A Very Vegetarian Christmas

By Monica Shaw •


It’s just one day before Christmas, and some of us are still trying to solve that timeless question: what do you serve the vegetarians in your life at Christmas? Great British Chefs,  blogger Monica Shaw has some great suggestions so that non meat eaters don't feel that they've been left out of the celebrations.

Lifafa mushrooms, braised spinach roasted tomato-sesame chutney by Vineet Bhatia on Great British Chefs website

Ideas abound, from savoury mushroom piesto festive filo ritolosto the timeless classic nut roast. The quest: a vegetarian main dish that vies for the attention of the Christmas turkey. Whether that quest ends in success or a lot of leftover nut roast, getting there is half the fun.

Photo by Monica Shaw

This Christmas I’ll be tackling two vegetarian main dishes. On Christmas eve, I celebrate with my immediate family, three of four of whom are vegetarians and well-adapted to a meat-free Christmas meal. I’ve never been one for nut roast, but the recipe for Demuths Christmas Roastcaught my eye, made with lentils, cashews, seeds and lots of spices. To go with it, I’m making a port and shallot gravy, while dad makes mashed potato, sis makes roasted veg and mom makes brussels sprouts and cranberries. It’s hard to imagine any of these things being bad when there’s good gravy going around.

Christmas day is a bit more of an adventure: here is where the turkey steps up to steal the show and my family and I take great pleasure in trying to devise a vegetarian main dish that competes. We’ve had success in the past with moussaka, but this year we really want to win on presentation.

Photo by Monica Shaw

Our solution: winter squash stuffed with a sourdough and tempeh stuffing, topped with gruyere cheese and/or pine nuts (we haven’t decided).  The hope is to create something that can be universally appreciated by everyone at the table, without throwing off any traditionalists with our weird vegetarian hippy meal (in which case, we might keep the inclusion of tempeh a chef’s secret).

 

Photo by Monica Shaw

What are you making for the vegetarians in your life this Christmas?   We’re discussing this over on the Great British Chefs Facebook page.

Blog post for Great British Chefs by Monica Shaw

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Monica Shaw

Monica Shaw is web consultant working with chefs, restaurants & food producers, to help them make use of the internet to improve their businesses. She's also a freelance writer, her credits include The Daily Telegraph, Chef Magazine and food mag. Monica enjoys experimenting with vegetables & creating delicious & healthy dishes, a topic covered on her blog SmarterFitter.com. She is working on The Healthy Vegan Breakfast Book, due to be published in March 2013

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We've updated our preview with some thoughts from @DomChapman on the #greatbritishmenu brief http://t.co/8hilOykB9V

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We've update our preview with some thoughts from @DomChapman on the #greatbritishmenu brief http://t.co/kw3qZ2Gs8j

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@Caro59Fox Indeed & it's still quite close!

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Inspired by @KinghamPlough black pudding soil on #greatbritishmenu you may want to try @YorkeThe version too http://t.co/IIx0F8S9cZ