Seasonal Eating – Christmas Dinner Alternatives
Love it or hate it, Christmas is fast approaching. For many people, this means their diary is booking up with parties, soirees and dinner dates – ‘tis the season after all. If you are hosting or simply attending, whatever your plans over the season, lots of people are already thinking about their Christmas menus for parties and for Christmas Day itself.
There are so many options these days that even the traditional turkey and all the trimmings can be overwhelming. With an array of different methods for marinating it and cooking it, not to mention all the variations on seasoning and accompaniments, there is plenty of choice.
But what if turkey isn’t your cup of tea, or you’re vegan or veggie… Christmas dinner may look a little different but if doesn’t have to be any less delicious. Here is a recipe that hits the spot:
Vegetarian Christmas main course
Vegetable and chestnut stew – serves four
Boil two carrots and a small celeriac until just al dente (or you can use any veggie you like)
Peel/dice two red onions and sauté with a clove of minced garlic in oil.
Add 750ml tomato juice and a few florets of broccoli or tenderstem (in-fact just about anything, just make sure it is something green) and cook for two minutes.
Add in your carrot/celeriac plus 100g kale and 100g cooked chestnuts – bring to boil and then add two chopped spring onions, five sage leaves and season, then simmer
Combine 100g butter with 200g breadcrumbs, five sage leaves and salt/pepper. If you are a vegan use a decent butter substitute.
Place your stew into a dish and top with the breadcrumb mix and pop under the grill to brown the crumb – then you’re ready to serve.
Are you a meat eater but not fond of turkey? Some people don’t like it, although I don’t personally see why but if you’re one of them or know someone who doesn’t like it – why not cook something that will sit in the oven for hours and not spoil……………I’d suggest a five hour roast leg of lamb with root vegetables – so easy !!
Simply brown the leg on each side for five minutes in butter/oil…in the meantime chop your favourite root vegetables into large chunks – potatoes, celeriac, carrots, parsnips, onions (keep whole) and pop in some fresh herbs like thyme with salt/pepper/garlic whole – one clove per person. Next pour over the leg and veg, approx. half a bottle of white wine or use a stock if you prefer – enough to go half way up your roasting dish. Pop in the oven 150 for five hours with a lid or foil on top. You can then carry to the middle of the table to carve and serve.
Whatever you are eating over Christmas, we hope you have a wonderful time. If you’ve sorted menus but are worrying about gift buying, how about considering eco friendly gifts? We know where we will be shopping – being eco friendly at Christmas with Friends of the Earth – https://www.foe.co.uk/living/articles/christmas_gifts_33361