How To Cook A Vegetarian Christmas Dinner
If you are worried about how to cook a vegetarian Christmas dinner because you are expecting vegetarian guests, or you are vegetarian and want new ideas, there are many great vegetarian dishes to consider. A vegetarian dinner can be beautifully presented, healthy and easily adapted to cater to the Christmas season.
1. Meatless Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy
Just because you’re vegetarian, doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy meatloaf. Savor the meatless style.
- 1 pound Japanese eggplants (about 3)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 8 ounces shiitake or button mushrooms, stemmed
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 large egg, plus 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 ounces shitake, cremini, or button mushrooms
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Marsala or sherry
- 1 cup vegetable broth, homemade or low sodium canned
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 teaspoon leaves
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Char the eggplants until the skin is black.
- Steam in foil for twenty minutes. Gently remove skin.
- Grind walnuts in food processor until finely minced. Put into large bowl.
- Mince eggplant, tofu and mushrooms. Incorporate mixture into the walnuts along with garlic, wheat germ, oat, parsley, sage leaves, egg, egg white, thyme leaves, salt, black pepper and chile flakes. Mix ingredients.
- Pour mixture into a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan or casserole dish. Bake for one hour in a 400-degree oven.
- Prepare gravy. Melt butter, add mushrooms and cook for about 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Incorporate flour into the mushrooms. Cook until lightly browned. Throw in marsala and broth. Cook until thickened. Mix in cream and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place meatless loaf on platter. Serve with mushroom gravy.
2. Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole
You should be hungry already, just by reading the name of this vegetarian dish. Healthy and extremely filling, this vegetarian dish takes less than an hour to prepare and cook, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy your Christmas celebrations with family and friends.
- 3 cups milk
- Bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup grated white cheddar
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green beans, cut in 2-inch pieces, blanched
- 3 cups sliced assorted wild mushrooms (such as Portobello, shiitake, or cremini)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs
- Scald the milk and bay leaf in a saucepan. Place the butter into another saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and whip constantly.
- Allow to cook for two minutes and remove bay leaf from milk. Slowly pour milk into mixture. Season, to taste, with mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, until thickened for 5 minutes. Remove from stove and add cheddar cheese, stirring until smooth.
- Mix green beans and mushrooms into the sauce and pour into a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and buttered bread crumbs. Bake in 350-degree oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Figs poached in port
Let’s face it, Christmas dinner is very much about the dessert. This rich and satisfying vegetarian dessert will not disappoint even the most sophisticated vegetarian dessert-a-holic.
- 3 cups tawny port
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 (3-inch) strips orange peel
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- 12 black mission figs, ripe yet firm
- Mix the tawny port, sugar, vanilla pods and seeds, cinnamon, orange peel and peppercorns in a large saucepan.
- Boil and reduce the heat, allowing to simmer for about twenty minutes until a light syrupy consistency is reached.
- Add the whole figs and simmer together for another fifteen to twenty minutes. Allow time for the figs to cool in the syrup.
- Place figs in individual dessert bowls, spoon over the syrup, and for extra Christmas decadence, add a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
- After this vegetarian Christmas dinner, your guests should look at your cooking skills and vegetarian dishes through new eyes.