Love Middlesbrough Lass Emma has been vegetarian for just over a year now and last Christmas was difficult to say the least. Nobody knew what to cook as a main vegetarian dish and it ended in a lot of “it’s ok, I’ve already eaten”.
So, this year I’ve done my research and I’ve found 6 amazing recipes for the vegetarians to try out, and for the non-vegetarians to feed their vegetarian friends.
My first port of call when searching for good food is bbcgoodfood.com. I found two recipes that sound filling and festive – and really seem to warm the heart as well as fill the stomach.
Savoury bread and butter pudding made me stop scrolling, pause, then scroll back up. I was so confused as to why anyone would think of that, then I read the recipe itself. I personally would swap out parsnips for carrots and forgo the truffle – my bank thanks me for that second choice. The great thing about vegetarian food is that you can sub ingredients you don’t like for those you do – helps when you’re a little fussy like I am. This would be great served with all the regular Christmas trimmings, so serve this alongside the turkey for your meat-eating guests, and your vegetarian guests as a main. Trust me, they’ll thank you.
I’m a massive fan of halloumi, and I also love Indian food. Naan, spinach and halloumi bites sound like the best appetiser to me – or just finger food at a Christmas buffet. I don’t like cooked spinach – I have a very odd thing where I don’t like something if the texture is weird to me, this is one of those cases – so I’d season the spinach in a bowl and then build my canapés. Finger food is my favourite food, so this may be my favourite recipe out of all of these.
I’ve always had odd reactions when I’ve said that I didn’t have turkey on Christmas day. Last year I got more odd reactions when I told people I wasn’t eating meat at lunch full stop. My brother of course wasn’t the most sympathetic person, but what are older brothers for? My mum eventually found a vegetarian turkey roll purely by luck – this year we want to do something a little different and I will totally be sending her this link: whole roasted cauliflower. This is a super easy Jamie Oliver recipe which cooks quicker than any whole joint/bird you may have already bought for yourself. Once again, this can be served alongside roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, all the usual festive trimmings.
Like I said – I love spicy food and I would love to break the boring cycle of Christmas dinner by throwing something spicy in the mix. For those of you who don’t go traditional for your food, I recommend Jamie’s Christmas curry. This is vegan, gluten free and dairy free – perfect for everyone, so long as they like a bit of spice.
Becoming vegetarian forced me to try new foods so I wasn’t eating the same boring meals every single day. Don’t get me wrong, mac and cheese and Pot Noodles are great, but you can only eat them so much before you slowly turn into a student. For years my mother had tried to get me to eat butternut squash and I eventually gave in, only to find it wasn’t unpleasant – still not admitting my mum was right all along. Roasted butternut squash with goat’s cheese is my last savoury recipe for you. I wouldn’t serve this for Christmas dinner but it would definitely find its way onto the table for any other Christmas meal!
Time for some more memories! I remember being in year 9 in my German lesson at Christmas. My German teacher (a woman whose surname was quite literally Welsh and that fact is still mildly amusing) brought in a lot of traditional German Christmas food. We had a lesson of just eating – you can see why that stuck in my head!! Anyway, the one thing that was loved by pretty much the entire class was Stollen. It’s a German fruit bread with marzipan. It’s rather sweet in my experience and a pretty good alternative to Christmas pudding – something I’ve never really enjoyed.
Now go and enjoy some non-traditional Christmas food and Merry Christmas from me!