Plant-based dishes with Christmas wishes
Everyone loves getting together for a big Christmas lunch or dinner, whether it’s a casual barbeque or a more traditional meal. This year, we recommend trying a plant-based Christmas.
We’ve pulled together some suggestions to show you how the meat-free alternatives can really make a meal of it:
1. Absolutely stuffed roasted butternut squash
Instead of “gobbling” on turkey, try this one as an alternative centerpiece to your Christmas spread. You’ll be a “vego hero” with this hero dish! And it has the Christmassy wow factor of the old school roasts as it’s presented and sliced in a similar fashion.
A medium to large butternut squash is halved, baked, filled with a delicious stuffing and tied back together with kitchen string like a meat roast. The stuffing ingredients are up to you, but we recommend sautéing a medley of: chopped dried cranberries, pine nuts/walnuts, nutmeg, stilton, port, vegetable broth, mushrooms, onion, sage, rosemary and kale; along with cooked quinoa or wild rice. And, when it’s ready to slice and plate up, you could add some toasted almonds on top before serving.
2. Moreish vegan gravy
Prepare the gravy as you would normally but be sure to use vegetable stock or broth instead of meat-based ones. And, while you’re at it, dial up the umami flavour with ingredients such as: mushrooms (especially porcini and shitake), caramelised onions, along with miso, soy and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Oh, and pour it over the dish above as well as everything else!
3. The Veg Remains the Same
Why fix it if it ain’t broke? Don’t change a thing here. Classic roast veggies are both animal-friendly and right on point. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, baby squashes, onions, garlic, carrots with sesame seeds, sprigs of fresh rosemary, olive oil, thyme… and more time! It’s a no-brainer. Vegetarian, vegans and meat-eaters alike can all agree on this one.
4. A keep-it-cool vegetable barbeque
For some the idea of a big traditional feast in mid-summer might be a bit much. So why not go for a laidback barbeque with loads of healthy, refreshing salads on the side. And with so many excellent veg patties and sausages now available on supermarket shelves, you can reinvent the traditional barbeque to be meat-free this Christmas and not miss a beat. Try it this year as an alternative..
5. Skip the dairy for dessert
Whether you’re opting for the warm plum pudding or a layered trifle, either way, you’re going to want some ice cream on the side. Happily, there’s been a rise in quality vegan ice creams. Brands such as Duck Island do a delicious coconut caramel, for example. So check out some of these “cruelty-free ice creams” to pair with your choice of Chrismtas desserts.
Give these ideas a red hot go. You might even start a new family tradition for your loved ones. One that carries forward for many Christmases to come. Enjoy!