A Guide to Your First Vegan Christmas

2019 saw more people go vegan and transition to plant-based diets than ever before! As a result, many people will be enjoying their 1st vegan Christmas this year. Some may be excited and some may be in fear of being left out of the social events around Christmas. Fear not, our team at Dolma Perfumes has plenty of experience as vegans at Christmas and we’re here to help you. 

The most obvious hurdle you will face will no doubt be the food, especially if you’re not in charge of the Christmas cooking. All new vegans fear their 1st vegan Christmas, after all, a lot of the Christmas experience is based around the consumption of animal products from the turkey to the box of Celebrations. 

Many vegans may be wondering how their extended family will react to their new vegan stance. How will you answer the awkward questions from Uncle Dave and more importantly how will you make sure you get enough food to eat? 

We’ve broken your 1st vegan Christmas down into 3 sections to help guide you through this potentially tough time: Vegan Christmas Dinner Ideas, Vegan Christmas Desserts and Vegan Christmas Gifts.

Vegan Christmas Dinner Ideas

First, it’s important to make your position clear to family over Christmas this year. Make sure they know that you will be eating vegan but make it clear they do not have to break a leg trying to accommodate you. We suggest you find some of your own vegan Christmas dinner ideas like the ones below and make them yourself to bring to dinner with you. You can still enjoy most of a Christmas dinner including all the wonderful vegetables like brussel sprouts, carrots, parsnips and roast spuds (not cooked in duck fat, obviously). 

The bigger issue is the main event, which is normally the turkey. Luckily, there are tons of great substitutes for turkey at Christmas. Here are the top 5 we recommend that will have other family members interested, and possibly jealous, at your vegan Christmas Dinner.

Portabello Mushroom Wellington

Portabello Mushroom Wellington from Bosh!

Fastly becoming the most popular choice for vegan Christmas dinner is the portabello mushroom wellington made most famous by the guys over at Bosh!. This delicious concoction is made using a mix of tasty portabello mushrooms, herbs and spices stuffed inside a vegan puff pastry. Add a big dollop of vegan gravy from Bisto and you have yourself a delicious alternative to turkey. 

Vegan Nut Roast

Vegan Nut Roast from BBC Good Food

Remember when people used to joke about vegetarians and their Christmas nut roasts? Well, those days are over as more and more people discover the deliciousness of a good vegan nut roast. Using a mix of pearl barley, mushrooms, nuts and rosemary you can create a wonderful and fragrant nut roast that will have the whole table salivating. Uncle Dave might still crack a joke but even he won’t be able to deny how tasty this vegan nut roast is. 

Vegan Pie

Vegan Pie from Vegan Food & Living 

This beast of a vegan Christmas pie from Vegan Food & Living is packed full of goodness. A mouth-watering mix of onion, leek, garlic, mushrooms, cranberries, butterbeans, chestnuts and hazelnuts stuffed into a warm crust pastry makes for one big appetizing Christmas vegan pie. You will be physically fighting with your Nan over the last slice of this one. 

Tofurkey

Tofurkey Recipe from I Love Vegan

As it’s your 1st vegan Christmas you might not be so quick to part with your Christmas turkey experience. In that case, you can choose to buy a Tofurkey. This is vegan turkey meat made from tofu and seitan, filled with a herbed stuffing. Whilst by itself it looks slightly underwhelming, but then doesn’t a normal turkey also? There are a few fantastic recipes to doll up your Tofurkey including this one from I Love Vegan where they detail exactly how a Tofurkey should be cooked with some proper seasoning and a few tasty extras.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie from Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver has got you covered on this one. If, like us at Dolma, you love a good traditional English shepherd’s pie then this a must for Christmas this year. The mix of regular and sweet potatoes combined with mushroom, sun-dried tomato, lentils and chickpeas are literally to die for. Your family will look on in complete envy as you gobble this down with a healthy dose of gravy. 

Vegan Christmas Desserts

Whilst you have probably spent most of your time worrying about your vegan Christmas dinner, you may have forgotten about your equally as important vegan dessert! The options of vegan desserts have never been better, with the vegan special of Great British Bake Off earlier in the year there has been a boom in the number for vegan dessert recipes available on the web. Here are the top 3 you should consider. Let’s face it, you never liked your mum’s trifle anyway.

