AD | Some items featured in this post were gifted in return for my honest review. These are marked with an asterisk.
I’m bringing back an old regular feature called Favourite Foodie Finds as I seem to be discovering lots of new and exciting things lately. It’s only fitting to begin with a festive edition!
Here are the festive goodies that I think are definitely worth considering to make your vegan Christmas delicious. Whipping these out might also help you to avoid pitying looks from your family when they’re offering round the Quality Streets!
I’m usually a huge advocate of home cooking, but at Christmas the washing up seems to pile up at double the speed. If adding some pre-made easy cook meals into the mix means that I can cut down on the dishes and enjoy another cheesy Christmas movie, I’m all for it!
Frank Dale Foods are a fairly local company to me who have been supplying restaurant quality chilled and frozen British made fare to the food industry since the early 90’s. Now they’re offering goodies to the general public too. Happily this includes a range of vegan** pies and quiches that are perfect for a festive table spread.
My ‘bubbles’ came round for a chilled Sunday afternoon so it was the perfect time to test these out. I was able to lay out an impressive looking feast in between movies. All it took was 20 minutes of cooking and I used just two baking trays – success!
My mouth is watering at the memory of the shortcrust pastry on the quiches. It was the perfect combination of sweet and savoury flavour, with a texture firm enough to hold the contents but dissolving into a satisfying crumble as you take a bite.
Each pie and quiche is a canape sized nibble but the distinct flavour of each still shines through. A 12 pack assortment box of the mini quiches costs £4.99, with 4 of each of the following flavours: Woodland Mushroom, Pea, Broccoli and Mint (my favourite) and Tomato and Basil.
You can also buy a pack of two full sized cherry tomato, red pepper and basil quiches for the same price.
The 12 pack vegan mini pie selection costs £5.99 and contains 6 each of the following flavours: Rich Mushroom, Leek and Ale (the grownup’s favourite) and Country Vegetable with Swede, Carrot and Butternut Squash (a massive hit with the kids!)
Don’t they look as cute as a button? They are made with more of that moreish shortcrust pastry and topped with a delicious flaky puff pastry too.
The supermarket party food equivalents that I’ve seen tend to be at a slightly lower price point. However in my experience they aren’t on the same level quality and taste wise. If you’re willing to push the boat out, these are far more impressive for a special occasion.
Delivery wise, the food arrives fresh, chilled and ready to cook but will also keep in the fridge for about 4 days. Alternatively you can cook them from frozen. Handy if you want to start your Christmas food shopping now.
For 10% off your first order at Frank Dale Foods, click here to visit the website and enter coupon code LBL10 at checkout. There’s also a Black Friday sale on at the time of writing!
** Please be aware that the insulating packaging used to keep the food chilled in transit contains wool.
Have you ever been on the Sous Chef website? It’s one of my favourite foodie shops to browse through online!
They are a world supermarket offering ingredients, cookware and kitchenware from cuisines around the globe. Not only do they sell hard to find ingredients like Korean Gochujang paste, but I can go down a rabbit hole for hours looking at their beautiful Japanese tableware and Masterchef level cookery tools.
They have a whole section dedicated to Vegan Christmas Food this year that I’ve had my eye for a while now, so I was delighted when they got in touch and asked to send me something from the range to try. A Vegan Panettone arrived just a few days later!
Panettone is an Italian sweetbread traditionally eaten at Christmas. Much like Christmas pudding, I refused to try it for years on account of an intense dislike of candied fruits. However it turns out that there are many variations on the classic. You can enjoy a fruit free version filled with chocolate instead – now you’re talking!
Panettone is made using a sourdough starter and has a long leavening period. This gives the cake a beautiful light and airy texture but it’s also packed full of flavour. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is chocolate brioche. If you like those, you’re in for a treat!
I’m trying my best not to fall into my usual habit of eating mince pies for breakfast throughout December. However I had to open this panettone to review it and now it’s staring at me every morning. This could be dangerous…
Visit the Sous Chef website to buy food gifts here.
The picture above is of the completely sold out advent calendar (which I cannot wait to open on December 1st!). I’m sharing it with you because last year’s version (when they were branded as The Vegan Chocolatier) was my introduction to the full range of Kakoa’s luxurious vegan truffles and chocolates. All of these are still in stock in selection boxes or individual flavours so you don’t have to miss out.
Kakoa’s truffles really are the most decadent and luxurious treat. They stopped production for a while during lockdown and I obsessively checked their Instagram until they announced their return.
You’ll also notice from the pictures that I bought two of the advent calendars. That’s because last year I felt obliged to offer at least some of them to Oliver. This year I solved the problem of having to share!
My favourites are the Divine Viennise and Dazzling Strawberry & Champagne flavours. The Chocolate Brussel Sprout Truffles are incredibly fun to look at and taste dreamy too.
To be honest all the flavours are worth trying so I’d suggest starting with the Vegan Iconic Collection Chocolate Box. It’s not cheap at £24.99. However if you still reminisce about the milk chocolate Christmas selection boxes that you used to enjoy before you went vegan, these might just make your Christmas!
So there are my festive favourite foodie finds so far this year.
I’ll be highlighting more vegan friendly foodie recommendations as well as other gift suggestions and recipes throughout December. I hope they give you some ideas for ways to make this weird Christmas a little bit more cheery.
Let me know in the comments what vegan friendly goodies you’re going to be eating and drinking!