For a while, Christmas and other holidays were very sad occasions for me. Something bothered me a lot about the idea of compulsory happiness, hypocrisy and forced contact with people that, deep down, we don’t know but still call family. 

Today I can see differently, for I’ve managed to shift my approach. Family is who I chose to love and those I care for close and always with me. Last year we had a full house, I spent hours in the kitchen preparing every detail. We exchanged handmade gifts with those we love and phoned everyone who couldn’t be with us. 

I am not a religious person, nor am I a Christian, nor do I like to encourage unnecessary consumerism during these times. In fact, our celebrations, gift exchanges, special dinners do not only take place at Christmas, Easter and alike. But last year, we “got into the mood” and in 2020 we want to do it again – strengthen our ties with those we love and make plans for the coming year. In addition, we want to take the opportunity to promote awareness (and to illustrate) how peace can be celebrated without violence at the table.

our dinner.

Below you will find the recipes I prepared especially for this occasion. I hope you will be inspired and have a beautiful and cruelty-free Christmas dinner too!

Last year, our dinner was very similar to that. I made a German sweet bread called Stollen – you can check it out here. This year, I decided to bring back a dessert from my childhood, the ice cream pudding or, the nicecream pudding! In general, the recipes have quite characteristic spices. I’ve used a lot of nuts and aromatic herbs. If your family is large, a good idea is to combine the suggested dinner with: potato salad, the most successful recipe on any occasion!

One thing that makes me a little sad are the fruits that we cannot have here in Germany. In Brazil, at this time of year there are a lot of pineapples and figs. Here, unfortunately each fresh fig costs approximately one euro and although it is very expensive, it is never really fresh. Because of the exportation, it results in withered, lifeless and therefore tasteless fruits. 

Alternatively, I use dried figs and fruits. In the cabbage salad besides nuts I used dahtiles syrup. This combination ensures the harmony between earthy and sweet elements that is so typical of Christmas. I like to use pomegranate and “honey”, another combination that besides being highly symbolic brings a wonderful flavor that comes from the perfect balance between sweet and citric. 

Hope you enjoy the Christmas post and the dinner I prepared for this occasion. To those who love and respect animals and their existence, I wish you much happiness this Christmas and New Year! Happiness is a consequence of virtue. If you are not yet vegan, I wish you a new year of much reflection, inspiration and that you soon make the necessary changes so that your life involves less violence and animal + human exploitation. May these recipes inspire and show that humane food is delicious and rewarding, that we are all capable of a more harmonious existence of true peace and love.