Recipe Requested Vegetarian main for Christmas Dinner

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

esoo

┐⁠(⁠ ⁠∵⁠ ⁠)⁠┌
KKF Lifetime Supporter KKF Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
4,675
Reaction score
10,486
Location
Canada, eh?
So after a number of years, I'm going to be hosting our family Christmas this year. It's been long enough since I last hosted it, that we now have some different food requirements - there are now a couple of vegetarians as well as someone with food restrictions due to MS.

Since I'm not a vegetarian (although I will eat that way at times), I'm looking for suggestions for a quality main to add along with the other mains I'm going to be doing (turkey and some other sort of roast). My knowledge of vegetarian is not that deep - I've got a few recipes that would pass but don't feel like they are the things for a celebratory menu.

So any suggestions KKF?
 
Vegetarian shepherds pie or a veg pot pie are a good holiday main options - hearty and more in keeping with traditional Christmas sides than a lot of vegetarian dishes. You can do it with a base of mushrooms, lentils, or Impossible/Beyond meat substitute.
 
So after a number of years, I'm going to be hosting our family Christmas this year. It's been long enough since I last hosted it, that we now have some different food requirements - there are now a couple of vegetarians as well as someone with food restrictions due to MS.

Since I'm not a vegetarian (although I will eat that way at times), I'm looking for suggestions for a quality main to add along with the other mains I'm going to be doing (turkey and some other sort of roast). My knowledge of vegetarian is not that deep - I've got a few recipes that would pass but don't feel like they are the things for a celebratory menu.

So any suggestions KKF?

I think big hearty stews and such are the way to go for something like this.

Can't go wrong with Indianfood/curry. I would make palak paneer (spinach and cheese), daal subzi (lentils and veggies), and chana ghobi masala (chickpeas and cauliflower in spicy tomato sauce) with naan and chutneys and rice.

Paella
Jambalaya/Gumbo
Chili
Vegetarian Pot Pie or Shepherd Pie

Something like that
 
Vegetarian lasagne is another option. Use mushrooms instead of meat.
Yes that depends on what kind of vegetarians you are serving. I was a vegetarian for 20 years but I strongly preferred fake ground beef in my lasagna to mushrooms.
 
@esoo

The recipe for 'King trumpet mushrooms, potato purée, puntarelle & Bordelaise' from 'On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen' by Jeremy Fox.
Also it does not really matter what mushrooms you use.
This is one of the example recipes of the book. So you can get the recipe by going through some online book shops and check there.
No reason to get the whole book. Especially since this is the best recipe of the whole book, anyways.
 
Thanks all for the suggestions so far.

I like @stringer suggestion of Indian - this is was my first choice, but I don't know if I have the energy to make enough dishes to make it worthy (I have a few health things of my own going on and I'm ultimately feeding 20).

As for doing something like a meat substitute in a shepherds pie, this is in a way what I'm trying to avoid. Sure it's easy and quick (I can make shepherds pie with my eyes closed), but I feel it is the cop-out way - take a meat dish and use a fake meat to make it vegetarian. I'm trying to find something is vegetarian from the ground up. Although I have to admit, that something like the Smitten Kitchen Mushroom Bourguignon does appeal to me (and is quite tasty as I've made it).

@Jovidah - only one guest is vegetarian by choice, the rest are there due to health issues.
 
A couple other options
D6600731-22A5-4FE0-8E52-B954912343F4.jpeg
4C52A04F-1A71-40CE-98B5-106390698E40.jpeg

485111E1-DC11-49EB-A483-1FCD11102FB6.jpeg
BBD48F74-9243-4B7C-88C4-6D36CD1B4FEA.jpeg
9653AF7F-8B28-4D08-B8B9-59E383208592.jpeg
 
Something like spanakopita looks great on the table, pretty easy if you buy the filo.
https://www.theveggietable.com/vegetarian-recipes/main-courses/spanakopita/
The Moosewood cookbook has a lot of western vegetarian mains that are hearty/filling.

Plus you get to call it “spank” for short like we did at my old restaurant.

Thanks for this. Reading over the recipe suddenly had me rethinking my menu. For the 20, I was planning to do a smaller turkey, some sort of roast (beef/pork) and then the vegetarian option. I know my family well enough that I could just drop the roast, and the big pan of spanakopita would be a hit alongside it. Or maybe a moussaka instead.
 
Vegetarian lasagne is another option. Use mushrooms instead of meat.
Was also gonna recommend lasagne, also a variety of roasted veggies will add depth/texture/flavor. Using something like shitakes instead a ground meat to make a otherwise traditional bolognese sauce would be how I incorporate mushrooms.
 
the few times we have vegetarians over we try stay away from mainstream veggie food and they seem to like it, Indian food goes over well (provided spice is not an issue, for many anthroposophically inclined vegetarians mint is about as crazy as it gets)

Panneer and peas , paneer matar bhurji
Fried dumplings, pakodi kadi
Egg plant curry, brinial mirchi salan
Cauliflower and cocnut, vellai porrial
black lentils, kaali dhal

went over very well

a bit of labor intense but IMO well worth the effort, yet it depends on how many veggie mouth you need to feed...the dumpings are probably most labor intense
 
Last edited:
Jeez, Italian themed is made for that. Absolutely nothing wrong with a meatless lasagne. With a ricotta pesto, or artichokes.What about manicotti florentine? Eggplant? A frittata or torta. Tortellini or ravioli. With a big beautiful Insalata Mista! And bruschetta. And then Italian veg sides are almost endless, I don’t know where to start. Actually I do. I’d check out Marcella’s Classic Italian Cooking for veg ideas. Anyway, good luck with planning and have fun!
 
