It is officially december (the best month of the year) and that means Christmas is around the corner 🎅 . With all of this happening, the stress of “what the hell am I going to eat for christmas?” is starting to be present. Being veggie is really easy when it is just you, but when other people join the party… It can be hard. I have parents that really try to make my christmas dinner the most veggie friendly out there, but not everyone has this so I am going to try to make it easier for you. For three weeks, I will share the best tips on how to prepare the ultimate vegetarian christmas dinner menu.
Preparing the menu
There are many factors to take into account when preparing a menu. First of all, your guests food likings/allergies. I always ask this before I plan anything else. Once you have done that, you got to ask yourself: Am I doing a three-dish menu? Am I serving appetizers? Are people bringing other food, dessert? How many people? These are all very important questions that will definitely set your menu and grocery list.
From today until the beginning of christmas, I will be sharing my ideas and some recipes for a full christmas dinner party. These three posts will be the ultimate vegetarian christmas dinner menu and will, hopefully, help you while preparing your own menu!
Appetizers for your vegetarian christmas dinner menu
Appetizers are very important for me. They set up the mood for the entire dinner. If the appetizers are a miss, my entire opinion on the dinner will be kinda influenced by them. They have to be the perfect balance of fullfiling hunger levels. Too much, and people won’t eat the rest, too little, and people will be asking for more.
The list of appetizers you can serve is quite long, and we could be here for days. In the list below, you will find my favorite appetizers to eat during christmas dinner. I have cooked two appetizers for today’s post and will be sharing my own recipes. For the rest, I will link some recipes that I have tried and can vouch for!
- Bruschettas: I love bruschettas. They have bread, veggies and quite often, cheese. You can use vegan cheese if you wish to do so.
- Tofu screwers: This one is a crowd-pleaser and a dump and forget type of appetizer. Get some firm tofu, do the pre-draining and marinating process (As described in my tofu cooking series), put them in an oven tray with some oil (the marinating sauce will do the rest), bake them for 30 minutes and voilà. It’s ready.
- Cauliflower wings by tasty.
- Savory muffins by HummuSapiens.
- Vegetable fritters by Create Bake Make
Dips & spreads
Most of these ideas can be served alongside some dips. My favorite dips:
- Guacamole (Chop some avocado, red onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeño and mix well. Add salt and chili flakes. If you aren’t allergic to lime, or lemon, go ahead and add a bit).
- Pico de gallo by Natasha Kitchen
- Cheese sauce by Budget Bites
- Tapenade (Vegan) by the Spruce Eats
- Beetroot Hummus. My favorite: Chickpeas, beetroots, one greek yogurt or tahini, garlic and olive oil. Blend well and enjoy! Recipe below.
Starters for your vegetarian christmas dinner menu
This one is a tricky category, so is the “main dish” one. Your starter and main dish choices will mostly depend on how “fancy” your dinner is. My ideas include affordable and stuff that I would like to eat during christmas dinner, but I have also tried to include some fancier options.
- Salads: Salads are always a nice starter. They are easy to make and most people are happy to get them to being their meals. My usual go-to salad is a Spinach, apple, cherry tomatoes, nuts and cheese. It has ingredients that are easy to find and also has a lot of different flavors.
- Soup: If you are preparing for christmas, soups are great. Some ideas: Roasted red pepper, sweet potato and smoked paprika soup. Tomato and basil soup. Carrot and coriander soup.
- Veggie stacks by Vegetarian Living
- Veggie rolls by Closet Cooking
- Roasted veggie tart by Proud Italian Cook
Quick Q&A on the ultimate vegetarian christmas dinner menu
Can I cook some of these things in advance?
Most of the ideas I gave above can be prepared in advance. Most dips can be prepared one day before (just careful with the guacamole, it might lose a bit the “green” color. To prevent this from happening, keep the bone or add a bit of greek yogurt!).
It’s better if you prepare the salad on the same day, it will feel fresher. But the veggie rolls, the tart and the stacks, you can totally cook the actual veggies the day before and just do the mise en place on the special day.
What can I do to deal with a family that’s against my vegetarianism?
I know this is not a food-related question per se, but it is still a question that can be asked. My first tip would be to cook with them. If you show them that it is easy to do so, and that the food is actually a) delicious and b) going to make you happy, they will start to accept it. Obviously, not every family works the same way, in some cases it will be harder, in some, easier.
On first-time hosting stress
If this is the first time you are hosting your christmas dinner, my main advice will be to stick to what you know. I know the first instinct will be to impress everyone and try as many different and complicated cooking techniques as you can, but unless you have the time to properly try them, this is not going to make you feel more confident. My first time cooking for my family (and myself) for christmas I was really stressed because I knew there were going to be comments, and unrequested judgement. I decided to cook what I know how to cook best, and while it might have not been the fanciest thing out there, I loved it, I enjoyed it and my family did as well. My mom and I cooked spinach, goat cheese and nuts cannelloni.
Appetizer and Starter for your vegetarian christmas dinner
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 cup beetroots
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon chili
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 6 slices baguette (3 per person)
- 1/2 cup yellow & red pepper (diced)
- 1/2 roll goat cheese (2 slices per slice of bread)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp basilic
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 bug handfuls raw spinach
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 apple (Golden)
- 1/4 cup nuts
- 1 tbsp vinagrette
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a blender, add all the ingredients (Chickpeas are already cooked when I buy them, and beets are impossible to find in France uncooked)
- Mix well and taste every now and then to adjust the salt and chili. The texture should be rather smooth, but not too watery, nor too thick.
- Slice the baguette in 4-5cm slices.
- Grill them in the oven for 5 minutes max (monitor that they dont burn)
- Cook peppers in a pan with olive oil at medium temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Roast them in the oven to get that barbecue effect for 5 minutes
- Prepare the bruschettas: Baguette slice – Goat cheese – Pepper – Basilic
- Roast them in the oven for 2-3 minutes
- In a bowl, place the spinach. Add the apples, nuts and tomatoes. Add the goat cheese
- Drizzle with vinagrette and olive oil.
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