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Vegetarian christmas breakfast, dinner, dessert

Hi everyone,

Just wondering what vegetarian (or vegan) meals others will be making for Christmas dinner! We will be with family on the actual day, but I always choose a different day for us to celebrate as an (entirely vegetarian) family.

Last year, I did Smitten Kitchen's mushroom bourgignon and a family favorite, German chocolate cupcakes. I like something that's comforting but feels luxurious, that we wouldn't usually eat.

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  1. I am the only vegetarian in the family, and I usually ask my dad to make me a vegetable pot pie. I'm in the habit of making her mushroom bourgignon all the time (usually subbing chickpeas for the pearl onions) so it no longer feels luxurious- more like a staple!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jetgirly

      the chickpea sub is interesting. Thanks!

    2. Traditionally, a lot of Italian Americans do a meatless Christmas Eve, but it is fish-laden. Risottos are a good choice, as is polenta, and lots of pasta preparations can be made sans meat or dairy.
      Stuffed portobello mushrooms are a nice idea, too.

      1. I like making souffle's for festive occasions. They are easy and impressive. Start with a grapefruit and fennel salad with hazelnuts. Spinach souffle for main.

        Also, I'm imagining an egg nog french toast as a breakfast. Yum!

        3 Replies
        1. re: relizabeth

          I discovered this recipe last year on Youtube and it is worth the time. It is really amazing.
          I will also be making pumpkin pie, some roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes.

            1. re: IndyGirl

              I am glad you liked it. Hope you get to try it. Keep me posted if you try it.

        2. We are planning on doing homemade applesauce and latkes for Christmas breakfast this year.

          1. would love some ideas too for a main for a vegetarian christmas. i am the only veg in the house so i usually eat all the sides (all of which are veg.. the meat eaters have gravy + turkey too, and i get my veg main) plus my main and douse most dishes with mushroom gravy. does anyone have any suggestions?

            i think i had a veg pot pie with biscuit topping one year, nut loaf another year, kale & cheddar bread pudding another year. i am normally not a big fan of the idea of tofurkey.

            this year, we are keeping it simple with the sides: asparagus polonaise, some sort of nice salad TBD, mashed potatoes, steamed corn kernels (we always love this doused with gravy, even if it's just frozen corn.. it's a family tradition :)) cranberry sauce.

            5 Replies
            1. re: helenhelen

              You should try Vegetarian shepherd's pie. It is amazing with gravy.
              Even meat eaters would love it.

                1. re: IndyGirl

                  I don't have a specific recipe but I found one that is very close to the one my friend makes and that I really like.
                  Sometimes if you feel like it you can use sweet potatoes and you can also use vegetarian ground "meat" instead of the lentils.
                  I personally prefer lentils.

                2. re: Radha2009

                  thank you. i love shep's pie! i make it somewhat regularly though so it wouldn't feel "special" enough for xmas dinner for me. also, we always have mashed potatoes as a side dish so it would be too much potato for one meal.

                  i usually use lentils, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs as the filling for shep's pie... but i do also like it using fake ground round (i use yves brand) and make it the way they would with meat. i imagine a tofu version would be tasty too, especially with sage!

                3. Our family has always has coffee cake (usually made vegan these days) and scrambled egg for Christmas breakfast.

                  I often make a wild mushroom risotto for Christmas eve dinner. It's become kind of an institution to the point where I have to make it, even if I don't feel like it.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: will47

                    I'd love the recipe for that wild mushroom risotto.

                    1. re: IndyGirl

                      I just make it like a standard risotto, and it varies a bit from year to year. Nothing special; just labor intensive. Basically, sweat onions or shallots til translucent but not brown, add rice and toss to coat, add white wine til it evaporates, then add hot stock one ladle at a time until it's done (keep the stock at a simmer on another burner). Add the mushroom mixture (below) 10 minutes before the end. I make it vegan, but you can add some grated cheese and cream at the end if you like, or serve grated cheese on the side at the table. Season with salt / pepper (and a little lemon if you want some more brightness) only near the end. Serve as immediately after finishing as possible.

                      With the mushrooms (prepare before the risotto), I usually use dried porcini and morels (adding the soaking liquid to the stock), and fresh chanterelles, which are usually available. Adjust to whatever is available, but obviously it's not a "wild mushroom" risotto if you use only cultivated varieties. With the fresh mushrooms, brown in small batches in a very hot stainless steel or cast iron pan with little or no oil, add the wild mushrooms briefly, then sautée all mushrooms together with some olive oil and / or margarine (or butter if you're not vegan) on a bit lower heat with salt, pepper, a little white wine.

                      Some tips / variations:

                      * Homemade stock will make the best results. I use the roasted vegetable stock from the "Gourmet" cookbook (available easily on Epicurious and elsewhere online), or sometimes a lighter stock if I want a bit lighter flavor. But if you don't want to use homemade stock, I like Kitchen Basics veg stock best and Imagine "no-chicken" stock second best. Just water it down a bit either way.
                      * Dissolving some crumbled saffron in hot wine or stock, then adding to the risotto partway through (Milanese style) adds a nice color and taste to the dish
                      * Use one of the 3 rice varieties usually used for risotto; I usually use carnaroli.
                      * If you want to add something green, you can add a little chiffonaded baby spinach at the end. I usually don't do this anymore, but it tastes pretty good.

