Now we may have mentioned nut roast a tad too often over the last few Christmas dinner posts! We must all remember cooking our first vegetarian Christmas dinner and I bet for most of us, it was nut roast. It’s easily the most common turkey substitute on the big day and as delicious as it might be, now we’re older, wiser and sick of being ribbed of producing the same old ‘hippie stuff’, it might be time to step it up a notch.
So what is the best veggie Christmas dinner?
Let’s quickly talk trimmings. Brussels are a must if only to torture the kids and your picky brother. If you can get your hands on it, brussels with truffle oil are without a doubt the best veggie on the table. Brussels also go well with some gruyere cheese, walnuts, lemon, breadcrumbs, chestnuts or slivered almonds. Roast parsnips, roast potatoes, carrots and swede mash – all veggies you expect to see on the Christmas dinner table and for good reason! They are just so delicious and keep everyone happy and well fed.
Other great vegetable options for Christmas dinner include soft sweet potato biscuits – heavenly, spinach and cranberry salad. Some people think salad is weird at Christmas, we think it’s great and any leftovers work will go down a treat for your Boxing Day buffet. Throw in some feta cheese and walnuts and this salad makes a great small starter.
For mains, the best vegetarian Christmas dinner has to be…. a nut roast. Just kidding! Wow, it’s hard to choose just one. Okay, our top five dinners are in no particular order:
1. Vegetarian Wellington, we made this a few years ago after seeing the recipe in The Guardian. It’s actually a vegan recipe full of chickpea goodness, puff pastry, peanut butter (strange but true!) delicious herbs and oat bran.
2. Chestnut Pie, again a recipe found in a newspaper, this one has a half bottle of red in it… gotta love booze in food!
3. Risotto stuffed veggies. Use squash or courgettes and top with a carrot ‘gravy’ basically carrots roasted in butter and blended!
4. Pie or tart. Go veggie, go fruity, go both but always add blue cheese.
5. Nut roast, sorry, we just can’t help it! We love it for nostalgia as much as anything else, but get it just right (nice and moist) and a nut roast can be delicious.
Our favourite part of Christmas dinner? Well that will be the mushroom and walnut stuffing! Here’s a quick recipe:
1 large onion, diced
1/4lb. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped chanterelle mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 large carrots, shredded
1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 loaves multigrain bread (diced and dried for at least one hour)
2 tbsp.chopped fresh thyme, sage and parsley (each)
3 cups warm vegetable or mushroom stock
Over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, all mushrooms, celery and red pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. In a large mixing bowl, combine diced dry bread, shredded carrots, walnuts and herbs. Whisk eggs and pour over top of bread mixture. Add half of the stock and vegetable mixture. By hand, turn and mix all ingredients.
If the mixture is very dry add more stock. Put in a casserole dish, cover and put in a 375 oven for 40 minutes. Serve with a mushroom or veggie stock gravy.
You can’t go wrong with this recipe, your meat lover friends will be begging you for your secrets we promise you!