Does the thought of a holiday feast conjure up childhood memories of a roast with all the trimmings? Maybe it’s turkey, chicken, fish or goose followed by pudding, cakes and mulled wine. Whatever your preferred holiday menu might be, there are many ways to prepare food that is both delicious and cruelty-free. By cruelty-free, we refer to options where no animals have been exploited or slaughtered for our meals.
By making conscious food choices, you too can extend the holiday joy to all living beings without contributing to their suffering.
Here are some popular holiday feast items:
The Centerpiece Roast
The centerpiece of many holiday dinners is a hearty roast, but with many delicious vegan options available, there’s no need for turkeys, pigs, chickens, cows or fish to suffer. Try a plant-based alternative readily available from selected supermarkets, or create a new dish altogether! For something different, try a cultural menu; where you can have an Italian appetizer, an Asian main dish and perhaps a German dessert. By including an alternative menu, you and your guests can enjoy plant-based foods in different and creative ways. The secret is also in the spices and herbs used. Simply by adding in some alternative seasoning such as infused oils in mashed potato or serving up creative side-dishes will get people talking. Another option could be to have a Vegetable fondue which is made with white wine, nutritional yeast, vegetable broth, almond milk, miso paste and tahini with a range of vegetables.
There are many side dishes which are easy to make and taste great too. Having a colorful salad with raisins, grapes or sliced mangoes can spur interest as well as potato dumplings, a lentil dish with roasted nuts and seeds, fried onions and courgettes with mixed salsas and dips, and traditional German pretzels which can also be baked at home.
Pies, Pasta, Gratin, Casseroles, Soups and Stews
These are some very popular holiday dishes in many different countries. The good news is that all of them can be vegan by eliminating dairy, eggs and meat. With little preparation time, these can be a hit and suite all diet preferences. Soups and stews are typically liked by all and nothing needs to be wasted. Any left-over soup could be used as a base for a pasta dish or risotto, and if you have left-over cooked vegetables, they could be used for a large tofu scramble or additional pies or a curry. Creativity is key and no food would need to go to waste!
Whether it’s your first holiday to try a few vegan dishes, there’s never been a better time of the year to explore interesting new ideas and recipes to make this year your best animal cruelty-free holiday yet.