Have yourself a veggie Merry Christmas!

Discover something new, interesting and different in our guide to a Vegan Christmas!

Those of you wanting to offer a kinder and more compassionate Xmas to your loved ones this year, will delight in these beautiful, delicious recipes and ideas.

Whether this is first or the fiftieth time you have prepared for a vegan Xmas, you are sure to find something new, interesting and different in our guide to a Vegan Christmas!

Perhaps you are going for the classic Kiwi BBQ? Our comprehensive guide for the backyard vegan will open you up to new possibilities and help you feel at ease and confident with your veggies and meat alternatives.

Read on for our team fave Christmas recipes, cocktails, and awesome products you can buy to ensure you have a kind of Vegtastic Christmas!

Christmas Mock Turkey

From nut roasts to mushroom or beet wellingtons and all the amazing Christmas dishes for the table you won’t go hungry, but if you do fancy a ‘mock’ turkey, there are options you can buy!

Roast Furkey by Grater Goods
The Grater Goods Roast Furkey is a white-meat seitan roast with herb stuffing, wrapped in a soy ‘skin’, and comes with a maple glaze. Easy to cook, delicious hot or cold and a definite show-stopper on the table.

Gardein Holiday Roast
Meatless turk’y roast stuffed with cranberry and wild rice. Enjoy a traditional holiday feast, deliciously meat-free.
2 Home-style gravy packs included.  Serves 8.

Field Roast ~ Celebration Roast
Indulge in this perfectly seasoned plant-based roast that takes you back to the comforting flavors of special social gatherings. Available online.

PETA – Christmas Recipes
Feature for Thanksgiving, stuffed with Christmas style recipes to try.

Your Festive Vegan Barbeque

There are plenty of delicious protein options which also keep cruelty off your plate.

Burgers:  From the current spotlight hog, the Beyond Burger, and other import staples from the likes of Fry’s, Linda McCartney and Quorn, through to more locally made options like Bean Supreme’s Beetroot Burger or Vegie Delights’ Smokey BBQ Burger.
Handmade options using beans, lentils, veggies and TVP can be just as flavoursome and often more nutritious than anything on the shelves.

Sausages: As with burgers, the available meat-free sausage options in stores have exploded recently. If you can find it, the Beyond Sausage is a winner (literally).  Fry’s Braai sausages also cook up particularly well on the grill, and Vegie Delights does an unbeatable plant-based hotdog. They are a little harder to find, but any sausage by Field Roast — and especially the Mexican Chipotle variety — will give any gourmet meat-based snarler a run for its money.

Other: If replicating animal products isn’t really for you, there are other great vegan protein options for the barbie. Tofu makes an excellent addition to the grill; be sure you buy the firm variety (so it doesn’t fall apart mid-cook), press as much water out of it as you can before cooking and marinate and/or glaze it to take advantage of its flavour absorbing powers.

Tofu’s lesser-known cousin, tempeh is also a fantastic barbeque candidate. Made of fermented soybeans, tempeh has a denser texture and stronger flavour than tofu. While it’s naturally nutty taste might not be for everyone, it can be flavoured with a marinade or spice rub and cooked to smokey perfection on the barbeque.

Not as well known for taking up space on the grill, falafel makes a surprisingly good showing when barbequed. Add a little Middle Eastern flavour to your feast with rolled falafel balls that crisp up beautifully outside, while the herb and spice infused chickpea dough remains soft and delicious inside.

Cooking tip: All of these vegan proteins cook up wonderfully on the barbeque, but they don’t act exactly the same as meat does. Most of these plant-based items don’t have as much fatty juices as meat, which is great for your health, but not so great when it comes to sticking to the grill.
Before you start cooking up your plant-based feast, ensure the grill has been cleaned thoroughly, removing any of the baked-on remnants of past cookouts. Then brush or spray a small amount of oil across the surface you’ll be using — that way your delicious vegan morsels won’t stick when it comes time for flipping.

