I asked for questions about vegan options and Louise was straight back in touch!
"My oldest daughter is a vegan and these are my questions:
- What can I use instead of two eggs in Delia Smith’s Christmas pudding recipe?
- Where I would normally serve something like mince pies with cream – what sauce can I offer my daughter?
- What is your favourite vegan dish at Christmas?"
Here was my e-mailed reply...
- Egg replacements. I tend to try and make dishes that are vegan rather than 'veganise' things (that tends to be more successful!) but using chia seeds is one option and using vinegar/baking soda another. I'd do a test run first though! There are loads of good recipes for vegan Christmas pud you could try of course, here is one that looks fab. I find the safest option is just make one vegan option and serve to everyone without comment. 99/100 no one even notices; its only when you say 'here is a special vegan pudding' that the rest of the family prick up their ears!
- A sauce for mince pies is easy! Make a sweet cashew cream. It's cashew nuts soaked, drained and then blended (very thoroughly!) with maple syrup, a tiny pinch of salt and a little fresh water for desired consistency. If you don't have a super duper blender then strain it after to remove any chunks. This is lovely! You could just buy some vegan ice cream of course. Booja Booja (I think Waitrose sell it) is as nice as any ice cream you'll ever try! This Saucelooks great too as a creamy base and would make a fab horseradish sauce alternative, with added freshly grated root.
- In terms of favourite vegan dishes my tip is just to make everything you can vegan and present without comment to the entire table. Most Christmas dishes can be made vegan easily by substituting butter for top notch olive oil for example (Sainsburys 'Taste the difference' Tuscan is best available outside the Algarve!). No one will complain at carrots with beautiful olive oil and sea salt instead of butter if you don't mention it! Obviously cauliflower cheese can't be made vegan, in this case I just keep some cauli away from the cheese! The roasted meat is the main issue but a good nut roast will sort that, this by Deliciously Ella is fab!
I hope this helps if you've a vegan coming for dinner and aren't all that familiar with vegan cooking!