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What Are the Best Tips for a Vegetarian Christmas Dinner?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
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A memorable vegetarian Christmas dinner should include a variety of appetizers, an outstanding main course and flavorful desserts. Vegetarians typically forgo foods containing meat products, so cooks should be sure to use acceptable ingredients. An important tip is to choose recipes where these items either are not included or can be replaced with vegetarian-friendly substitutions.

The holiday dinner can start off with light appetizers, such as red, white and green salad or roasted chestnuts. Soup is another appetizer option, and many flavors can be served either hot or cold. Vegetarian options include bell pepper, French onion and minestrone soup.

For finger-food appetizers, a platter of crudit├ęs, French for raw vegetables, can be placed on a buffet table. A variety of vegetables can be used, including mushrooms, broccoli and celery. The vegetables should be prepared so they are appealing and ready to eat. They should be peeled, have seeds and spots removed, and be cut into bite-sized sticks or rounds. An assortment of vegetarian dips, such as hummus, herb dip and Caesar dressing, should be served with the vegetables.

A main course for a vegetarian Christmas dinner should be in step with the significance of the occasion, and ensure that the entree is special enough for the holiday. Vegetarian entree options include winter squash risotto, eggplant gratin or a Greek dish, spanakopita, which is a spinach-cheese pie. Other main entree options for a vegetarian Christmas dinner include cabbage rolls, lasagna and vegetable gratin.

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Side dishes for a vegetarian Christmas dinner should focus on traditional favorites, such as stuffing, potatoes and gravy, which can be adapted to be vegetarian-friendly. For example, a nut-based rather than meat-based gravy recipe can be used. Adding garlic to traditional mashed potatoes adds extra flavor, and stuffing can be baked casserole-style with apples and walnuts rather than in a turkey. Other side dishes include stuffed tomatoes and stuffed sweet potatoes.

Another vegetarian Christmas dinner mainstay is bread. Biscuits, corn bread and dinner rolls can all be made using vegetarian recipes. Another option is making popovers, which can be served hot out of the oven.

No vegetarian Christmas dinner would be complete without a delectable dessert. A tip for selecting a suitable dessert is to choose a family favorite recipe and adapt it to be vegetarian, such as plum pudding or mincemeat. Mincemeat can be made with vegetables rather than meat, and plum pudding can be made without suet. Other vegetarian Christmas dinner dessert options include apple pie and gingerbread. A vegetarian Christmas dinner can be topped off with mulled wine.

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vigilant
Post 3

There are some great cookbooks filled with vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas. All three of my kids have become vegetarians over the last five years and we have had to alter our traditional Christmas meal significantly.

At first I was kind of hesitant. The meal is part of the tradition. But eventually I realized that what is important is having the kids at home around the dining room table and not the food that is served on top of it.

profess
Post 2

One of the best ways to plan a vegetarian Christmas menu is to think outside of the box. Why not have an Italian Christmas or a Mexican Christmas? Using the cuisines of other cultures is one of the best ways to find tasty vegetarian options. In my experience, this is easier and tastier than tying to adapt the traditional Christmas menu to the needs of vegetarians.

summing
Post 1

I am a vegeatrian but no one else in my family is. We usually go over to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner and she has found a compromise that seems to work for everyone.

She will cook a ham or turkey or some other large piece of meat but she will make sure that all of the side dishes are meat free. That way the meat eaters can get what they are looking for and I can fill up on potatoes and stuffing and yams. It works out for everyone.

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