The countdown to Christmas is on, and this year it’s going to be extra special. Yes, the opportunity to don our seasonal best and host the dinner of the year has returned once again.

But with great Christmas Day hosting comes great responsibility. Creating a home-cooked, vegan and gluten-free meal from scratch isn’t always easy, especially with so much prep and cooking to juggle as it is. Besides, is it really possible to replace the traditional three-course dinner with tasty alternatives that are deserving of such a special occasion?

Fear not, intrepid host. Holly White, plant-based nutritionist and Frontier Foods Brand Ambassador has shared some brilliant recipes that are not only possible to prepare in advance, but are guaranteed to leave your meat-eating guests ruefully eyeing up their neighbour’s dinner plate. As a bonus, these recipes are suitable for any gluten-free guests too, and the vegan clotted cream is to die for!

Starters/Nibbles

Swap Pâté for Olive Tapenade.

A seriously tasty and simple alternative to the more traditional meat pâté. Serve with brown bread and a warming soup.

Olive Tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of Frontier Foods Black Pitted olives
  • 1 jar of Frontier Foods Green Pitted olives
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 squeezed lemon
  • Large pinch of pepper
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

 

Method:

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse till your desired consistency is reached.

 

Main Course

Swap Turkey for Nut Roast or Roasted Cauliflower

Many brands have tried to replicate the freshness of a homemade nut toast, but there’s nothing like the real McCoy. Serve with roast potatoes, vegetables and piping hot vegan gravy.

Cranberry Nut Roast with Vegan Gravy 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of Tomato puree
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 200g dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons of sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

 

  • 4 tablespoons milled chia seeds mixed with 12 tablespoons of water
  • 150g almonds
  • 150g Brazil nuts
  • 100g buckwheat or GF flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Tamari
  • 1 tablespoon of miso paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Frontier Foods Coconut Oil for frying.

Method:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*
  2. Mix the chia seeds with water in a bowl and set aside to come together to a thick consistency for a few minutes.
  3. Fry the onion and garlic in a pan before adding the carrots and mushrooms.
  4. Add in the rest of the herbs, cranberries and tomato paste as well as the miso and Tamari.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare your nuts by pulsing them in a food processor until they’re broken down into small pieces – but maintaining texture.
  6. Add in your cooled veg mix and flour to the processor and pulse together.
  7. Season well and pour into a lined loaf tin. Ensure that it’s pressed down so there are no gaps – this is important to hold it together after slicing.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. Allow it to set in the tin for 15 minutes before removing and slicing to serve.

 

Sage and Onion Gravy

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 leek
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 100g of mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pint of vegan stock
  • 1 tablespoon of soy or Tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of miso paste
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of sage
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of Frontier Foods Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons Frontier Foods Tahini Paste to thicken
  • 1 tablespoon of flour (optional if you want a thicker gravy)

Method

 

  1. Roughly chop all the vegetables and fry in a saucepan on a medium-high heat stirring regularly until everything starts to caramelise.
  2. Stir in the flour and reduce the heat. Pour in the stock a little at a time stirring vigorously to combine everything.
  3. Add in the soy or tamari, miso paste and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Stir in the tahini and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put a lid on the pot and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Pour the gravy through a sieve using the back of a spoon to press as much of it through.
  7. If you want a thicker gravy return to the cooker and simmer a little longer adding in a tablespoon of flour or mash in some potato or sieved veg back in.

If nut roast isn’t what you’re after, why not indulge in a delectable Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce come Christmas Day and delight your guest with this tempting offering.

 

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce

 

Ingredients:

 

• 4 cloves of pressed garlic

• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

• ½ a bunch of fresh thyme , (15g)

• olive oil

• 1 lemon

• 1 large cauliflower with outer leaves

Method

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  2. Peel the garlic, then add it to a bowl with the paprika and half the thyme leaves with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season.
  3. Zest the lemon into a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Trim the outer cauliflower leaves. Trim away and discard the stalk so the cauliflower can sit flat, then cut a cross into the base.
  5. Rub the paprika paste all over the cauliflower, then place in a medium casserole pan.
  6. Cover and pop in the hot oven for around 1 hour 20 minutes, or until tender, removing the lid for the final 20 minutes.

 

Lemon Tahini Dressing 

 

Ingredients:

 

• 3 tablespoons Frontier Foods tahini

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

• 1 clove crushed garlic

• Salt & pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder.

• Water to thin to your desired consistency – approx.. 150 ml.

 

Method

 

  1. Stir all ingredients together until well combined. Add water to get it to the consistency you want.
  2. Pour the sauce over your roasted cauliflower.

 

Dessert

Swap Bog-standard Christmas Pudding for a delicious plant-based crumble and coconuty cream.

Cinnamon, Apple and Berry Crumble with Vegan Clotted Cream

Ingredients

  • 4 apples – chopped, peeled and cored
  • 200g of mixed berries
  • 70g of coconut sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 100ml of apple or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2” of finely grated ginger

 

Topping

 

  • 60g of melted coconut oil
  • 100g of rolled oats (GF if using)
  • 50g of ground almonds – just blend them until a fine powder forms

 

  • 50g of flaked almonds
  • 4 tablespoons of Jakemans Maple Syrup

Method

 

  1. To make the crumble base, wash, peel and chop all your apples.
  2. Place them in a mixing bowl and toss with all the other ingredients until well coated.
  3. Place them in the dish for cooking while you prepare your crumble.
  4. Blend all crumble ingredients together and pat on top of the apple and berry mix.
  5. Bake this for 50 minutes at 160*
  6. Finish off the last few minutes under the grill to crisp it up.

 

Vegan Clotted Cream

Ingredients

 

  • 500g of natural or vanilla dairy-free yogurt
  • 1 -2 tablespoons Jakemans Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons melted Frontier Foods Coconut Oil – ensure this is warm – not boiling or it will split your mixture.

 

Method

 

  1. Place the coconut yogurt in a muslin in a sieve over a pot or bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to drain overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  2. You will be left with a thick paste. Discard the water or use in a smoothie.
  3. Working quickly stir in your melted coconut oil, vanilla and sweetener of choice.
  4. If your yogurt is vanilla it might be sweet enough already so taste it before and add sweetener to your preference.
  5. To maintain the light colour use a light agave.
  6. Serve in place of traditional cream with the crumble. 

Frontier Foods are available in stockists nationwide, including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Super Valu, Fresh Stores & Eurospar. For more information visit  www.frontierfoods.ie

 

Frontier Foods Organic Apple Cider Vinegar RRP – €4.99, Organic Coconut Milk RRP – €2.29, Organic Coconut Oil RRP – 500ml: €6.75 / 250ml: €4.29, Tahini €3.49, Jakemans Maple Syrup – €6.89, Black Pitted Olives – €1.99, Green Pitted Olives – €1.99