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Vegetarian Christmas meal
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 05 7:51 pm    Post subject: Vegetarian Christmas meal  Reply with quote    

I might go vegetarian for our Christmas meal as we often don't eat meat for weeks at a time, but what do we cook? We have cupboards filled with all sorts of useful items: rice, pulses, beans, dried mushrooms etc and we have brussels and parsnips in the garden and our own squashes in store. Of course we have chestnuts so some form of embellished stuffing mix will probably form the base.

The only rule is anything fresh should be as local as possible. Any ideas for something special and what do other vegetarians do?

sally_in_wales
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 05 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We did that veggie haggis recipe the other day for a banquet, but swapped the lentils for Emperors Green Rice and it was truly FAB. That could make a very satisfactory addition to your midwinter festivites perhaps?

sally_in_wales
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 05 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What about one of your squashes stuffed with a chestnut and cheese concoction?

Treacodactyl
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 05 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A squash stuffed with chestnut stuffing sounds good, together with all the traditional veg.

gil
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 05 4:27 pm    Post subject: Nut Roast / Lentil Loaf Reply with quote    

Hadn't replied to this before as I expected folk to rush in with all sorts of exotic suggestions. Apologies if the suggestions below are a bit plain. When I was veggy, I almost always made a nut roast at Xmas.

It's relatively cheap, very easy, and you can do most of it the day before (or even before that and freeze it half-cooked) to save time and frazzle on the day - and clear valuable drinking or socialising time for yourself. It's also good if you have some veggy and some meat-eating guests, so you're not trying to do too much at the same time. Contents can vary according to what you've got in the storecupboard, how skint you are, whether you're vegan or veggy, and it always turns out well. Even meat-eaters like this recipe.

The most exotic it ever got was the year I wrapped a mushroom-laden nut roast mix in puff pastry. Serve with the usual festive winter veg, home-made wild fruit jellies (elderberry is quite good), and gallons of home-made bread sauce (why do I only ever make bread sauce then ?).

Gil's Nut Roast / Lentil Loaf

6oz lentils (orange, green, brown, whatever; but orange ones go to good mush, or the others provide texture)
2 oz nuts, ground in a liquidiser (any kind, depends what you have)
2oz breadcrumbs, or ground seeds, or bran/oatmeal/porridge oats (or any combination thereof)

1 large onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 large carrot , approx, EDIT : grated not too finely
4oz mushrooms, approx, EDIT : chopped up
1 stick celery, or more
at least 1 garlic clove

3/4 pint liquid (orange/apple juice, cider, red wine, water, stock)
1 egg (omit if vegan)

herbs (dried or fresh)
fresh parsley / coriander, whatever...
pepper, etc., to taste

1. Set the oven to warm up to 180C / Gas 4
2. Cook the lentils in the 3/4pint of liquid
3. Meanwhile, sweat the onion and other veg in a large pan.
4. When both 1. and 2. are done put the lentils into the veg, add the herbs, ground nuts/seeds/breadcrumbs, the egg (if using), and mix together.
5. Work out what size loaf tin you need [the mix does not expand], and grease it (you could line it if you want) - probably a 2lb one.
EDIT : if you're going to freeze it, do it at this point, in the tin
6. Put mix into tin [should be semi-solid or gloppy but not runny], cover with tinfoil and bake for 1hr.ish
7. Take the tinfoil off, and bake for a further 15-30 mins.

If you want to be extra-festive, make some stuffing (breadcrumbs, onion, mushrooms, herbs, water/egg) [or whatever kind you like], and fill the tin with a layer of nut roast, a central layer of stuffing, and a top layer of nut roast. Make any surplus stuffing into balls and cook separately.

The basic mix can be varied according to what you've got. It can be made with 10oz lentils (no nuts/bread) and a bit more liquid. Or 6oz nuts and 4oz breadcrumbs, and a bit more veg. You could add 2oz grated cheese to the mix. Or have just onions and mushrooms as veg (good with walnuts). You can use chillis, or curry spices.

Suit yourself.

Last edited by gil on Sat Dec 10, 05 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7618
Location: France
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 05 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good recipe Gil, Thanks

We may well try that one out ourselves this christmas.

Any other veggie recipes in your larder? If so please keep 'em coming

S

sean
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 05 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There's a very nice looking chestnut and wild mushroom tart recipe in today's Independent. It should be freely accessible on their website for a couple of days. If people can't find it and want it let me know and I'll turn it into a PDF or type it out.

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7618
Location: France
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 05 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes please Sean. If you wouldn't mind doing one or the other we would be most grateful. I havn't found it on the website yet but a link would suffice if you have it handy.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 05 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you've got squashes in store, hows about something like squash and ricotta ravioli, flavoured with some nutmeg and pepper, simply boiled and tossed in butter flavoured with sage and browned onions, and serve that with all the Christmas dinner trimmings? Strikes me that it would be good and substantial. The sweetness of the squash with the richness of the cheese, with the sage and onion flavours complimenting both really well and also being reminiscent of meaty Chrimbo dinners.

The only down side is that you're lacking goose fat for the roast veg, which I think really makes a Christmas dinner. Would she who must be obeyed be happy with roast veg done in goose fat?

