Alternative Christmas Roasts
As you know our It's From Scratch mission is to make feeding a flexitarian family a breeze. When it comes to Christmas, you know there will be MORE people round the table and MORE variation on what they like to eat.
Of the 9 people round my festive dinner table this year, 5 will be having the meat option. We were almost 50:50 at one point. If you are catering for one or more veggie/vegan guests this Christmas, here are my tried and tested ideas
When you start to think of alternatives to the roast turkey, this option usually springs to mind. Nut roasts have been the focus of much derision in the past but with the massive growth of the vegetarian and vegan market, it is easy now to get something really tasty. Typically these roasts can be cooked in the same oven as your roast meat, albeit for a much shorter time. Our recommendation for Onion Gravy in a previous blog post would go well with any nut roast. Organic Vegbox delivery company Able and Cole can supply the Clives Pies Nut Roast this year.
We love the Artisan Grains range of Nut Roasts especially this Cashew and Cranberry Roast. We shopped for this one locally at https://www.greenheartcollective.uk/
The food industry are working hard to provide us with alternatives to meat which will be acceptable to the most vehement of meat eaters. Linda McCartney can offer us a Vegetarian 'Chicken' Roast . Last year we plumped for a Quorn Roast which we enjoyed and had the advantage it made AMAZING sandwiches for those of us who just need a little top up on Christmas Night 😂 The Linda McCartney offering is Vegan and the Quorn one is vegetarian so be sure to check with your guests before making a choice
The very first time I was called upon to make a vegetarian main course I made Oyster Mushroom Pithiviers. This is more work for the cook than picking up one of the roasts mentioned above. As I do remember the amazing flavour and flaky, buttery pastry almost 30 years on then it is definitely worthwhile. You can make the mushroom filling in advance and freeze or refrigerate until you are ready to assemble. Of course Ottolenghi has a recipe for these tasty treats https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/12/mushroom-tarragon-pithivier-recipe
Go All Out
You can really make veg the star of the show by creating something spectacular which will have meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike holding out their plates. Why not roast a whole cauliflower head? This recipe for Hassleback Butternut Squash has my mouth watering.
Every year I get out My Nigella Christmas book and every year I want to make this but don't! It looks amazing! It's a giant pumpkin stuffed with rice and served with a gingery tomato sauce. Perhaps this will be the year.
Whatever you're cooking for your Flexitarian Festive Feast I hope you enjoy it and have a very Merry Christmas