For many of us we look forward to the task of preparing and cooking the traditional turkey dinner. However these days, other meats are becoming more popular along with meat alternative mains.
Each year more and more people are choosing to enjoy a meat free diet, whether that’s for health or dietary requirements, religious beliefs or animal rights. It is becoming a common practice to part-take in a vegetarian lifestyle with there being less stigma and a lot more recipes and food alternatives available on the market.
Nut based roast dishes are the feature on many dinner tables and are enjoyed by all the family. A nut roast consists of nuts, grains, vegetable oils, broth or butter and seasoning and formed into a loaf shape and enjoyed as an alternative to the traditional meat roast. There are lots of great recipes out there to try from top chefs, why not try with a great homemade veggie gravy too, such as wild mushroom flavour?
Another roast idea we discovered was swapping your traditional roast joint for a whole roast cauliflower. Adding a few herbs and spices including garlic, paprika, thyme, pepper and a splash of sherry will add a burst of flavour and tickle your taste buds. Something a little different, but may be an aquired taste!
Don’t worry about starters too; the traditional pate and crackers or prawn cocktail will be a thing of the past! You could explore exciting variations of salads and soups, or how about tartlets suitable for vegetarians, using ingredients such as mushrooms, onions, types of cheeses and nuts. Bruschetta can be another tasty option, taken straight from the Med! Good flavours to try include Mozzarella and rocket, or the traditional tomato versions. Aubergine and mint bruschetta are a delicious alternative to the try also, roughly cut up a sour dough loaf, whilst you’re cooking the aubergines in a griddle pan with a little olive oil and herbs. Lightly toast your bread and then place your cooked aubergines on top with mint for dressing. The bruschetta will make a perfect starter or even a light tea time treat for everyone to enjoy.
Another vegetarian alternative for a starter is baked mushrooms with ricotta and rocket. Large flat mushrooms are perfect for this dish and are available in most supermarkets all year round. The filling is made by mixing ricotta cheese in a bowl with lemon zest, chilli and a sprinkle of salt and pepper then folding in a little parmesan and chopped oregano then voila - your culinary creation will be complete.
When it comes to Christmas desserts many of us opt for a traditional Christmas pudding with custard or brandy sauce. But with many children not being too keen on the seasonal pudding, sometimes it’s just as well to provide another option. Trifle is one of the family favourites along with a chocolate yule log and an artic roll, maybe you can try a festive cheesecake or torte. It’s always best to stock up on a few treats to make sure there’s something to suit everyone and make sure you do your planning in advance so you are able to cater for all of your guests.
Why not check out some of the great recipes from the Vegetarian Society website, some tasty looking dishes that even the meat eaters can enjoy, from the people who know veggies best!
Don’t forget to make sure your Christmas dining table looks as great as these new culinary creations you’ll be serving up! Check out our website for all kinds of Christmas decorations to make your table centrepiece extra special all available now, including candles, garlands, lanterns and other table top decorations.