If I were serving the ravioli, and looking to keep the whole thing veggie, I'd start by raiding the larder for those dried ceps you must have and making a dried mushtoom pate for starters (soak the shrooms, cook them down in their soaking juices till reduced and tender, lob that in the blender with a little caremalised onion, garlic and some cream cheese, add a few breadcrumbs, and that's the best wild mushroom pate you'll ever eat; if you can find some blewits on Christmas Eve, even better). I'd serve the ravioli with red cabbage (prettier than sprouts) and roasted root veg. If you have some pink fir apple spuds left they're good roasted in the skins, along with parsnips, salsify (if you can get it) and swedes. And then for pudding, Christmas pudding is out with all the suet in it (at least the ones my folks made had suet in), so what about a nice old fashioned Christmas fruit cake?

Wash it all down with apple wine or maybe mead, and that sounds like a superb Christmas dinner.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14832
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 05 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Delia does some kind of veg roulade (parsnipp I think) I can look it out for you if it sound tasty.

Like the idea of a stuffed squash though - somthing that can be brought to the table and carved (or served whole in the case of the smaller ones) has a real festive air about it. Like pparsnips too, though - decisions, decisions.........

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43965
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 05 8:57 am    Post subject: Walnut cheesy mushrooms Reply with quote    

I really like this one:

Walnut cheesy mushrooms:

The only things that are static on this are:

Walnuts
cheese
flat mushrooms

As with all my recipes I make it up as I go along, but I like to use 2 cheeses, one melting, the other non.

Chop up the walnuts, toast gently in a pan with some finely chopped garlic, and the chopped stalks of the mushrooms. Mix in some chopped herbs, black pepper and diced cheese, pile everything back into the mushrooms and bake

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15802
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 05 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Right, one of our best friends is veggie and we have a 'Friends Christmas Day' the week before Christmas every year, where we essentially have a pre-Christmas Christmas day with friends. I've done several things for him in the past, including lots of variations of nut roasts and I did a Cranberry ring thing one year too, which was like a nut roast/stuffing cross with cranberries and a cranberry sauce poured over the top.

He keeps telling us that with the amount of 'trimmings' I do, he doesn't actually need a turkey replacement, but I do a Turkey, Ham and the chipolatas wrapped in bacon, so he's actually got a lot less than everyone else...so I feel I have to do something. I've done a kind of nut roast with bulgar wheat wrapped in puff pastry in the past too, it was very nice, but a bit too different to everyone else, would be fine if you were all having it though.

Have you seen the festive recipes on the Veg Society website? I've used several of them in the past, mostly for inspiration, then I tend to adapt to what I have in (they're here). This year, the main course is Smoked Bean Curd Medallions with Shiitake and Walnut Stuffing.

Oh, I've just remembered the stuffed veg, I did a small stuffed pepper, stuffed tomato (again, small) and stuffed small courgette, all with slightly different fillings, one of them had a veg version of my meaty stuffing too. Mmm...think I might do that again this year actually, you can do all the hard work in advance and just pop them in the oven when you're doing the roasties. Oh, and I don't get to do my roasties in goose fat either, big shame, but hey. I find some sprigs of rosemary in there with them to try and make up for some of the lost flavour helps.

Phew, went on a bit long there, sorry

Treacodactyl
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 05 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for all the good suggestions, keep them comming everyone as I'm sure many others can use them!

Nice try Cab but goose fat can't be used. I like the idea of ravioli and with a bit more time over the hols we'll make some for at least a few meals. Not sure about mushroom pate as I'm not keen on it and Bugs is still comming to terms with wild shrooms but it does sound like an ideal starter.

I think we'll combine the squashes with something like Gil's nut roast recipe.

Thanks for the links Fee, the smoked bean curd sounds like something I can try to make myself so that could also be made at some point.

sean
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 05 2:36 pm    Post subject: Chestnut and mushroom tarts Reply with quote    

Chestnut and mushroom tarts.

250g puff pastry, or trimmings, rolled to 2-3 mm thick
12 fresh chestnuts
4 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
A good knob of butter
400g wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into good sized chunks
250ml double cream
1tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
2tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

As the filling is a little too gooey for slicing a larger tart, this is better if you use 4 tart tins measuring approximately 21/2-3cm high by 10cm. Cut the pastry about 2cm larger than the tins and line them, firming the pastry up to and a little over the top of the tins with your thumb and forefinger. With a fork, prick the pastry all over on the inside of the tins, including the sides. Line them with greaseproof paper or foil and fill them with baking beans (dried old beans or the metal baking beans you can buy).

Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour at least or better still overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

Meanwhile criss-cross the pointed end of the chestnut with a knife. Bake the cases for 20 minutes, then remove the baking beans and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until lightly coloured. Bake the chestnuts in the same oven for 10 minutes. Remove pastry from the tins and leave on a wire rack to cool. When cool, peel and cut the chestnuts in half.

Gently cook the shallots and garlic in the butter for 2-3 minutes until soft, add the mushrooms, season and cook with a lid on for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until they soften. Add the cream and Parmesan and continue to simmer until the cream thickens and just coats the mushrooms. Add the chestnuts and parsley and re-season if necessary.

To serve, warm the tarts and fill with the mushroom mixture, or you can stir in an egg yolk before you fill them and cook them under a grill to give a baked, glazed effect.

Shamelessly nicked from Mark Hix of The Independent

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7618
Location: France
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 05 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for that Sean,

It is most appreciated that you spent the time typing it up.

S

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