Here at Commonsense, we cater for a range of dietary requirements such as gluten free, dairy free, paleo and vegan. We asked staff member Buster Caitcheon for some inspiration for creating a delicious plant based meal. Buster has worked in Produce in our Wellington City Store from April-November 2016, and after a recent move to Auckland, has joined the ranks of our Mt Eden team. Buster’s passions fall into two main categories: music and caring the environment. In general, he tries to do as much good in the world as he can. He brings positivity and mindfulness to every interaction, with colleagues or customers.
“I’ve been vegetarian since I was 14,” Buster says. But it was only after attending a festival called Prana at the beginning of 2016 that he decided to take the next step. “There were so many vegan-friendly options at Prana,” Buster says. “It made me realise how accessible being vegan really was.”
Buster is an avid cook, and, in recent years, has played a big part in creating his family’s meals. This year will be his first Christmas as a vegan, but he’s 100% confident it’s going to be fantastic. “Christmas is the perfect time for simple, fresh and seasonal foods,” Buster says. “It’s really the ideal time to eat vegan.”
1. Fresh Tomato Guacamole
“One thing I always make is fresh tomato guacamole,” Buster says. “It’s really easy to make, everyone loves it and it’s completely vegan.”
Buster uses avocados, fresh tomatoes, chopped garlic, lemon juice, a little chilli and a little coriander (if your guests are coriander-friendly, that is). “It’s so good,” Buster says. “It’s the best summery snack!”
2.Roasted Zucchini & Tofu with Crispy Kumara
We stock some fantastic meat alternatives in store, but Buster is a devout believer in the power of using fresh produce as the basis for the meal’s main event. He suggests marinating tofu with tamari, balsamic vinegar, ginger, brown sugar chilli and coriander, and grilling with zucchini and lots of salt and olive oil. Delicious and decadent!
And on the side? You can’t go past roast veg. “Kumara is such a versatile vegetable,” Buster says. “I like to slice it really thinly so it crisps up, like chips.”
3. Easy Strawberry & Coconut Parfait
“It’s simple: summer fruits and fresh strawberries”, Buster says. He keeps it really straightforward: creating a light summery mock parfait with layers of strawberries, coconut yoghurt and maple syrup. Crushed walnuts can add some crunch and protein as an optional extra. “Keep it fresh, keep it summery.” Buster says. “It should be fun!”
More ideas for a vegan Christmas:
- Healthy Holiday Gingerbread
- Lucy's Amazing Vegan Christmas Mincemeat
- Raw Vegan Eggnog
- Tomato-Basil Sunflower Seed Paté
- Lime, Coconut & Almond Truffles
- Christmas Cake Truffles
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Keen for even more inspiration for vegan options for Christmas, ask one of our friendly staff members in store!