There are now over 542,000 people in the UK following a vegan diet and each winter more than 27,000 Google searches for ‘vegan Christmas dinner’ take place. That’s a lot of nut roasts, quinoa and lack of imagination.

According to a study by our friends at Waitrose, this December will see 200,000 vegans in the UK hosting a Christmas meal, with the majority serving a completely meat and dairy free spread. It’s common practice for vegans going to another person’s home for Christmas to take their own vegan food with them, for fear of putting pressure on the host or accidentally eating meat due to the cook’s ignorance.

A further 30% of vegans who aren’t hosting Christmas said they were nervous about the vegan options that they’ll be served at their Christmas meal. No one wants just wants roasted vegetables, sans seasoning and sauce, so here are 4 IDEAL tips for a vegan Christmas.

DON’T OVER COMPLICATE IT

As with any meal, getting over fussy and trying to make something complex more often than not has bad results. Again, as with any cooking, trust the seasons to dictate what you serve. This is especially pertinent for vegans, as fruit and veg differs so vastly in quality if depending on whether it’s in or out of season. Right now, beetroot, celeriac, horseradish and apples are tasting pretty damn nice, and pair wonderfully together

It’s a good move to stick with dishes that can be shared, such as mezze boards with olives, dips and good, plant-based bread. Sharing feels inclusive and embraces everyone, rather than setting up a divide between those who are vegan and those identifying as carnivores.

SIMPLE SHOWSTOPPERS

If you want to do something a bit special as a showstopper vegan main, a vegan wellington, made with a vegan pastry and a savoury filling, will feel more celebratory than apologetic. Another vegan favourite is a cashew nut and mushroom pie with vegan puff pastry, thick mushroom gravy, herbed roast potatoes, sprouts, peas and glazed parsnips.

HERBS AND SPICE ARE KING

Adding flavour to a dish without meat and fat may seem a challenge, but fresh herbs and plenty of spice can make anything delicious. As such, deep stews and amazing curries give the most bang for their buck, and feel like a real effort has been made to make food pleasurable and not simply ethically on point.

VEGAN TWISTS

When it comes to the foods that vegans miss in the festive spread, Waitrose found that Yorkshire pudding is one of the most desired additions to a vegan Christmas dinner plate – check the recipe below. The sweet treat that vegans miss the most at Christmas is chocolate. So to help, the lovely people at Waiitrose gave us this recipe for a vegan-friendly Christmas chocolate cherry tarts and yorkshire puddings made from chickpeas.

For more vegan Christmas recipe ideas visit: www.waitrose.com