Saturday, January 23, 2016

Vegetarian Inspiration for Christmas and New Year's Eve

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
Yep, I know this post is kind of late. But I believe you'll be drooling or maybe slightly inspired after you've read this post about being (lacto-ovo) vegetarian on Christmas and New Year's Eve :-)

And the food below is not typical Christmas-y, which means that the recipes can be used for any occasion :-)
Vegetarian and vegan inspiration for Christmas and New Year's Eve
Vegetarian and vegan inspiration for Christmas and New Year's Eve

After last year's Christmas Eve trying to stuff lamb meat down my throat, I decided to try without the meat this time.

Sure, my dad went all - "What about family tradition? We always eat lamb and pork ribs for Christmas!" But after he saw what I ate, it wasn't such a big deal after all ;-)

Christmas Eve

Finding vegetarian recipes for larger occasions like Christmas and New Year's Eve wasn't as bad as I thought. I've heard about the famous nut roast, which the vegans love. But I was looking for something less daunting, less work - but more special than an ordinary dinner. 

That's when I stumbled upon the vegetarian Christmas recipes of Jamie Oliver. 

I love and breathe for pasta, so I landed on the recipe for Christmas honeycomb cannelloni.

It's like an upgraded lasagna, and I can guarantee that the dish will fill your stomach pretty fast. I was full before my sister managed to finish her third slice of Christmas pork ribs. I think it's because of the combination of chick peas and feta cheese :-) Yum, yum!
Preparing the Christmas honeycomb cannelloni
Preparing the Christmas honeycomb cannelloni

Since there are many ingredients involved, the preparation takes a bit time. Well, unless you're a racer on chopping vegetables :-)
Honeycomb cannelloni
Honeycomb cannelloni

I don't know how easy it is where you live, to get your hands on a bag of cannelloni. Here in Oslo, I knew that I wouldn't find cannelloni at the regular low-priced grocery stores. But I did find one type at one of the more expensive grocery shops (Scandinavian readers: Jakobs matbutikk, og sannsynligvis Meny, Mathallen).

Either way, you might want to shop for the ingredients at least the day before, so you have time to look for it ;-)
Honeycomb cannelloni with cheese cream
Honeycomb cannelloni with cheese cream

The final result: Christmas honeycomb cannelloni
The final result: Christmas honeycomb cannelloni

After almost 2 hours in the kitchen, the Christmas honeycomb cannelloni was done. And it was a beauty!
Vegetarian Christmas dinner
When your friends eat meat and you don't.
When your better half eats meat and you don't.

Christmas dinner at my mother-in-law's

Vegan thali during Christmas
Vegan thali during Christmas

My mother-in-law works magic in the kitchen. I feel like a kid again when we're invited for dinner, because I know she cooks mouth-watering vegetarian/vegan food. Every time.

This year she made vegan patties made from mainly potatoes and kidney beans. To make them crispy in the pan, she also added sesame seeds in the mixture. The vegan patties were incredibly juicy with a crispy layer. No meat patties can be compared to the taste :-)

On my Indian thali plate you could find vegan patties with vegan gravy, amandine potatoes fried in rosemary, garlic and salt, mashed rutabaga, brussels sprouts with cranberries and walnuts, and a refreshing salad (mainly carrots, red cabbage and kale - all shredded).

And the toppings of course, which included the red onion relish! ;-)
Vegan fiesta during Christmas
Vegan fiesta during Christmas

New Year's Eve

The appetizer for New Year's was crostini with kale and parmesan, and a refreshing tomato salad. To make the tomato salad, you need the following (for 2 people):

  1. Two large tomatoes, chopped
  2. Cilantro, finely chopped
  3. 1 small red onion (I used 3 shallots), chopped
  4. Sea salt - start with 3 pinches, then add to taste
  5. Lemon juice - start with 3 tsp, then add to taste

The beauty of the tomato salad is to balance the salty and the sourness. A tip is to start with three pinches of salt and three tsp of lemon juice, and then let the mixture rest for five minutes. It takes a little while for the sea salt to kick in. Then add more sea salt and lemon juice to your taste :-)
Crostini/bruschetta with tomato salad and kale/parmesan
Crostini/bruschetta with tomato salad and kale/parmesan

As for the main course, I found a recipe for red beet risotto, but landed on polka beets instead :-) If you use polka beets, the risotto will become less red and more pinky. Lovely color, eh? I combined two recipes for red beet risotto, and included a baby fennel.
Preparing the polka beet risotto - vegetarian New Year's recipe
Preparing the polka beet risotto

I used mainly this recipe for red beet risotto. Don't throw away the fennel weeds! ;-) Chop them finely and use it for the topping when you're done with the risotto.
Polka beet risotto with fennel
Polka beet risotto with fennel

And voila! You have a delicious New Year's dinner! :-)

Have any ideas for vegetarian Christmas recipes? Please share with us :-)

Continue to read:
The road to becoming a vegetarian - guide and tips.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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