Holidays are nightmares for people who are on a strict dietary protocol. Whether they are practicing the Keto diet, Veganism or Paleo, holidays are tough on these struggling souls without a doubt. It is during this time that panic begins – the common question begs to be asked and that is ‘What do I eat during the holidays?’
Luckily enough, in many parts of the world, Veganism has reached the top in the hierarchy of best eating lifestyles and we can confidently say, it has secured its position well. With so much awareness spreading across the world about the vegan lifestyle or ‘diet’, many have converted themselves to full-time vegans and do not plan on turning back to their old ways.
In fact, many restaurants and grocery stores are supplying more vegan health foods and plant-based meals to cater to the growing demands of their vegan customers. So, it isn’t all that difficult to find a loophole during the holidays. As they say ‘when there is a will, there is a way’, right?
We are here to tell you that sticking to your vegan lifestyle is surely possible with the help of some tips and tricks that won’t make you feel awkward at the holiday dinner table. Here’s how you may go about it for starters:
Be the cool guest that brings up a dish at every holiday gathering
You might be known for being the only guest who always shows up to a holiday union of family/friends with a dish – but that’s ok, you are doing yourself a favor by bringing something that you can enjoy. If you are a vegan, coming from a non-vegan family and/or circle of friends, it can often feel alienating to be the only one having to rummage through meat-heavy dishes for some vegan sidelines; but even then, it is either not filling enough, or it is secretly covered in dairy-based ingredients.
So, what does a vegan got to do when this is the case? Bring their own dish to the table that’s what! You may be surprised – being kind enough to bring a vegan dish and sharing it with everyone at the table may earn you the rapport in your social circle. Basically, it’s a win-win situation no matter how you look at it.
Also, bringing a vegan dish and sharing it with your fellow diners is a great opportunity to teach them about your vegan journey without the need for debating and dare I say, heated arguments. In this case, you are offering them a free lesson on what it is like to eat vegan food which contrary to popular belief isn’t boring at all.
Moreover, the plus side to bringing your own dish of vegan-goodness is that if no one seems to be inclined to taste it, the whole dish is yours to devour. Again, how can one possibly go wrong with this strategy, am I right?
You can bring a dish that is a vegan alternative to a popular holiday favorite such as pumpkin pie. Instead of the eggs, cream, and milk, you can substitute that for vegan eggs and vegan milk such as almond milk or cashew milk. Another crowd-favorite is mac and cheese that can be easily stirred up with a handful of cashews pureed into a cheese-like consistency to give that creaminess that every mac n cheese-lover drools over.
If you are looking for more fun vegan holiday recipes, check out Cheap Lazy Vegan’s guide to vegan holiday recipes that will certainly make everyone glad they invited you over!
Certain that you won’t find anything vegan-appropriate? Eat beforehand!
Holidays can be and often are, the most stressful time of the year. Due to either booking flights, buying your family and friends gifts or packing your suitcase for a relaxing trip abroad, one can get carried away with their schedule. And when this happens, you rarely find time to prepare a dish to take with yourself at a holiday union.
Depending on your social circle and choice of location, there is no guarantee you will find a wide buffet of vegan holiday meals at your disposal. In this case, you must eat beforehand lest you starve yourself at the lunch or dinner table in the midst of all the munching and chewing.
Whether you don’t have the time to prepare a vegan dish for the whole crowd or simply feel shy bringing a friendly vegan casserole at a party, we say; scoff down your meal before heading out the door to play it safe at the gathering.
Be on the alert for seemingly vegan-like dishes and prepare alternatives
Often times, we get fooled by our very own eyes when we glance upon dishes that appear vegan, but when inquired about, are actually only vegetarian. If you are planning a feast for your vegan and non-vegan friends and family over the holiday, there are many ways you can cook up their favorite non-vegan dishes by using vegan ingredients.
After all, we wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out, would we?
So let’s take Christmas for example; it is THE holiday, along with Thanksgiving, that brings everyone together and the food plays a major role in doing so. What do you think about when you someone says Christmas? Apart from the turkey, I think about the aroma of mashed potatoes drizzled over with luxurious, almost velvet-textured gravy, and, not to forget a tangy serving of cranberry sauce to balance out the richness.
Can this all be made with vegan ingredients? Well, absolutely.
For starters, if you crave the decadence of mashed potatoes but without the inclusion of butter, milk, and cream, you can opt for vegetable broth along with coconut milk and olive oil to give it that creaminess. The original gravy, which is cooked up using the remaining juice of roasted meat, can be substituted for using mushrooms.
And last but not least, the cranberry sauce, which often contains gelatin, can be thickened using natural pectin that is in the cranberries itself. All you need to do is to cook it long enough to thicken it and voila! You have your vegan-based luscious serving of cranberry sauce.
Give a helping hand to the cook
First of all, helping around the kitchen and taking a load of the host is not only appreciated, but it is also needed. Holidays are stressful. Your host is more likely to be stressed out beyond measure and can use the extra assistance in whipping up delicious holiday meals.
However, stating to the host beforehand as to what you can and cannot eat will be useful for them. This way, they can plan ahead the ingredients list and start prepping for meals that will suit your dietary requirements. And if they seem puzzled on how to get about it because keep in mind, not everyone is familiar with the vegan way-of-eating, it will ease their burdens if you help them out.
You can be a trooper and bring along with yourself vegan ingredients such as vegan butter and cheese, vegetable broth, and non-dairy milk such as cashew or almond milk. In conclusion, there is always a way out if you are a vegan in a non-vegan environment!