Veganism- it’s all the rage at the moment with multiple chain restaurants, brands and shops increasing their plant based offerings.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, it seems just about everyone watched The Game Changers and decided to give veganism a go.  This has lead to a lot more of our guests requesting private chefs, for the Cape Town summer season, who can cook predominantly plant based menus.

As someone who tends to eat meat occasionally at work, for tasting purposes, I am thrilled that more people are becoming aware of the environmental issues around intensive commercial agriculture, electing to purchase higher welfare meats and trying to eat less animal based products.

To inspire my amazing team and clients, I have put together a fully vegan Christmas feast, in partnership with Toni Pretorius of Living Kindly, which is both wholesome and decadent enough to satisfy any meat eater.

Before I launch into the recipes here is a breakdown of your meal and a suggested prep list, to make Christmas day as stress free and relaxed as possible!

MENU

Serves 6

To start:

Vegan Ricotta Bonbons

Crispy Sweet Potato, Fig and Pomegranate Bites

Main

Butternut Wellington With A Caramelized Pear, Sage and Onion Stuffing

Ultimate Vegan Gravy

Creamy Vegan Potato Bake

Dessert

Vegan Meringue And Berries

Prep List

2 Days Before

Soak the almonds for the cashew cheese, and set aside until needed

Start the pavlova mixture, adding the sugar a bit at a time.

While the pavlova mix is whisking, peel the butternut. Next chop off the bulbous seed end (reserve this for another use) and pop the long cylinder top of the butternut in the fridge

Pipe the meringues onto baking paper and bake as directed.

While the meringues cook make the stuffing for the butternut and place it in the fridge until needed.

Once the meringues have fully cooked and cooled, place them in an airtight container.

Christmas Eve

Drain the almonds.

Next make your almond ricotta, and allow it to mature out of the fridge overnight as directed.

Remove the peeled butternut from the fridge and continue preparing it as per the recipe. Once the Butternut Wellington is coated in pastry (do not glaze it yet), place it on a small baking tray over baking paper, and pop it in the fridge. You will bake it on Christmas morning!

Prepare your gravy and set it aside in the fridge until needed.

Prepare your Creamy Vegan Potato Bake. Pop it in the oven and cook for half the allocated time. You will finish it off on Christmas morning

Place your coconut whipping cream into the fridge to chill overnight

Christmas Day

If you are eating Christmas lunch, start your prep in the morning!

Prepare your sweet potato disks for the bites. These can be set aside until needed, warmed up and finished just before serving.

Turn the oven up and roast the butternut Wellington as instructed

Prepare the toppings for your Crispy Sweet Potato bites

Finish your vegan ricotta bon bons, and place them ready to go in the fridge until ready to serve.

Assemble the Crispy Sweet Potato Bites, and plate this up with your Vegan Ricotta Bonbons.

Warm the potato bake and serve the main and sides.

Once ready for dessert finish your vegan pavlovas. These are best served immediately as they toppings can make the meringue go soft