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‘I can stick a mushroom on it’ and other vegan misery

Christmas lunch. Comfort food, stodgy, warming.
Not this year.
Last week I had my Christmas meal with one set of colleagues in a local pub. This has been booked since October. We had let them know of my vegan and gluten free requirements. They were supposed to phone me. On the morning of the meal I phoned them and after 15 minutes on hold spoke to the chef.
‘I’m gonna do a salad. I can stick a mushroom on it’
Now I don’t want to appear ungrateful but seriously, salad for Christmas dinner. A mushroom that was given begrudgingly. In the event I actually got 3, woohoo!

I asked about starters and desserts and got silence down the phone. Guess not then.
During the actual meal there was embarrassment. I felt singled out. The organiser felt guilty as everyone else tucked into three hearty courses. There was also annoyance bordering on anger. Why is there no allergen information on their menu and website? Why are we discriminated against for health and ethical reasons? Why are we viewed as a challenge rather than an opportunity?
‘What DO you eat?’
How many times have I heard this?! Jacket potato with beans. Soups. Chillis, curries, stews, ratatouille, risotto. It is so easy to make roast or mashed potatoes vegan. A bag of gluten free pasta is easily available at all supermarkets and a quick sauce can be made sooooo easily. I have had some wonderful meals out including pies and pizzas.


I should have sent the chef these recipes for inspiration!
Chickpea and spinach curry with crispy tofu slices
Carrot and coriander soup
Sponge cake with aquafaba
Celery soup
One pan veggie pasta
Potato and leek soup
Aquafaba meringues
Chocolate pancakes
It takes so little to make something vegan and gluten free. Swap dairy for plant based milk and spreads. Use egg replacer such as flaxseed or aquafaba. Fry and roast in oil rather than butter.
The problem is the mindset. Rather than an opportunity to learn new skills and develop new recipes, instead we are seen as awkward.
Please help me raise awareness that vegan gluten free food CAN and SHOULD be interesting by sharing this post!


  1. Ugh! How rotten just to be given a salad with mushrooms on especially in the age we are living. There is so many delicious meals and alternatives available that are vegan. It’s not that difficult to cater for everyone. x

  2. That is actually appalling. I’d be fuming if we booked a meal months in advance and got this lazy concoction. I’m not vegan, but there are so many tasty vegetable dishes that could be served for vegans. They just clearly couldn’t be bothered.

  3. Pingback: December vegan favourites - loopyloulaura

  4. Very fair point. I got ‘oh but you can eat cabbage and mash’ as the vegetarian alternative at a pub carvery lunch the other day? really? not much of a meal in my view, so I ended up going elsewhere.. yup, the mushroom thing must be popular, have heard that also, alternative is to put a few asparagus spears onto a plate…. #globalblogging

  5. I remember going vegan for lent a few years back and I found it so easy all the time I was feeding myself at home but I found eating out to be a total nightmare. I think things have improved since then but definitely not as much as is needed. #GlobalBlogging

  6. Pingback: Finding Veganuary tough? Keep going with these top tips! - loopyloulaura

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