For our Tastemaker Holiday Extravaganza this month, Andrew and Larisha of Make It Dairy Free whip up a spectacular meat-free centrepiece for your holiday table: a vegan wellington that’s bursting with flavour.

Could you introduce yourself, for those who don’t know you?

Hey everyone! We are Larisha and Andrew, two vegan recipe creators living in New Jersey, USA with our two daughters. We met in college and have been together for over 11 years. We love skiing and snowboarding in the winter or bike riding and hiking when it’s warmer outside!

What led you to first go dairy-free, and then fully vegan?

Larisha first went dairy-free when she was breastfeeding to meet the needs of our children.  Everyone always says going vegan is hard because you have to give up cheese, but since she was dairy-free for so long, she knew giving up cheese wouldn’t really be much of an issue.

We dabbled in plant-based meals for a few years mostly to get our grocery budget down, before finally going vegan a little over two years ago after watching the documentary What the Health. We are vegan for our health, the animals and the environment.

Why and how did you start your own YouTube Channel?

On our site, Make It Dairy Free, we chronicle all the recipe creations that we make along our vegan journey. Our Youtube channel is just an extension of that, because we are both visual people, so we know that many people want to actually see how to make each recipe.

What’s your cooking mantra?

To be honest, we’ve never really thought about this. If we could think of something on the fly, we’d probably say something like: We do this to better the lives of ourselves, animals and others.

Our goal is to make vegan meals that are accessible and enjoyable for everyone, whether they are vegan or not. We also cater most of our dishes to be as allergen-friendly as possible or give recommendations for how to make it allergen-friendly because we want everyone to enjoy our dishes.

Our goal is to make vegan meals that are accessible and enjoyable for everyone, whether they are vegan or not.

You’ve prepared quite a few vegan holiday dinners by now. What’s the key (or secret) to veganising classic holiday dishes, in your opinion?

Don’t over do it. Focus on no more than four dishes to make, and start by veganising your favourites. For example, for mashed potatoes you just need to swap out the butter and milk, and vegan alternatives for those are pretty easy to find no matter where you live.

Once you figure out how to transform your favourite dishes into vegan ones, then you know anything can be possible.

This wellington is a great example of a vegan version of a classic. What side dishes would you serve with it?

Three dishes we think would go great with this are Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Glazed Baby Carrots and Vegan Lemon Garlic Butter Asparagus.

Get the recipe here.

[Photos: Make It Dairy Free]

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