Vegan Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Chocolate Brownies from Jessica in the Kitchen

Simple but divine and sure to make all other people at the Christmas dinner table jealous. These delectable fudgy, chewy and chocolatey brownies are perfect because you can pre-make them at home and take them to Christmas dinner with you. Forget Mum’s trifle and Nan’s dubious-looking Christmas cake, these are better. 

Vegan Christmas Cake

Vegan Christmas Cake from BBC Good Food

Ok, so you actually enjoyed Nan’s dubious Christmas cake before going vegan, that’s cool. This recipe from BBC Good Food can help you re-create a Christmas cake but veganized using a mix of rum, chia seeds, almonds and cinnamon. Who knows, you might even convert Nan. 

Vegan Cheesecake

Vegan Cheesecake from Minimalist Baker

If you are looking for a dessert that is less rich and indulgent then this beautiful Christmas cheesecake is the perfect solution. Using cashews, coconut cream and vegan cream cheese this mouth-watering cheesecake will blow people away. It also looks just beautiful and even if Uncle Dave won’t try a slice it will brighten the table up a bit. 

Vegan Christmas Gifts 

There are two things to consider here. What to buy for other vegans and what people should buy for you. No doubt that friends and family will still want to buy you a gift accept now it might be a little harder to choose what that gift should be.

When buying gifts for vegans it’s important to remember that the food is just one small aspect of veganism and that the ethical stance against animal exploitation carries over into cosmetics, house products and experiences. So, if you’re thinking of buying a vegan a new eye shadow or fancy perfume you had better do your research beforehand to make sure they don’t contain any animal ingredients and that they don’t test the product on animals. Tickets to the zoo or a horse riding experience are obviously not good ideas.  

As a new vegan, you will want to make sure your friends and family don’t buy any non-vegan gifts for you. We highly suggest you make a list of things that you would like. It’s better to be upfront about it than to open your gift on Christmas day and have to respectfully decline a gift…awkward. 

Here are some great ideas for vegan gifts that should help inspire you this year.

Cookbooks

Superfood Snacks by Julie Morris is a great gift for your health conscious vegans

You can’t go wrong with a vegan cookbook. We’re always looking for new ways to create beautiful vegan food. Fortunately, there is no shortage of vegan books to choose from either. It feels like there is two or three released every week at the moment. Here are some of the best:

Food 

This all-vegan snack hamper from Borough Box is a great gift for any vegan. Major brownie points.

Why not? Vegans now have access to some amazing vegan alternatives and would no doubt be delighted to find some vegan goodies under the tree this year. Buy a vegan a 1kg tub of nutritional yeast and they will love you forever.

  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Choceur Mint Dark Chocolate Waves
  • Bourneville Giant Buttons
  • Deliciously Ella Energy Balls
  • Vego Bars
  • Vegan Galaxy Chocolate
  • HOU Sweet Hummus 
  • Chocolate Ombar 

Cosmetics

Dolma Vegan Fragrances offer lush fragrances for men and women. A perfect gift for a partner, sibling or best friend.

The vegan cosmetics industry is booming right now with the high consumer demand for more eco-friendly and cruelty-free products. You can find most cosmetics now from perfumes to eyeliners,  lipsticks to brushes and soaps to hair conditioners. You can check out all the top products and companies on our special articles about women and men’s beauty care

Eco-Friendly Stuff

Zero Waste Cutlery Wrap Set from Wearth London

Vegans tend to be similar in their attitudes towards the environment so you can’t go wrong with something that is eco-friendly, natural or recyclable. Anything that improves their footprint will be appreciated.

  • Re-usable coffee cup or water bottle
  • Bamboo travel utensils including metal straw
  • Bamboo bowls and cups
  • Vegan candles
  • Recycled notebook or journal

Clothes & Accessories

There many great choices for vegan clothing and accessories online including t-shirts, dresses, skirts, knitwear, jackets and coats. You will find a plethora of vegan footwear on the web too from trainers to hiking boots. The vegan leather industry saw a huge boost of products in 2019 also, which means you can now get anything from belts to handbags, wallets to iPad covers. Here are some companies worth checking out.

  • We Are Thought Clothing
  • The Kooples
  • Wills Vegan Shoes
  • Vegetarian Shoes 
  • Watson & Wolfe
  • La Bante London

The Vegan Christmas Guide Continued…

Over the next 4 weeks, in the run-up to Christmas, we will be writing in-depth about all three sections discussed in this article to help you make the best choices for your vegan Christmas dinner, vegan Christmas desserts and vegan Christmas gifts. See you all very soon!