Vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas
Let's be honest, Christmas is largely about the food, but being vegetarian doesn't mean being left with a sad pile roast spuds and a dribble of vegetarian gravy. And there's no need for hand-wringing over what you can make to satisfy any vegetarians guests either - from tantalising starters to mouth-watering main courses, here are gransnetters' favourite recipes for a vegetarian Christmas dinner.
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- 115g (4oz) wholemeal crackers
- 85g (3oz) butter (melted)
- 3 eggs (separated)
- 6 tbsp sour cream
- 1 heaped tbsp plain flour (sieved)
- 170g (6oz) cream cheese
- 170g (6oz) blue Stilton cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Lightly grease six individual loose-bottomed tartlet tins.
- Crush biscuits in a food processor or with a rolling pin.
- Mix biscuit crumbs with melted butter and press into bottom of tins.
- Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick, stir in sour cream, flour, cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Whisk egg whites until stiff, fold lightly into cheese mixture.
- Divide between tins, smooth the tops level.
- Bake at 175°C/Gas mark 4 for 40 minutes or until risen and set (cover with foil if the tops start to brown too quickly).
- Cool on a wire rack and serve with salad and warm crusty bread.
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 litre stock
- Garlic and sweet chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper
- Roast the squash until cooked, then peel and de-seed.
- While this is roasting peel, dice and cook the potatoes and carrot in the stock.
- When tender add the squash and seasoning with garlic and chilli, to taste, then blend to smooth.
"I always use Cheddar cheese as I'm not keen on Stilton - just make sure that the cheese is suitable for vegetarians and hasn't been made using rennet."
- 2 large parsnips
- Oil, to grease
- 1 small savoy cabbage, 4–6 outer leaves only
- 150g hazelnuts
- 40g butter
- 1 red onion
- 150g chestnut mushrooms
- 100g cooked chestnuts
- 100g cheese of your choice (as long as it crumbles and is vegetarian)
- 100g breadcrumbs (original recipe uses brown, but I always use white)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 free range egg
- Preheat the over to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
- Boil and mash parsnips.
- Blanch six savoy cabbage leaves in boiling, salted water for two minutes (these are to line the tin-the nut roast comes out looking as if it's been wrapped in them). You're also supposed to dip the leaves straight into icy water before you put them in the tin.
- Chop and toast the hazelnuts first on high, then put aside.
- Fry the onions in butter then add mushrooms and cook until soft.
- Put the hazelnuts a bowl with the chopped chestnuts, crumbled cheese, breadcrumbs and sage, then the parsnip and mixture of onions and mushrooms. Finish off by adding the egg (beaten), some seasoning and mix it all together.
- Pack it into the loaf tin and fold the cabbage leaves over the top. Wrap in foil and cook for about 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and allow to cook for another 20 minutes.
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This main is one that'll make the meat-eaters envious...just don't let them near your precious veggie main, because we all know you'll want to tuck in to it again while they're eating their left-over turkey sandwich on Christmas night. This one can easily be made vegan, too - a bonus if you're cooking for those who don't eat eggs or dairy.
- A large pack of frozen puff or flaky pastry
- 3 tbsp of sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp of butter (or dairy-free butter to make vegan)
- 2lbs chopped mushrooms (dark, flat mushrooms are best for flavour)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 eating apple, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley (dried will not do - buy fresh, then chop and freeze)
- 1 tsp chopped dried marjoram
- 2 tsp miso paste, which you can buy from any whole food shop and most supermarkets
- Egg or soya milk for brushing on pastry
- Heat oven to 400°F/200°C or Gas Mark 6.
- Heat oil and butter.
- Gently fry the celery and apple, and allow to soften. Add the chopped mushrooms and fry some more.
- Put a lid on the saucepan and allow the mixture to cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until not too much liquid remains. It should be moist but not soggy.
- Mix in parsley, marjoram and breadcrumbs. The mixture should be dry enough to form a loaf shape.
- Roll out the pastry - enough to cover the loaf - and decorate with pastry holly leaves etc. Cut diagonal slashes across the top.
- Brush with egg (or soya milk if making vegan).
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes on a baking sheet, or 35-40 minutes in a loaf tin. Judge when the pastry looks a good colour.
- Serve with the usual Christmas veg and a good vegetarian gravy.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
"I make this for my daughter-in-law at Christmas as she's vegetarian - we're not, but I enjoyed making something different."
- 1 pepper (any colour)
- 1 leek
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 1 stick of celery
- 300g field mushrooms
- 1 large egg
- 200g Cheddar cheese, grated
- A good couple of handfuls of dried breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Fry the pepper, leek, carrot, onion and celery in the oil on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, then add the mushrooms and fry until they are all quite dry (keep frying if they produce a lot of water, as the loaf won't hold together if they're too moist).
- Bung it all in a bowl and add the egg and most of the cheese and breadcrumbs. Add some salt and pepper.
- You'll need quite a deep loaf tin. Put the mixture in (greased first) and then put the last of the cheese and breadcrumbs on top.
- It will need to stay in the oven for about an hour, so look out for it going brown on top.
For the pie crust:
- 150ml water
- 115g vegetable suet
- 330g plain white flour
- ½ tsp salt
For the filling:
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 130g leeks, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 225g mushrooms, sliced
- 25g dried cranberries
- 340g butter beans, chopped (tinned)
- 250g tinned cooked chestnuts, sliced
- 50g hazelnuts, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tsp English mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp cranberry sauce
- Fry all the ingredients for the filling over a medium heat and add plenty of seasoning.
- To make the pastry, put the suet in boiling water and stir, then put it to one side.
- Add water and suet to the flour and start to knead.
- After a few minutes, grease a deep pie tin and roll out most of the pastry leaving some back for the top.
- Spread a layer of cranberry sauce inside the pastry case and add the filling (make sure the filling is dry enough that it won't make the case go soggy while it is cooking).
- Roll out the leftover pastry to make the lid and cook in the oven at 180°C/Gas mark 4 for about an hour (sometimes I find it needs a bit longer).