How to Make a Vegetarian Christmas Dinner: nut roast recipes and ideas
What does a vegetarian eat for Christmas dinner? This hub will give you some easy ideas and simple recipes that can be incorporated into a traditional family meal, or be served to the whole family. Recipes for nut roast and veggie gravy can be found below.
A typical menu for a 3 course dinner could be:
- Mushroom soup or deep fried brie with cranberry sauce
- Nut and mushroom roast, served with roast potatoes, honey roast parsnips, brussels sprouts with chestnuts, carrots and peas, and vegetarian gravy
- Vegetarian Christmas pudding, mince pies or fresh fruit salad with fresh cream
This meal can easily be prepared when serving a traditional Turkey roast if you have a mixed party of both meat-eaters and vegetarians, simply by substituting the meat for the nut roast for the vegetarians. On these occasions I have found that the meat-eaters often want to try a bit of nut roast as well, so make sure you make enough for everybody! The other things to consider if you are cooking meat as well, is to keep the dishes separate, vegetarians are usually quite fussy about animal fats, and the roast potatoes will need to be cooked in a vegetable oil rather than the traditional meat fats. Instant vegetable gravy granules are readily available, which might be easier if you want to make a meaty gravy as well, or you can make your own vegetarian gravy (recipe below), which can be used on either meat or vegetarian dinners, but again vegetarians will not thank you for making a gravy using the meat juices.
And finally the pudding - the traditional Christmas pudding (or plum pudding) is usually made with beef suet, although these days vegetable suet is available and can be substituted without any detriment to the flavour. Many ready-made puddings use vegetable suet anyway, and will say on the labels if they are suitable for vegetarians. If you are catering for vegetarian guests it will be helpful if you read the labels of any pre-prepared foods that you buy in, just to make sure. Even the simple mince pie will probably contain beef suet in the mincemeat, but mincemeat and pies are also available in veggie format, so they need not be left out. Personally, after a large roast dinner, I prefer a light dessert, so always make a fresh fruit salad as an alternative to heavy puddings.
Nut and mushroom roast
- 8 oz chopped mixed nuts
- 8 oz fresh mushrooms
- 2 eggs
- 4 oz fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 small onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- seasoning: mixed herbs, 1 teaspoon of yeast extract or 1 vegetable stock cube, salt and pepper
- Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic, then sauté in the olive oil in a large saucepan until soft and slightly browned.
- Finely chop the carrots and celery - a food processor gives the best results, as the ingredients stick together better when the pieces are smaller. Add these to the onion and continue to cook on a gentle heat.
- Chop the mushrooms and add to the pan. Cook until all the vegetables are soft.
- Add the dry ingredients - nuts and breadcrumbs (these can also be prepared in the food processor if necessary) and stir in the herbs, yeast extract or stock cube, salt and pepper, and the beaten eggs. Mix all together until you have a big sticky mass, then empty into a greased loaf tin and bake in a medium oven for around 45 minutes, or until crispy and brown.
- Turn onto a board and slice to serve. This quantity should be enough for 4 people.
1/2 an onion, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 vegetable stock cube, 3 oz plain flour, 1 pint boiling water (the stock from the vegetables is best), 1 teaspoon yeast extract or 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon mixed herbs, seasoning
Chop the onion very finely, and cook in the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the flour with a little cold water, add the seasoning, yeast extract or soy sauce and mix together well. Add the boiling water and, stirring all the time, and cook over a medium heat until the gravy starts to thicken and comes to the boil. Stir vigorously to prevent lumps forming, and remove from heat.
Seasoning can be adjusted according to taste. Some vegetable stock cubes, soy sauce and yeast extract can be a bit salty, so you may need to experiment to get the right balance of these.
Fresh fruit salad
You won't need a recipe for this, as you can put any fruit you like into a fruit salad, but I like to make my Christmas one a little bit special by using colourful and seasonal fruits such as red and green grapes, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pineapple and clementines, along with cranberry juice and a splash of sweet white dessert wine in the syrup. It is so refreshing, and the perfect antidote to a large and filling Christmas dinner.
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