                    2. re: will47

                      We are definitely doing coffee cake and some kind of eggs... this is my coffee cake recipe.


                    3. I thought the stuffed squash from this article worked really well (we did it for Thanksgiving this year) -- it would work pretty well even without the gravy. It can be veganized pretty easily by substituting some tofu and veg stock for the egg.


                      I'm going to also reprise a dessert from Thanksgiving -- I did a galette. The Thanksgiving one had apple, persimmon, and pumpkin in it, but I'm going to do pear and brandy for Christmas. I know a puff pastry is most traditional, but I used a pretty standard pie crust (using the vodka trick), rolled it out, and then folded the edges over. I made the crust vegan -- used the unflavored Earth Balance veg shortening sticks (put in the freezer for a while ahead of time). Then put 50/50 vodka / water in the freezer for a bit with some ice cubes until it was really cold. One of my best vegan crusts yet. And, of course, it's a little bit less fussy to work with than a pie.

                      1. A mainstay of festive fare among vegetaraians and meat-eaters alike here in Québec is the tourtière. There are many vegetarian tourtière recipies on the Web.

                        I opted for the vegetarian tourtière at a neighbourhood association supper recently, and I think it was based on this one, by a well-known local celebrity cook, Ricardo. I sometimes include vegetarian fake "meat" from Yves Veggie Cuisine in my veg tourtières, just for the texture, but mostly use more "real" ingredients. The "ground round" variety can taste disturbingly like beef, but the "chickn" tastes nothing like poultry; it has a pleasant lemony-Mediterranean-cuisine taste that is not jarring for confirmed vegetarians.


                        I most certainly would not use canola oil in the crust though. Olive oil all the way. Nor honey.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: lagatta

                          is this a good recipe? tourtiere is a good idea so i may do that!

                          1. re: helenhelen

                            I find ALL recipes must be tweaked. This one, starting with the canola oil crust (Deborah Madison has several olive-oil crusts). I did have a piece of tourtière very similar to that recipe at my neighbourhood party, and it was very good.

                            If not,helen, just google vegetarian tourtière or meatless tourtière and you will find many others.

                            1. re: lagatta

                              i made a tourtiere using yves ground round. it was tasty, and my meat eating family agreed, but i found it a bit too "meaty" for me. :) i like fake meat but i like vegetables more.. so i realize that i prefer a veg pot pie to tourtiere. :)

                        2. Well, I'm making the following:
                          Scrambled eggs
                          Coffee cake

                          Green salad
                          Eggplant parmesan (from Food52)
                          Malfatti (I'm nervous about getting this to turn out right!!) http://www.delallo.com/recipes/malfat...

                          German Chocolate cupcakes

                          1. I have some goat's milk ricotta in the fridge, and wanted to make a savoury quiche or tart - came across a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe that looks interesting and not too complex (Ottolenghi's recepies are often vary involved).


                            Though I'd prefer something like Deborah Madison's yeasted olive-oil pastry, rather than a short crust, as it is already quite rich.

                            This isn't a recipe that could be veganized. However, the sundried-tomato layer would be stunning in a vegan savoury tart. There are recipes without dairy or egg among his repertoire:

                            Warning, he isn't vegetarian, so while most of these recipes are meatless, you will find the odd tuna cake or other recipe that doesn't belong on this board: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                            I'm sure that tuna cake could be made with a non-fish substitution.

                            1. In addition to the risotto, today made Suzanne Goin's amazing cavalo nero (lacinato kale), and a green salad with candied pecans, fennel, and citrus, and some young carrots, blanched, warmed in the oven, and tossed with some vinaigrette and herbs.

                              Tomorrow, a middle-eastern red lentil and dried mint soup, some roasted cauliflower, braised endives, the stuffed squash mentioned above, and a vegan pear galette for dessert.

                              1. For breakfast we will have coffee and mimosas with cinnamon rolls (a gift someone sent from Cinnaholic in Berkeley - http://www.cinnaholic.com). I was going to make a vegan strata (I bought kala namak black salt just for the occasion) but I'm too tired!

                                Hors d'oeuvres will be vegan paté (from Veganomicon) and crutidés with ranch dip.

                                Dinner will be a Field Roast Celebration Roast en croute with roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, cranberry, and mushroom gravy. Vegan pumpkin pie for dessert. We like tradition.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Divamac

                                  What is a Field Roast celebration roast? Is that something one can buy in California, or a recipe?

                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                      Thanks. It doesn't seem to be available here (entering Montreal, even with 25 miles, and the only friends who could easily travel that far are serious carnivores - most of us don't have cars).

                                      1. re: lagatta

                                        Can't get it online either?
                                        Too bad, it is very good.

                                2. IndyGirl,

                                  Thank you! I made Smitten Kitchen's mushroom bourguinon yesterday and it was an absolute hit by everyone, mostly non-vegetarians. I read a few links to this recipe and several folks suggested using a variety of mushrooms. I combined quartered portabella mushrooms with dehydrated oyster and shitake that I soaked overnight and sliced. It was so easy to make ahead. We attened yesterday's premier of Les Miserables and it was a joy to return home to spend a few minutes in the kitchen to serve this luxurious dish with side salad and rolls.