vegan christmas meal ideas

6 Delicious Vegan Christmas Dinner Main Ideas

Christmas 2020 is set to be greener than it ever has before!

A survey carried out by Applewood which comprised of over 2000 participants revealed that 20% of Brits will be serving a completely vegan Christmas dinner this year. Tesco has also stated that veggie mains are set to be more popular compared to beef and lamb this Christmas. Stats like these really do highlight the clearly changing landscape when it comes to the UK’s food choices. A report by Satsuma Loans indicated that a meat-based Christmas dinner for a family of six emits 23.5kg of CO2. In contrast, a vegan Christmas dinner only emits 9.5kg of C02 into the atmosphere. Happy days for our planet as well as the animals!

Deciding what the ‘star of the show’ will be for Christmas dinner is always a tricky feat. This handy guide of  Christmas main ideas will be sure to inspire you whether this is your first or fifth vegan Christmas. From wellingtons to roast ‘chicken’, we have put together our favourites when it comes to impressive centrepieces.

Vegan Wellington

vegan christmas wellington

Recipe by Vegan Huggs

https://veganhuggs.com/vegan-wellington/

Filled with mushrooms and chickpeas, the filling of this vegan wellington has a hearty and meaty texture. When wrapped around puff pastry, it makes for an indulgent and delicious Christmas main (anything wrapped in puff pastry is dreamy in our opinion). Vegan Huggs recommends serving this alongside either some roasted veggies, sourdough stuffing, a festive salad, apple cranberry sauce and of course some mushroom gravy.

Vegan Christmas Wreath

vegan christmas dinner

Recipe by BBC Good Food

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-christmas-wreath

A show-stopping vegan Christmas centrepiece made with spinach, pine nuts and tofu. Topped with cranberries and dill. This recipe uses vegan Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry to make the cooking process easier. The dish requires relatively little preparation and is ready in the oven within 45 minutes.

Vegan Holiday Roast

vegan roast

Recipe by Vegan Huggs

https://veganhuggs.com/vegan-holiday-roast/

Another Vegan Huggs recipe which was simply too good to leave out of the mix. This seitan based roast is stuffed with the vegan sourdough stuffing mentioned above, and is then topped with a subtly sweet glaze. Seitan’s popularity has been growing hugely as a meat substitute, and it is also relatively easy to make at home using vital wheat gluten.

Lentil Roast With Balsamic Onion Gravy

vegan christmas dinner

Recipe by Wallflower Kitchen 

http://wallflowerkitchen.com/lentil-roast-with-gravy/

This is an excellent option for those looking for a gluten-free and nut-free option this Christmas. The combination of oats, beans, lentils and vegetables gives a meaty texture without using any type of meat substitute. Served along with a delicious onion balsamic gravy filled with body and flavour.

Vegan Roast Chicken

vegan christmas main ideas

Recipe by School Night Vegan 

https://schoolnightvegan.com/home/vegan-roast-chicken/

Made from succulent seitan, this meat-free roast ‘chicken’ is a versatile and show stopping Christmas main option. It also mimics the convention of having slices of roast turkey, in a sustainable and cruelty free way of course! The balsamic cranberry marinade included in this recipe makes this a perfect festive option. Serve alongside roasted veggies for a true roast experience.

Festive Butternut Roast

vegan christmas roast

Recipe by The Veg Space

https://www.thevegspace.co.uk/recipe-festive-butternut-roast-what-makes-the-best-vegetarian-vegan-christmas-dinner/

An inventive vegan Christmas centrepiece which can be made ahead of time and reheated to make life easier on the day. Festive flavours such as cranberry, nutmeg and rosemary make this a deliciously Christmassy dish. It is also an excellent option if you are not a huge fan of pastry and looking for something lighter.

And there we have it. Our selection of 6 vegan Christmas dinner options for a delicious and sustainable meal. We hope you find this useful and if you give any of the recipes a try we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

recyclable biodegradable compostable

The difference between recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packaging explained

In recent years, we are becoming more and more aware of our impact as humans on our planet. We are realising that our decisions as consumers can have potentially devastating effects on wildlife and the environment. Marine life has been negatively affected by increasing amounts of plastic in our oceans. Documentaries such as David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II was a sobering reminder of these current state of affairs.

There is an increase in the use of buzz words such as  ‘eco-friendly packaging’ floating around in today’s marketplace. But what does this actually mean? 3 key terms are used to describe these more eco-friendly packaging options. Recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. Below, we delve into what each term actually means and the impact on our environment.

