I was trawling the internet for ideas for Christmas lunch and came across a vegetarian website with a banner that said
” This Christmas pardon a turkey !” It got me thinking about the strong tradition of meat eating at this time of year and how challenging the idea of a meatless Christmas can be for many people.
Having not eaten any meat for many, years I am here to tell you that a vego Christmas spread is every bit as festive and tasty as any baked bird. In fact, if you ask me I think it’s better. No animals harmed and a clear conscience about the real cost of my food to the planet.
Last year we had a fantastic leek and parmesan roulade stuffed with sage, onions, pine nuts and roasted sweet potato. We served this with lots of delicious salads and roasted veges. Never one to shy away from Christmas puddings we had cheese cakes, pavlovas, a mango form of tiramisu, traditional puddings, slices of beautiful fruits and pomegranate icecream.
This year we have decided to try to create a spectacular Christmas lunch from our vege patch so the focus is on beautiful herbs and salads, celeriac, heirloom beetroots and carrots, ten different varieties of non-hybrid tomatoes and lots and lots of various types of zuchini. I am so looking forward to changing my thinking from “what do I have to go and buy” to “what have I already got growing in my garden”.
If you have decided to leave out or even decrease your meat quota this Christmas, or if you have a vego or vegan guest, there is no need to be stressed.
Try ramping up the salads and roasting beautiful vegetables. A sample may include steamed baby potatoes with a lemon and wholegrain mustard dressing. Beetroot orange and fennel salad with feta cheese and balsamic dressing. A pretty jewelled rice salad – see below for recipe. Roasted root vegetables with a sweet glaze and freshly chopped herbs like chives, parsley, basil or tarragon. Marinated mushrooms – see recipe below.
For lots of great recipes you can search ‘recipes’ at this blog or try my website http://www.naturocath.com.au for some ideas such as goats cheese and caramelised onion tarts, filo pastries, roasted pumpkin salad and some wicked ginger and chocolate brownies.
A plate filled with tasty, gorgeous salads and vegetables, some good quality bread, a lovely cheese plate, some yummy drinks, good company and lots of puddings – sounds like a fabulous Christmas to me.
Try this super rice salad in crowd pleasing quantities ! This salad makes a big generous bowl which is great because it’s delicious and makes for really good leftovers. Super easy, super yummy, super good for you.
Beautiful rice salad
2 cups basmati rice
1 red capsicum
1 bunch each of coriander and parsley
1 cup chopped cashews or pistachios
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup good quality olive oil”
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
Cook rice and when slightly cooled mixed through all other ingredients except herbs.
Add dressing and mix well then fold through herbs when ready to serve.
Marinated mushrooms – these tasty gems are great as a side dish or antipasto plate addition.
750g sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 bunch parsley
1 clove garlic crushed
1 heaped tablespoon of seeded mustard
2 tablespoons honey.
Mix all ingredients and allow to stand for about an hour before serving.