We usually associate Christmas food with meat-based recipes. It’s hard to imagine a vegetarian alternative to the traditional Christmas dinner of a turkey, pigs in blankets, roast and stuffing. However, there are many tasty recipes to choose from for non-meat eaters.
Even if you are not a strict vegetarian you may want to try some new recipes as healthier, more cost-effective alternative to the meat dishes. You could even incorporate them into your traditional Christmas dinner as a substitute for one or more dishes. Perhaps one or more of your family members is vegetarian and you need to ensure there is something for everyone around the table. Either way there are vast numbers of recipes you can take inspiration from.
It is quite easy to create a traditional Christmas dinner without any need for meat. The obvious dish that springs to mind is a nut roast. This dish makes a really tasty option if made well. A nut roast should never be rushed; preparation usually takes about 40 minutes and you should allow around 3-4 hours cooking time. There are various recipes online and you could also incorporate leeks and mushrooms for a lighter dish. To complement a nut roast you can cook all the traditional roast vegetables, bread sauce, stuffing and gravy.
Some other ideas for main dishes are a vegetarian wellington, parsnip and potato bake, winter vegetable pie and goat’s cheese or blue cheese tart. Generally a hearty dish that combines seasonal vegetables, pastry or traditional cheeses will be well received and appreciated by your vegetarian guest. For a starter there are some really great recipes you could use including soups, goats cheese and cranberry croustades and stuffed mushrooms.
If you are throwing a Christmas party this year you will find lots of exciting festive vegetarian party food to choose from. Some more unusual dishes I have come across include a mushroom and port brioche, stilton and tomato puffs and Thai mar hor (‘galloping horses’) made with chilli and pineapple. You could even get the party going with a dish of topped toasts served with a shot of spicy Bloody Mary! For quick and easy nibbles make some fig and blue cheese skewers, halloumi with dips and chunky parsnip chips.
Hopefully these mouth-watering ideas have already begun to inspire and help you realise the wide range of festive vegetarian dishes that are available.