Veganism is on the rise. There's just no denying it. With a (rightly so) increasingly environmentally-conscious world, a plethora of tantalising delights showcased on Instagram feeds far and wide, and the ever-popularity of diet change-ups, more and more UK consumers are wandering into the world of vegan.
When it comes to big annual events, weddings or just a simple gathering of friends, there's a strong likelihood that you'll need to bear in mind your food options for vegan diets.
This year, the inaugural found that 18% of people catering for Christmas day (that's nearly 1/5) had vegan and vegetarian options in their menus. With both this in mind, and also a curiosity for new food trends, it's no wonder that more vegan cookbooks are being published than ever.
But what about learning what to cook for your vegan audience that won't alienate others, and won't take you 2 hours per dish? Luckily, the ever-helpful have provided us with their top 10 tips to please the whole dinner table, off the back of their vegan festive feast, , which took place earlier this month:
1. Don’t be boring!
If you’re trying to be vegan but are only cooking pasta or salads, you’re not going to impress anyone. We are about creating delicious plant-based food for everyone to enjoy, whether you are vegan, veggie, flexi or just trying a meat-free Monday. There are over 140 vegan recipes in our first cookbook BOSH!. On our website bosh.tv we have hundreds more. In April, our second cookbook BISH BASH BOSH! is coming out and there’ll be even more incredible plant-based recipes so saying there’s not enough options out there isn’t an excuse.
2. Eat the rainbow!
We always say to make your plate as colourful as possible. It’s a really good indication that you’re getting lots of different nutrients that your body needs, but also means you’ll have a nice combination of tastes.
3. Nutritional Yeast
– We like to call this magic dust. It provides a nutty, cheesy taste to a meal but is also a really great source of vitamin B12. We use it in our Creamy Mac & Greens, our Shepherd’s Potato Pie, our Rich & Creamy Lasagne. You name it, you can probably add Nutritional Yeast to it (ok maybe not everything…)
4. Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms!
There’s so much you can do with mushrooms. They add such a nice, meaty texture to dishes but also soak up all the flavour. We sometimes blend them up to make a mushroom mince that is incredible in our Ultimate Chilli. If you go and buy King Oyster Mushrooms (now available as part of the Tesco Finest range), you can make Mushroom Scallops which is the perfect starter for any dinner party. Ever thought of using mushrooms for Hoi Sin Pancakes too? The recipe is in our BOSH! cookbook.
5. Remix. Nothing is impossible.
Think of your favourite dish as a meat eater. Then don’t be afraid to create a vegan alternative. Fancy Buffalo Wings? We’ve created Cauliflower Buffalo Wings! Fried Chicken? We’ve created a vegan version. Steak? There’s a vegan version of that too up on our website.
6. Nibbles. Don’t leave your guests waiting for food.
Make sure there are some nibbles lying around but don’t just put our nuts and crisps. We’ve recently teamed up with Tesco for Vegmas and we created a Sesame Ginger Dip for the Tesco Finest Thai Inspired Butternut, Coconut and Lime Spring Rolls which are perfect to keep you ticking over until the food arrives and will get your taste buds ready for dinner.
7. Try new ingredients.
When you are sat around the dinner table after presenting your Creamy Seaside Pie, the first question you’re going to get asked is ‘How is this vegan?’. That’s when you can talk about all the incredible ingredients that are in it. The mushrooms create the meaty texture. You have capers that give the vinegary, seaside taste. Add it with Nori (seaweed) and you’ve recreated the seaside taste of a fish pie. The best thing is that all of these ingredients are available in most supermarkets so you don’t have to spend ages trying to find them.
Jackfruit is such a versatile food. You can buy it in tins from most supermarkets and it’s a really good substitute to meat because of its fibrous texture and how well it soaks up flavour. We use it in our Jackfruit Tacos. But, if you ever want to recreate a vegan ‘Pulled Pork’ dish, jackfruit is your go to! Head to BOSH.TV to see how we’ve used it in our ‘Pulled “Pork” Sandwich’.
The last thing people expect when you tell them you’re cooking a vegan meal is some sort of meringue or mousse. That’s where aquafaba comes in! When you drain chickpeas, never waste the water it comes in. That’s your aquafaba! You can whizz it up into a chocolate mousse or a meringue. It’s such a conversation starter when you bring the dessert out. The recipe is in our book and on our website.
Don’t doubt yourself.
All our recipes are pretty easy to follow so don’t be afraid to pull out a showstopper! Our Mushroom Wellington looks incredible and is a real crowd pleaser. If you follow our step by step recipe, you can’t go wrong. The best main course for a dinner table is something that is heart, delicious and looks like you’ve put effort into it. You can’t go wrong with our Mushroom Wellington!