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Dec 11, 2010 06:12 AM

Looking For Christmas Menu Inspiration

At Christmas dinner there will 10 people - one vegetarian (who I want to feel very welcome) and one (about to be son-in-law) who is seriously allergic to all mammal products except dairy.The rest are omnivore foodies. I am struggling to come up with a main dish or dishes that will not be outrageously expensive and will be reasonably simple to cook. I have looked at cook books and daydream and I haven't come up with anything that makes me excited. Any suggestions?

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  1. Beef brisket, veggie lasagna, Caesar salad, fresh vegetable...

    1. By "mammal products" I'm assuming you don't mean fish or seafood(which is not technically called mammal) so you can add something along those lines to your menu or just do a serving for the son in law. Some type of seafood wrapped in a banana leaf or parchment makes a nice presentation. This recipe sounds good, you can roast the fish or bake in the oven instead of grill

      As for the vegetarian, I'm a big fan of making cakes out of beans & vegetables. You could saute up some celery, oniion, carrots and garlic, add a can of drained & rinsed black or other beans and some seasonings like oregano, seasoned salt and pepper then let mixture cool. Once cooled, partially mash half of the beans then form the mixture into thick patties like a hamburger but thick like a hockey puck. Pat the mix into some panko breadcrumbs and pan sear to brown; slide pan into oven to heat through. Serve them on a pool of seasoned tomato sauce, maybe with a sprinkle of queso fresco or other cheese and chopped cilantro or parsley. These are so good and easy to do. Prep them the day before and refrigerate for easier searing, takes about 10 minutes in a hot oven. Both of these suggestions, served with whatever sides you're going to make, will be a filling meal for both of your guests. Now you just have to think about the mammal eaters...:-)

      1. I would put the focus on something that could be a meal for the veggies or a side dish for the meat people, then do a simple roast. Maybe a mushroom pot pie, a risotto, or a vegetarian bean cassoulet (I believe Epicurious has a good recipe). Then do a nice roast pork loin with a sauce that complements whichever meatless main you make.