 

recyclable packaging

  

Recyclable

Recycling is the process whereby used materials are made into something new. This ultimately keeps them out of landfill, and brings new life to the materials. Plastics, paper, glass and aluminium are materials that can commonly be recycled. However, there are limits on how many times certain materials can be recycled. Glass and aluminium can in fact be recycled an indefinite number of times, without loss of quality. The composition of standard plastics and paper, means they can only be recycled a few times before they become unusable.

In recent times, there has been growing consumer demand for clearer recycling information on packaging. Especially when you consider that there is 7 different types of plastic, with only some being widely recycled. This adds to consumer confusion, coupled with differing recycling rules for individual UK local councils.

It is also important to wash out and clean packaging before putting it into a recycling bin. When recycling items reach the sorting centre, a heavily contaminated item can affect the entire batch of surrounding items. They would potentially all be sent to landfill or put into household waste. The current contamination rate for recycling shockingly sits at around 25%. Ultimately, not washing your packaging means the efforts of individuals who are doing so, can also be wasted. So in summary, its important!

biodegradable packaging

Biodegradable

Biodegradable is the term used to explain that a material can break down over time. Organisms such as bacteria and fungi  are able to do so under certain conditions including specific temperatures and humidity levels.

The issue with companies labelling packaging as biodegradable comes from the hugely varying times materials take to degrade. Some materials may take 50 years, others 1000 years. Therefore, the term biodegradable may not necessarily mean that the material is good for the environment. For example, a plastic cup sitting in a forest for 200 years isn’t exactly the image of eco-friendly we have in mind.

Some materials which degrade in landfill can actually cause negative damage to the environment, as they release greenhouse gases as they break down. This is the case with certain plastics, which produce methane after starting to degrade following exposure to sunlight.

 

compostable packaging

 Compostable

Compostable products are made from natural materials, such as starch. Materials that are compostable have proven to be able to break down entirely into non-toxic components and not leave any harm to the soil. In order for a product to be classified as compostable it must meet the regulations laid out in The European Standard EN 13432. The time this decomposition takes varies, but in order to be labelled as compostable it must be within 180 days.

A number of compostable products need to be sent to an industrial composting facility in order to break down, and are not suitable for home composting. It is therefore important to look out for the words ‘home compostable’ on product labels. If compostable packaging is added to the recycling bin, it can contaminate the other items. Some UK councils also have a compost/food waste collection, which these items can be added to for industrial composting.

The most attractive element of a compostable item is the fact that it can return to the earth within a relatively short time frame. Therefore, it can help to ease pressure on landfills and does not add toxic material to our soils.

So, in summary, it’s important to note that not all products which label themselves as ‘eco-friendly’ may in fact be so. As consumers, we still may need to take the time to understand more about our packaging and what its impact on our earth is.

 

Reduce plastic waste: 3 vegetables to start growing at home

The UK supermarket’s plastic waste rose to almost 1 million tonnes in 2019 and continues to grow. What can we as consumers do to try and help in the fight against supermarket plastic and food waste?
You may have a food recycling or compost bin at home, but did you know you can use discarded vegetables to actually re-grow veggies at home? We have put together a quick guide on 3 vegetables you can grow to help reduce food waste and save some money!

Bell pepper

This super versatile and delicious vegetable can be used in a whole range of dishes and cuisines, from Mexican to Indian. We are all familiar with cutting out the seed pod from these popular peppers but it is incredibly easy to grow your own. You can do this by picking off the seeds and adding them into some compost in a pot. Water them, cover with a small amount of soil and within a week you will see a few little green leaves sprouting (exciting)! A greenhouse is ideal, however a sunny windowsill would do the trick as well. Within a few weeks you will see the flowers transform into little peppers.

Celery

Perhaps the easiest vegetable on this list to re-grow. Start by slicing the bottom of the celery off near the roots (around 1 ½ inches from the base) and place in a shallow container. Add water to cover up to half way up the celery stalk base. In a few days the roots will continue to grow in size. It is important to keep changing the water so it doesn’t go gunky. When the roots have filled the shallow container, transfer to a pot of compost and cover the roots with more compost. In a few weeks you will see beautiful stalks growing. Home grown celery tends to be leafier than shop bought, however the leaves are great as they keep the celery taste and can be added to your recipes.

Potatoes

Any carb lover’s go to vegetable. We’ve all been there, we go to the cupboard ready to make some wedges and find little green sprouts popping out of our potato.  Although your first thought may be to throw them away, why not throw them into the ground or in a big pot of compost? In fact, any thick bag which doesn`t let light through could do the trick. You may have to wait for a few months for the crop, however it is worth the wait. There is something particularly satisfying about eating a crop you have watched grow with your own eyes.

We hope these few short tips will inspire you to try and make use of those discarded vegetables. In trying to be more self-sufficient, we can do our part to help reduce unnecessary plastic waste and ease the pressure on our planet.