and haven't had a lot of time to plan it. So this year, alongside my own recipes, I have been on the look out for quick and tasty food ideas to have on hand for any occasion this festive season!
Luckily, there are a lot of great, quick ideas around now to make it easier to prepare.
Marks and Spencers have upped their game this year with a couple of really tasty party food items which are easy to cook and actually look impressive.
Both the sliders and the oriental platter are tasty and a great quick option to have in the freezer for last minute or planned gatherings without the need to cook.
Sainsbury's, Asda, Tesco & Waitrose also have an excellent range of options too! These Linda McCarntey Scampi Bites can be added onto a small circle of coated bread with a little but of lemon squeezed onto them after cooking and a drizzle of mayonnaise, spear with a cocktail stick and sprinkle some chives on top and you've got a quick and easy canapés idea
The mini vegan wellington bites (or posh sausage rolls) are also a great idea for a buffet table! Keep a look out in the chiller and freezer aisles, as the supermarkets are now in full swing and keeping up with one another, there has never been a better time to throw a party at Christmas!
I will be adding a couple of cases of Artigianale to the shopping cart this week in preparation for hosting and attending events but also as a great gift too. It's vegan, cruelty-free, low sugar, low sodium and is made using eco-friendly and sustainable energy sources in Italy.
Use the code MSLEWIS30 to receive an exclusive 30% discount on unlimited bottles!
Visit www.artiginalewine.com for more information!
I never fails to shock people who are probably expecting something bland and tasteless. It has a lot less bubbles that other prosecco and doesn't leave a bad aftertaste and hangover the following day!
For home cooked ideas, my popular fried avocado bites with sweet chilli sauce are always very popular and a healthy option than the processed food if that is a concern.
Alternatively, make a couple of one pot dishes like my lasagne or chocolate infused Mexican chilli which are always party pleasers, if you do wish to cook!
2 - Christmas Eve cosy night in!
For me, Christmas Eve is all about my Niece! Laying out a little buffet style dinner, leaving a mince pie for Santa and perhaps a little Irish cream in my hot chocolate while prepping my Christmas roast. I don't go too mad with eating as I know the next day will be a heavy food day, so tend to keep it light.
Holland and Barrett have some lovely options for sweet treats alongside their excellent nuts and savoury snack ranges and many of the supermarkets cater very well (as shown above)
There are many specialist shops such as Wholefoods and independent retailers - Hetu UK, Greenbay are my nearest, who stock a great range of treats including mince pies, cakes and biscuits as well as special vegan cheeses too.
Amazon is also an excellent place to pick up some special treats if you aren't able to pop out to the shop (or have had just about as much as you can take from shopping!).
I have found a lot of unusual and impressive vegan food items that I haven't been able to purchase on the high street (although maybe I haven't been looking in the right places!). Amazon is a favourite of mine, it's involves zero lugging of bags and arrives whenever I want it. Here are a few items that I like:
Very Vegan Christmas Hamper- FREE UK Delivery - £39.40 Vegan Snack Gift Box - FREE UK Delivery - £22.95
3 - Christmas Day
If you're following my social media channels, you may have seen my Christmas lunch recipes which I have been sharing.
You can get all of the recipes for the dishes below including:
Dauphinois potato & caramelised chutney stuffed mushroom (starter)
Turkey-less crown with orange and maple glazed carrots (main)
'Fakun' Brussels sprouts, hassle back potatoes and chilli fried lettuce (sides)