Our population is becoming more and more environmentally conscious of the products we purchase and the lifestyle we are choosing to lead. From purchasing items made from sustainable materials, reclaimed wood furniture with faux leather dining chairs to embracing a vegan diet.
So how do you adapt the traditional sumptuous "no holds barred" traditional turkey dinner to a plant-based feast?
If you and your family are all vegans then you will probably have plenty of ideas on how to switch to a plant-based Christmas dinner - but what if you have one member of your family who is vegan? Or if you have one or two guests coming who are vegan? It's worth checking if they are flexible at all, some people who usually eat vegan will be more than happy to slot in a little and be OK with a small amount of dairy product. It's definitely worth checking before stressing over how to adapt everything.
Photo featuring: Kensington Reclaimed Wood Dining Table
To make life easier on the day set your dining table the night before. If you think you have to squeeze extra guests around the table then consider a dining bench or for extra comfort a dining bench with back or fabric dining bench, it's much easier to squeeze up on one of these than adding extra dining chairs.
Starters and nibbles
I think it's a given that most vegans, and vegetarians, enjoy hummus, it's also popular with carnivores too. This is a great choice to start your Christmas feast with, you can dish this up individually or have a sharing platter ready for all to dig in to a rustic dining table - serve with carrot, cucumber and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, peppers and some vegan breadsticks that you can get from most supermarkets. Traditional guacamole is also vegan. For nibbles, you can put out olives or a platter of nuts and dried fruits.
The main event
A cashew nut roast, a mushroom and lentil loaf with cranberries, stuffed butternut squash and meals based on polenta are all great options - there are so many recipes waiting to be discovered online, you will easily be able to find something to suit. The great thing about many of these meals (having no meat to worry about going off) is that they can be prepared or even frozen well in advance. Now we have the main element decided on we can start on the side dishes. Yes, the veggies - all you have to do here is be mindful of adding butter, animal fat and other meat-based elements as you cook and prepare them. Then there's just the gravy, again there are some great vegan recipes online or you can go for ready-made shop-bought.
The traditional Christmas pudding is quite easy to adapt to a vegan one - full of dried fruits, Christmas spices and booze there are only really a couple of ingredients you need to swap - the suet and any dairy product. The vegan society has a great recipe on their website that is definitely worth a look. This can be served with brandy butter which can be made using vegan margarine, icing sugar and alcohol.
Whatever you serve, Christmas, more than ever this year, will be about spending as much quality time as possible with your nearest and dearest.