Celebrating a Filipino Vegan Christmas is hard enough, but celebrating the holidays as the only vegan among omnivores and meat-lovers seems just impossible.
But thankfully, it’s not impossible. It might be difficult, having to endure the endless jokes and banter, but there are ways and recipes to make it work.
It’s true what they say though, food can unite different people together. I may not be able to convince them to give up meat and other animal products during the holidays but I can certainly encourage them to eat more plant-based dishes.
What Filipino dishes do I plan to serve during the holidays?
Adobo: Basically, anything can be cooked adobo-style. It’s a simple dish cooked with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and bay leaves. It’s usually cooked with chicken or pork (and lots of oil). For my version, I usually use kang kong (water spinach), eggplant or string beans or all of them together. People are already familiar with the taste of adobo and these are vegetables they already know. So serving this adobo dish will not be too unfamiliar for them.
Check out this amazing recipe from ASTIG Vegan:
Guinataang Bilo-Bilo (Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk Porridge): Guinataang is a familiar comfort snack for Filipinos. Almost everybody I knew grew up making and eating this dish with their grandmas (who usually make it for them). Guinataan is made with coconut milk and water with tapioca pearls, Saba banana, yams and jackfruit and is topped off with sticky rice balls. When I was younger, I loved shaping these babies, made with sticky rice flour and water, into balls and dropping them in the pot while the porridge is cooking. It’s the perfect comfort food for cold Christmas nights.
Recipe from ASTIG Vegan:
Puto and Tsokolate: This is perhaps the best combination that everyone will like, no matter what age. This is the Filipino version of Oreos with milk, puto (sticky rice cake) paired with a hot cup of dark chocolate is perfect during Christmas games or around the dinner table, gabbing with guests. And if the dark chocolate is too dark for the kids, I can always mix in some almond milk.
I’ve chosen these dishes to show omnivores that being vegan is easier than they think. And since they already know these dishes, maybe they’ll lay off the banter and jokes and I’ll be able to enjoy my holidays with silly games and lots of Christmas songs.