Jeez, Italian themed is made for that. Absolutely nothing wrong with a meatless lasagne. With a ricotta pesto, or artichokes.What about manicotti florentine? Eggplant? A frittata or torta. Tortellini or ravioli. With a big beautiful Insalata Mista! And bruschetta. And then Italian veg sides are almost endless, I don’t know where to start. Actually I do. I’d check out Marcella’s Classic Italian Cooking for veg ideas. Anyway, good luck with planning and have fun!

Interesting you mention bruschetta - years ago I brought a double tomato bruschetta to a family party. Just this last Canadian Thanksgiving my cousin mentioned that she has been rocking the recipe ever since.

I think now that I'm going to give up the second meat and make a larger vegetarian main it opens up the possibilities a whole lot.
 
@Jovidah - only one guest is vegetarian by choice, the rest are there due to health issues.
Sucks... didn't know people could have health-related diets forcing them off meat. As much as I always get annoyed by people's personal preferences forcing limitations on my cooking / abilities to do what I want as a host.... when it's not by choice it's a very different story.

For christmas in general my guideline is 'don't overcomplicate'. Don't keep adding infinite dishes / alternative options just for the sake of it... at the end of the day the most important part is the company and that includes the cook!

My plan for this year is to go for more courses, but make them smaller individually. So I can have 3 different kinds of proteins for example, but individually the courses are all incredibly simple since I don't need to juggle 6 components that all have to be finished at hte same time. Also makes it easier to make combinations.

In the same vein you could consider having a course for everyone that's vegetarian (or that has a very simple meat add on), so you're not constantly doing double work.

Bruscettas are a nice snacketizer I often use... the beauty is you can dump just about anything on it.. add you can add some tapenades as a vegetarian option but stuff like dried hams also go excellent on it.

My only concern about some of the suggestions is that some might not consider it very 'christmassy' to have something like Indian food. It might also struggle to match your other courses.
 
@Jovidah - only one guest is vegetarian by choice, the rest are there due to health issues.
Sucks... didn't know people could have health-related diets forcing them off meat. As much as I always get annoyed by people's personal preferences forcing limitations on my cooking / abilities to do what I want as a host.... when it's not by choice it's a very different story.

For christmas in general my guideline is 'don't overcomplicate'. Don't keep adding infinite dishes / alternative options just for the sake of it... at the end of the day the most important part is the company and that includes the cook!

My plan for this year is to go for more courses, but make them smaller individually. So I can have 3 different kinds of proteins for example, but individually the courses are all incredibly simple since I don't need to juggle 6 components that all have to be finished at hte same time. Also makes it easier to make combinations.

In the same vein you could consider having a course for everyone that's vegetarian (or that has a very simple meat add on), so you're not constantly doing double work.

Bruscettas are a nice snacketizer I often use... the beauty is you can dump just about anything on it.. add you can add some tapenades as a vegetarian option but stuff like dried hams also go excellent on it.

My only concern about some of the suggestions is that some might not consider it very 'christmassy' to have something like Indian food. It might also struggle to match your other courses.

Yeah, MS and heart issues have some in our family on restricted diets.

As for the 'don't overcomplicate', I've actually got that pretty easy. My generation of the family made a decision about the way these gatherings go years ago. It goes something like this: As the host, I decide and cook the mains, and some sides (for example, turkey, spanakopita, mashed potates). After that I simply send out an email saying what I need ("appetizers, leafy salad, sides, desserts, wine") and the rest of the family deals with that. It helps that we all are a generation of home cooks and all are good. So while I do say I'm feeding 20, I just focus on the mains. Which is also cool as I can spend more time on trying to do something special.
 
Last edited:
I'd probably do one theme for all, so if f.e. some of the Indian Veggie dishes are selected I'd go for two or three meat dishes as well...
in that line up I'd vote for the tamarind lacquered ribs and some fish dish.
 
I recently converted to basically being vegetarian. I would think something like chicken and eggplant Parmesan would be pretty easy. Maybe not typical Christmas, but like someone said, it’s about who you are spending the time with.

I would think all the ingredients are the same, except you batter eggplant for some and chicken for some. But if they can’t eat meat they probably shouldn’t eat fried foods either.

Please let us know what you ended up cooking.
 
Get some fat baby Bellas to fill 3" or so up a pot, peel the tops off, clean undersides if necessary, sautee onion and garlic cut very finely, add whole Bellas and some salt, sautee most of water out, add a bottle of really good red wine (enough to cover the mushrooms), and several sprigs of rosemary, simmer on medium until most of the wine is reduced and concentrated in the mushrooms and the pot is fairly dry.
 
Back
Top