Feasting vegan

Taken a big step towards a more plant-based diet but struggling to find inspiration for celebratory food? You’ve come to the right place.

noodle stir-fry

Not only is veganism on the rise, 14% of Brits now consider themselves “flexitarians”, while they consume meat occasionally, their diet is mainly plant-based.

The increased demand for plant-based food is causing a boom in meat-replacements and a cascade of high-street food joints stepping up their veggie game. It’s never been easier to choose low-carbon foods.

One area that can stump people in the plant-based kitchen however, is food for occasions. When we think of congregating around a table to celebrate holidays, birthdays and special occasions, our minds too often go to roast beasts and all the trimmings. 

Swapping out our traditional ideas of feasting for sustainable options can need a bit of adjustment, but we’ve found that vegan feasts can be just as delicious and ceremonial as a more traditional spread. It’s time to get your guestlist together. Here’s our hot tips...

The Alternative Centre Piece:

Want to keep the feel traditional with a baked centerpiece surrounded by an array of sides? Here are some great options to swap in:

All hail the vegetable centrepiece. Giving vegetables the centre stage in all of their glory is not only healthy and low carbon, but delicious: 

The whole roasted cauliflower is an incredibly simple and surprisingly mouth-watering creation. Trust us and try it out.

If not cauliflower tonight then how about whole roasted miso aubergine or this delectable roasted celeriac?

A twist on a classic. Attached to your old favourites? Try them veggified.

This wellington has been tried and tested many times by some of our team and is a delicious replacement for the Sunday roast. Swap the butter for a dairy-free spread and plant milk instead of egg glaze to make it vegan. 

This vegan shepherd's pie is an easy and comforting classic to gather around on a cold evening. 

Risotto conjures up images of mountains of parmesan and butter, but vegan risottos work really well. You won’t be missing the cheese in this zingy recipe by Mera Sodha (check out more of her recipes for easy and delicious vegan inspiration).

The Spread:

Don’t think that you have to stick to convention with a centre piece - go for the spread. Here are some of our favourite recipes to present along-side each other for a banquet of dreams.

Why not try out this easy baked orzo and fennel dish along-side this rich and savoury aubergine and lentil stew (use dairy free cream) and a simple salad. These dishes leave no flavour lacking. Experiment by mixing different dishes and cuisines! 

Go for the meat-free hack: 

You don’t have to abstain any longer with some of our favourite food hacks to get you going - and there are a few clever ones in there you might not expect! Take a look and have a go. 

Pulled pork, fish and chips and hoisin duck are all easy to recreate at home with these plant-based takes on the carbon-heavy classics: jack fruit pulled pork, tofush and chips, mock duck

What about puddings? The old favourites don’t have to be off limits just because you’re ditching dairy. Try something like this avocado chocolate mousse or this aquafaba meringue in your eton mess. They really do work! 

And if you want something simple, this isn’t just one of the yummiest chocolate cakes, it’s super-simple and entirely vegan. You can posh-it up a bit with a vegan ganache, just chop a large bar of dark chocolate and melt in a can of full-fat coconut milk heated gently on the job (the same trick works for really decadent vegan truffles too). Or the icing in Ruby Tandoh’s chocolate fudge cake is <chefs kiss>.

...and this is only a jumping off point. The options for no-meat nosh-ups are endless. Let’s start feasting!

Skye Goldingeat & buy