My Vegan Christmas in Slovakia
I’m originally from Slovakia so I will first describe what we usually did on Christmas when I was growing up.
We are celebrating Christmas on 24th – Christmas Eve. And you are not supposed to eat anything until dinner (fruit is allowed but nothing else) and on this day we usually have dinner around 4- 5 (depends on what is in TV), so it’s very early dinner or very late lunch. Most of the meals are prepared day before because it tastes better the next day when all the ingredients are well combined together.
After the table is beautifully decorated and two candles are lighted we sit down and start the dinner with Christmas oplátky (thin wafers stamped with a nativity scene). Once the oplatky have been shared, the meal begins with a toast of, usually, red wine or/and eggnog followed by Kapustnica (sauerkraut soup) with homemade pasta. Next come freshwater fish, usually floured and quickly fried. Carp, trout and white fish are common. Carp is served with potato salad. And later on we have some dessert – coconut balls and medovniky (something like gingerbread but made with honey not ginger). No one is allowed to leave the table until the meal is finished. After the dinner we open the presents and watch TV.
What we watch in TV during these holidays:
There are no Christmas without these Czechoslovakian classics:
Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Three Wishes for Cinderella) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070832/ , or/and
Perinbaba : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089800/?ref_=tt_rec_tt , Pyšná princezná, Princezná so zlatou hviezdou na čele Neboj sa, Byl jednou jeden král,….
and also Russian Mrázik http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058374/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2
Our traditional Christmas recipes made Vegan
I’m really horrible with following recipes! And I almost never measure anything. But I will try my best to give you my version of the recipes so you can try them yourself.
Traditional Slovak Sauerkraut Soup
(without the spicy sausage or with some vegan alternative)
500g Sauerkraut (homemade is best)
1 bottle of sauerkraut juice (if you don’t make your own it makes the soup more sour)
1/2-1tsp caraway seeds /cumin
1/2 tsp whole pepper corns
2 Bay leaves
1 Onion (dice it or leave it whole and you can remove it after the soup is done)
Dried mushrooms (soak for min 30 min and drain)
Vegan spicy sausage (optional)
Sweet paprika or red pepper flakes (optional – adds nice color)
Put all the ingredients into large pot except the optional ones and add water to fill up your pot. And cook on medium for 30 min (if it starts boiling lower the heat). Now add the vegan sausage, pepper flakes and cook further for 10-15 min and you are done. You can serve it with some eggless pasta (small shapes like stars or dice) or without pasta is also fine.
We don’t use mayo at home, we buy tatarska omáčka. And I will try to give you the closest tasting thing to it. Vegan mayo basic recipe is adapted from: The Blender Girl the optional ingredients are my own and I also cutted oil from the recipe :http://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/basic_raw_vegan_mayonnaise
1/2 -1cup filtered water if you don’t have high speed blender you will need more water
1 cup organic raw cashews soaked for 2 hours (makes cashews more digestible and liquefy better)
1/4 cup raw cauliflower
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coconut sugar or 1 chopped pitted date
3 Tbsp lemon juice or more to taste
a tiny 1/2 pinch of Celtic sea salt, Himalayan salt, or more to taste
Optional : dried onion, celery, carrot and parsley seasoning
Some extra fresh parsley
Put the water, soaked cashews, and cauliflower in your blender and add the water until combined well.
With the machine running on a low speed, slowly add the oil in one steady stream, and process until thick and creamy.
Place the mustard and vinegar, then rest of the ingredients into the blender to taste, and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice gradually to taste. Add in some more salt, mustard or lemon juice to taste until you create your perfect blend. Now add both optional ingredients or at least the fresh parsley in my opinion it makes it taste better and it’s also smells better. For the salad is better if the consistency of the mayo is more runny because the potatoes will absorb the liquid and you don’t want dry salad.
500g cooked and diced potatoes
250g Mixed frozen veggies ( carrot, peas & sweetcorn)
4-5 medium gherkins sliced
1-2 cups vegan mayo
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Mixed all the main ingredients together and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to your liking. Serve with Fishless cakes (recipe below).
This recipe I found on the internet and I made some changes in it. It was big hit at home also my vegetarian sister and meat-eating part of the family liked it.
Makes 6-8 patties (depending on the size you want them)
450g potatoes, peeled and diced
150g cannellini beans or any white beans
¼ cup gluten free flour
3 spring onions, finely chopped
¼ cup / 4 tablespoons fresh parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons sunflower oil (I used EVOO)
2 tablespoons soya milk (I used water)
2 teaspoons kelp powder (I used seaweed)
¾ teaspoon ground sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup sesame seeds or breadcrumbs
Cook the potatoes until soft, by bringing to the boil in a pan of salted water, and then gently boiling for around 10 minutes. When cooked, leave to drain and cool slightly.
In a food processor, blend the beans, spring onions, parsley, kelp powder, oil, sea salt, white pepper and lemon juice. You want the beans to be well blended. Add the potatoes and milk, and blend further until well combined, then pulse in the wheat gluten flour. This will make the mixture drier and more malleable – like a very soft play dough.
Put sesame seeds (or you may use breadcrumbs,) into a small dish. Form the fishcake mixture into patties, and press each side of patty into the seeds, gently pressing around the sides too.
You can fry them on pan or also in the oven I baked them in the oven on 170°C 30 min (15 min on each side)without any oil
Serve them with vegan mayonnaise, a sprig of parsley and a wedge of lemon.
Vegan Christmas Liquor
2 cups vanilla soymilk (you can use any dairy free milk preferably vanilla flavor or add vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I didn’t have any this time)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I didn’t have any this time)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)
½ cup of dark rum
2 teaspoons coconut sugar (maple syrup, stevia or agave)
Blend all ingredients. Serve your delicious vegan eggnog over ice and dress with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick for the perfect festive touch.
Recipe from : http://detoxinista.com/2013/09/date-energy-balls-vegan-paleo/
Serves: 24 or depends on size
2 cups walnuts, or other nut/seed of choice
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups soft Medjool dates, pitted (I used some dried dates from normal shop and I did soaked them over night)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the walnuts and coconut until crumbly. Add in the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt and process again until a sticky, uniform batter is formed.
Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons, then roll between your hands to form balls. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place in the freezer to set for at least an hour before serving. Store the balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for an even longer shelf life.
For a gourmet-looking truffle, you could also roll them in shredded coconut or cocoa powder before chilling!
Merry Christmas! Fill up your life with love, compassion, tolerance, peace and happiness. Happy Holidays.
Peace and Love, G.