Gone are the days where vegetarians had nothing to eat when it comes to the tasty British Christmas dinner. Although tradition is to pile your plate high with turkey, sausage meat and pigs in blankets, if you’re a vegetarian, you don’t have to sacrifice taste for a mind blowing festive feast this Christmas day. Here are a few delicious, veggie alternatives to roast turkey, that are bound to get your taste buds tinglin’.
Roasted Squash and Chestnut Stuffing
Roasting squash is super simple and the taste of the finished result really is next to none. Simply peel a butternut squash, cut into quarters, drizzle with olive, sesame, chilli or whatever oil you prefer, lie on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes (this is super simple as it can roast alongside the turkey). When soft and slightly browning on top, take out of the oven and top with some roasted chestnut stuffing. Serve the slices alongside the rest of your Christmas dinner, covered in vegetarian gravy. Delicious.
Goat’s Cheese, Caramelised Onion and Spinach Tart
The distinct flavour of goat’s cheese brings a super tasty element to any dish and adding the sweetness of caramelised onion and a crunch of spinach makes for a winning combination. Simply roll out puff pastry and cut into squares. Fill each square with a mixture of soft goats cheese, caramelised onions (either shop bought chutney or your own version) and top with spinach. Fold over the pastry and bake in the oven – another quick but tasty turkey alternative.
Sweet Potato and Lentil Shepherds Pie
This is a hearty dish not only packed full of flavour but also with the sustenance and nutrients of the humble lentil. The great thing about lentils is their ability to take on any flavour and this super simple dish is no exception. Fry off red onions, pepper and garlic and then add lentils. Boil in vegetable stock until the water has absorbed and the lentils are soft. Pour the lentil mixture into a earthenware or glass dish and spread cooked and mashed sweet potato over the top. Sprinkle over some grated mature cheddar for some extra flavour if you wish! Bake in the oven until it starts to crisp on top. Serve up for any veggies at the table!
Whilst the pastry of a traditional wellington encases a fillet of medium rare beef, there’s no reason why you can’t ditch the meat and enjoy a purely mushroom version instead. The concept is the same as a normal Wellington but the filling is a delicious mix of mushroom and walnuts for an imaginative twist on tradition. To make the filling, chop mushrooms and walnuts into small pieces, cube red onion and source a dollop of sandwich pickle. Mix it all together and begin to fill your pastry. Roll it all up Wellington style (be sure to seal any gaps), wash with egg (if you’re non-vegan) and bake in the oven. NB – this one smells amazing.
Of course nowadays, there are plenty of vegetarian versions of meat, so if you wanted to, you could replace your turkey and pigs in blankets with vegetarian replicas. However, if you fancy mixing things up, cooking from fresh, wholesome ingredients and really getting stuck in this Christmas, why not give some of these recipes a go, because after all, Christmas is all about the food, right?