Can’t imagine a Christmas without settling down to dinner and carving a turkey, or plating up a portion of goose-fat roasted potatoes? With the rise of meat free diets, this is becoming a more common occurrence for families everywhere. As Christmas is just around the corner, at Zee & Co we’ve compiled a list of our favourite vegetarian Christmas inspired recipes, so you won’t be stuck for ideas this season when greeted with veggie dinner guests. From deliciously hearty mains, to sweet treats that the whole family will love, meat won’t be missed on your plate this Christmas.
A Meat Free Main
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 4 large field mushroom
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- About 400g/14oz spinach leaves
- A dusting of flour
- 1 tbsp picked thyme leaves
- 500g block all-butter puff pastry
- 140g Stilton, sliced
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and sizzle the mushrooms for 3-4 mins on each side until golden and cooked through – add a drop more oil if needed. Lift the mushrooms out onto kitchen paper to drain.
- Place the same pan back on the heat with the rest of the oil. Fry the garlic for a moment, add the spinach to the pan, then cook for 2-3 mins over a high heat until completely wilted. Season with salt and pepper, then tip the spinach into a large sieve to drain thoroughly.
- On a lightly floured surface scattered with the thyme leaves, roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a saucer and a larger-size plate, cut out 4 circles about 5cm wider than the mushrooms (for the bottoms) and 4 circles about 10cm wider (for the tops), re-rolling the trimmings if you need to.
- Place the 4 smaller circles on a baking tray and top each with a quarter of the spinach, making sure the pile of spinach isn’t wider than the mushrooms. Top the spinach with a slice of cheese, then a mushroom, smooth-side up, and top the mushroom with another slice of cheese. Brush the border to each circle with egg, then gently stretch the larger circle over the mushroom, trying not to trap any air, then press the edges together with a fork. Trim the edges with a knife if you want, then brush each generously with egg. Bake for 40 mins until golden, then leave to cool for a few mins before serving.
Ingredients (Serves 4-6):
- Knob butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 125g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
- 175g cooked brown rice
- 115g fresh brown breadcrumbs
- 55g almonds, finely chopped
- 55g brazil nuts, finely chopped
- 125g vegetarian Cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin with butter.
- Warm the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion, carrots, garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for a further 5-10 minutes until soft.
- Remove from the heat leave to cool for a couple of minutes, then stir in all the remaining ingredients.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and cook for 1 hour or until browned and firm. Cover with foil towards the end of cooking if it becomes too dark in colour. Serve hot or cold with all the Christmas trimmings, or at other times of the year with fresh tomato sauce.
Something On The Side
Cranberry and Chestnut Falafels
Ingredients (Makes 20ish):
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 400g can chickpea, drained
- 200g ready-cooked vacuum-packed chestnut
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp cumin seed
- 1 garlic clove
- Small pack coriander, roughly chopped, plus a little more to serve
- 85g cranberries, defrosted if frozen and halved if you have time
- 4 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
- 150g pot creamy Greek-style yogurt, to serve
- Put the sweet potato into a microwave-proof bowl, add 1 tsp water and cook on High for 2 mins. Mash in a large bowl.
- Put the chickpeas and chestnuts into a food processor and pulse until well chopped but not pasty. Tip on top of the sweet potato, then add the egg, spices, garlic and coriander. Season generously and mix well with your hands. Add the cranberries. Shape dessertspoon-sized balls of the mix into 20 or so patties. Can be made ahead and chilled for up to 3 days.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry half of the falafels for 2 mins on each side until golden. Lift onto kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with the second batch. Can be made up to 2 days ahead and reheated. Let the falafel cool for a few mins before serving with the yogurt, plus a scattering of coriander.
Maple-Thyme Roasted Carrots
Ingredients (Serves 2):
- 1 bunch peeled carrots
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4
- Depending on the size of your carrots, cut them in half lengthwise, and possibly in half or thirds widthwise. You want your carrot pieces to be roughly uniform in size so they all cook at about the same rate.
- Heat oil in a heavy oven-proof skillet, preferably a cast iron skillet. Once the oil is nice and hot, add carrots, and sauté 4-6 minutes until they begin to brown. Don’t stir too much, the longer they touch the bottom of the pan, the faster they’ll brown.
- Sprinkle with thyme and salt. Pour maple syrup over the top, and give it a quick stir (it’ll start to spatter at this point). Place the pan in the oven and roast at 180C/Gas 4 for 8-9 minutes.
The Sweetest Thing
Orange Spice Holiday Cookies
By All Recipies
Ingredients (Makes 24):
- 110g (4 oz) butter
- 170g (6 oz) caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 225g (8 oz) plain flour
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Lightly grease two baking trays or line with parchment.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; add the egg and beat well. Stir in the flour, orange zest, salt and mixed spice. Add just enough water, a teaspoon at a time, to make a fairly stiff dough.
- Roll dough into small balls and place on prepared baking trays; flatten with your palm or the bottom of a glass.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 7 to 9 minutes.
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
By Jamie Oliver
Ingredients (Makes 45):
- 300 g dairy-free dark chocolate
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 240 ml light coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- 1 handful of desiccated coconut
- 1 handful of mixed nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts and macadamias
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces, then place into a bowl with the coconut oil. Heat the coconut milk in a small pan over a low heat, then pour into the bowl and stir gently to combine – it’s important not to mix too quickly.
- Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Cover the bowl with cling film, then place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
- When the truffle mixture has almost set, toast the desiccated coconut over a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly golden. Tip onto a plate, then return the pan to a medium heat and add the nuts. Toast for around 2 minutes, or until golden, then leave to cool for a few minutes. Finely chop, then place onto a second plate. Spread out the cocoa powder onto a third plate.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out little balls of the truffle mixture and roll in the palm of your hands, placing them onto a tray as you go. It’s totally up to you how you decorate them – roll the balls in either the toasted coconut or chopped nuts, or for a simple finish, roll them in the cocoa powder. Return the decorated truffles to the fridge for around 10 minutes to firm up, then serve.