This year Christmas will be had at my Mum’s house. My Mum, my sister and I went out for a coffee yesterday to have chat about what will be on the table when December 25th rolls around.
In a house full of sweet-tooths with dietary restrictions, this means serious planning. I was gonna post a pic of our serious faces to show you but I didn’t actually take a photo – that’s how serious it is!
Just to give you an idea of the lay of the land here at Operation: AwesomeChristmas, check out this list of restrictions:
- One step sister can’t have MSG (even naturally occurring), soy or gluten.
- Mum prefers not to do gluten but makes exception for pastry, and requires trifle.
- Sister likes everything except fruit, and requires rum balls (which she has re-named Amazeballs).
- Step-Dad likes prawns but is allergic to their shells (and that is the last you’ll hear about prawns on this blog).
- Brother is allergic to peanuts and gets creeped out by other nuts but will eat other nuts without incident if you don’t mention them.
- Everybody is gluten free except the kids and the vegans.
- Kids are coming, and kids are picky.
- There are two vegans and everyone else likes to chew on dead creatures (tee hee, crude!)
- I want all the sweets but am vegan and want to stay the weight I am because I am at the upper range for all my clothes and don’t want to go shopping.
Honestly, it’s less like planning lunch and more like answering one of those Lovatt’s puzzles with the grid where you match people with their train and shirt colour.
In the end we came up with a menu that should suit everyone, we think
Menu for Operation:AwesmeChristmas
Key: V – vegan GF – gluten free SF – soy free NF – nut free
- Dips in Christmas colours (hommus, roast capsicum and pesto with out nuts) – V, GF, SF, NF
- Chopped veggies for dipping – V, GF, SF, NF
- Rice crackers – V, GF, SF, NF
- Christmas lollies – GF, SF, NF
- Rice noodle salad – V, GF, SF, NF
- Rice paper rolls with tofu – V, GF, NF
- Rice paper rolls without tofu – V, GF, SF, NF
- ***Roast strawberry and tomato tart – V, SF, NF*
- Caramel onion and Mushroom tart – V, SF, NF*
- Sanakopita minis – V
- Boiled baby potatoes with vegan sour cream and chives – V, GF, NF, SF option
- Others are bringing a rocket and fig salad, a roast veg salad, and ham and prawns for the meat eaters.
*these will be gluten free if I can find gluten free puff pastry and short crust in Newcastle
*** I have been planning to make this tart for a week, but in my trial-run it was too sour. I have been using roasted strawberries and tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, pepper and basil in the filling. Any suggestions for fixing it, please comment – in can be a collaboratart!
- Custard tart with fruit (from Vegan Pie in the Sky) – V, GF*, SF
- Strawberry Cheesecake V, GF
- Amazeballs (non-vegan rum balls without rum)
- Vegan rum ball Christmas tree – V, GF, SF, NF (I’ll adapt last year’s recipe to replace the biccies with GF, and the soy milk and soy chocolate with rice milk and rice milk chocolate)
- Trifle – V, GF, SF, NF
I’m so excited I could burst!
The custard tart is from Vegan Pie In The Sky, and I have made it twice before to resounding applause. It’s also very, very pretty:
The cheesecake is my old go-to recipe, but I’m adding strawberries for good measure. I promised a friend the recipe (Hi James!), so without further ado…
Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake
- 1 x 200g packet of plain biscuits (GF if needed) like Arnotts Nice or Orgran Outback Animals, or Choc Ripple for a chocolate cheesecake
- 2 Tbs vegan margarine
- 2 Tbs non-dairy milk
- 1 cup good quality coconut cream (the whole fat stuff, try Ayam brand in the dark green tin)
- 1/2 tsp agar agar powder
- 1x200g packet Cheezly, Mozarella flavour, chopped
- 100g silken tofu
- 3/4 cup icing mixture
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- Crush the biscuits using a food processor (or whack them with a rolling pin) until they are very fine.
- Melt the margarine and mix with the biscuits and milk to form a sticky, crumbly mess.
- Press the mess into a tart dish or pie pan or a round spring-form tin.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 2 hours.
- Blend the strawberries until they are pureed. Set aside for later.
- In a large saucepan mix the agar with the coconut cream and bring to the boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour the agar and coconut into a blender with the cheezly, tofu, icing mixture and strawberry puree. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the filling onto the base and refrigerate overnight.
- Decorate with more strawberries and serve.