This is where the vegan griller really shines. There is a huge range of vegetables that make perfect barbeque fodder. They add colour, nutrition and variety to a meal and taste just phenomenal.
Below is a list of vegetables that will go down a treat at any sunny summer feed:
Eggplant: Lovers of eggplant’s unique flavour will enjoy it straight on the grill, but for those who might be wary, a little dressing up can be nice. Eggplant absorbs flavour like crazy, so try it with a BBQ marinade or miso glaze

Courgette: A quick cooker that is great chopped into sabs, or slid onto a skewer as part of a kebab

Mushrooms: Juicy portobellos are the undisputed fungi kind of the barbie, but all kinds taste great with the smokey grill treatment

Cauliflower: Cut into thick slabs and rub with a tasty spice mix for a cauliflower ‘steak’ that grills perfectly

Kumara: An easy crowd pleaser that can go straight on the grill in slices, or be fancied up with stuffing and wrapped in foil for a more impressive treatment

Potatoes: Needing a little more cook time than it’s sweeter kumara cousin, potatoes will benefit from parboiling before they hit the grill. Baby potatoes are a good pick; sweet, creamy and already bite-sized.

Asparagus: Wrapped in foil with a little lemon and salt or popped right on the cook, asparagus is a barbeque treat. Just be sure to soak it for about 30 minutes before cooking for maximum tenderness

Corn on the cob: Not even the most closed-minded meat eater can turn a nose up at this staple; cooked in the husk, wrapped in foil or straight on the grill, you can’t beat char-grilled corn

Peppers: Another veggie that’s great grilled straight but even greater when stuffe. All colours of peppers are a treat on the barbeque; try experimenting with herbs, spices, chopped veggies, beans and plant-based cheese for stuffing

Brussel sprouts: You might just change some young minds if you let them sample this maligned veggie after a good grilling; crispy, nutty, tender and flavourful

Onions: Nothing brightens a nostril’s day more than the smell of onions cooking. Red onions go particularly well cut into rings, or a foil package of chopped onions, garlic and herbs will spruce up any dish

Woah there, fruit on the barbie you say? Indeed we do. You’ve already got the grill out, why not let dessert benefit from the cookout treatment too.

Pineapple rings are a sweet favourite, either as an accompaniment to a main meal or part of a delightful dessert. The crispy, charred surface gives way to sweet, warm juices within — yum.

The same goes for apple and pear slices, they both make sweet, juicy additions to salads or other sides, or can be topped with cinnamon, brown sugar or maple syrup for a decadent fruity dessert.

Watermelon is another surprisingly versatile barbeque fruit. Paired with a bit of mint, it can lighten up a heavier salad, or just be enjoyed on its smokey, refreshing lonesome.

More tips
  • If you are barbequing for a mixed crowd of vegans and non-vegans, separation is the key to harmony. Many vegans do not want to eat plant-based food that has been cooked in the juices of meat products. If you have the space, use one grill for meat and the other for non-meat dishes
  • If that’s not possible, you’ll either want to cook the plant-based food first, followed by the meat, or use foil wrap to keep the vegan foods away from the meat runoff
  • Remember, just because barbequed foods taste brilliant by themselves it doesn’t mean they have to remain that way. Many grilled veggies make a wonderful addition to salads, pastas and soups
  • Nobody wants to be stressed at the barbie, so take the time pressure off by preparing your sauces, marinades, spice rubs and dressings before the day of the cook up

Christmas Cocktails

Coco Coffee Cocktail (GF, NF)

1 litre of coconut milk
1 cup of espresso shots, 
plus 2 extra (decaf is fine too)
1 cup of whiskey 
1 tsp of vanilla stevia (or to taste) 
 Blend well and serve cold 

Easy Pina Colada (GF, NF)

1 litre of cold pineapple juice 
1 can coconut cream 
½ cup of vodka (or to taste!) 
½ cup of white rum (or to taste!) 
Blend well and serve 

Easy Vegan Baileys (GF, NF) 

1 litre of chocolate milk 
(Little Island is ideal but any will do) 
½ cup whiskey (or to taste) 
½ cup vodka (or to taste) 
Blend well and serve 
Gift Ideas for the Animal Lover in your life!

Check out our great gift ideas ~ all from the Vegan Society Aotearoa website!

Vegan T Shirts
See our options of t shirts and hoodies ~ awesome presents for your nearest friendly vegan!

Stocking Fillers
See our cool stickers and badges ~ perfect stocking fillers!

Membership/Magazine Subscription
The gift that lasts all year!  Buy one copy, or sign up for a Membership and get all your copies free (and posted free within New Zealand!)