Vegetarian Christmas dinner
Many more of us are choosing to eat a vegetarian diet nowadays, whether for health or environmental reasons. So even if you’re not a vegetarian yourself it’s very likely that you’ll find yourself catering for a vegetarian friend or family member on Christmas day.
Here are some things to remember about cooking up a meat-free festive feast.
1. It’s not just about vegetables
Fruit and veg are just one element of a balanced diet – vegetarians need protein and carbohydrates the same as anyone else. Include some beans or lentils to provide those essential nutrients. Nuts, of course are a great source of protein and central to that classic Christmas favourite, the nut roast.
2. Look beyond a collection of sides
Your vegetarian main course needs to hold its own on the table – think bigger than Christmas dinner minus the meat. That said, a nut roast will fit comfortably into a traditional Christmas diner, so before smothering the potatoes in duck fat, spare a thought for roastie loving vegetarians and use olive oil instead. Likewise for gravy – good vegetable stock makes a delicious gravy that everyone can enjoy.
3. Beyond pretend meat
There’s a place for veggie burgers and sausages in a vegetarian diet, but perhaps the Christmas table isn’t it. Go for something a little more festive such as a roasted and stuffed butternut squash or aubergine.
4. Pies, tarts and wellingtons
A pastry wrapping can transform vegetarian favourites into show-stopping seasonal centrepieces. Try this delicious sprout and onion tart from the Wonky Spatula
5. Get creative with everyday foods
Almost any vegetarian dish can be served at your Christmas table if you get creative and introduce some of those flavours and aromas we associate with the festive season.