Food is one of the most special aspects of Christmas. It brings people together, it makes celebrations even more enjoyable, and it provides the opportunity to treat yourself to the little luxuries that you usually wouldn't allow yourself during the year. But what if you're cooking for vegetarians? Christmas makes us think of a huge turkeys, chipolata sausages and lashings of meat gravy. The good news is that cooking a vegetarian Christmas dinner needn't be difficult. In fact, you could find that it totally revolutionizes the way you cook!
Here, we'll look at how to cook a vegetarian Christmas dinner that wows your guests.
Create a show-stopping main
So you usually cook a turkey, or perhaps you're used to serving up a pork joint with plenty of crackling. Just because you're cooking a vegetarian Christmas dinner, it doesn't mean that you have to compromise on flavour!
Create an impressive centrepiece and you can be sure that you're guests won't go hungry. They'll also love the extra effort that you've made.
You could consider a nut roast, a mushroom and cranberry Wellington, a vegetable gratin, Quorn fillets or butternut squash stuffed with vegetables. The only real limit is your imagination!
Make your Christmas dinner vegetables exciting!
Forget boring Brussel sprouts and lacklustre carrots! Meat eaters often fall into the trap of thinking that the vegetables are just a side dish, but with some effort, they can really be the star of the show.
Use herbs and spices, add nuts into the recipes, and start to think a little more creatively.
A few ideas for exciting vegetarian Christmas side dishes include:
- Red potato roasties with rosemary
- Cranberry coleslaw
- Cheese baked parsnips
- Braised cabbage with apple
- Roasted root vegetables with chilli flakes
Be careful about animal based products
It's not just the meat that you need to strike off the menu. Here's a selection of things that you need to consider for your vegetarian Christmas dinner.
- How will you cook the vegetables?
Do you usually make roast potatoes with goose fat? They aren't vegetarian friendly, so you'll need to use vegetable oil instead.
- Will you be serving a cheese board?
Most vegetarians eat animal products such as cheese, so it's tempting to assume that there are no problems in this respect. Some cheeses though aren't suitable, so make sure you carefully check the packaging before making a purchase.
- What sort of gravy will you make?
Meat-based gravies are off the agenda, so you'll need to consider a vegetarian alternative. You can buy a ready-made one or make your own.
- Where will you cook the food?
Some vegetarians won't eat food that has been cooked in the same oven as meat, so find out in advance just how strict your guests are. The same goes for cutlery - wherever possible, use implements that haven't touched meat.
And finally, have fun!
As you can see, cooking a vegetarian Christmas dinner doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, it can be really delicious!
Experiment with different flavours, and don't be afraid to get creative. It'll certainly be a festive season to remember.