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In my house it would probably be Oh Gawd what do we feed the Meatie? Having been a veggie for some time as is my daughter, I'm often asked the question but what do you actually eat? This question is normally followed by but you eat chicken and fish don't you? Then you get the pitying look, as if to say you'll grow out of it!
So what can you feed the Veggie at Christmas, you could do like a relative of mine did, a plate of vegetables with a generous serving of Chicken stock gravy poured over it! Prehaps not!
If the veggie likes the taste and texture of the meat alternatives, then you could always serve one of those. Quorn do a number of items, such as breaded fillets, alternative Chicken roasts and my all time favourite the quorn banger!
Should you want to be a little bit more adventurous, don't think Veggie lasange! As a Veggie of long standing before resturants took on the idea of doing veggie menu's all I ever ate was good old veggie lasagne! I scream at the thought of it!!
These are just a few idea's that could go down well:
~~Mushroom loaf~~: A simple and tasty dish. It's a spiced up nut loaf dish, which is very easy to make.
Basically you need Mushroom (1lb), 1 onion,
Grated nuts( 4oz), eg brazil nuts or cashew, breadcrumbs (8oz), 1 egg, 1 tsp of mixed herbs, 1 tblesp olive oil, 1 tsp of yeast extract ( eg marmite), 2 tblesp skimmed milk powder, salt and pepper to taste.
To make it peel and chop the onions and mushrooms, fry till tender in the olive oil, about 5 mins should do it. Liquidse onions and mushrooms then add remaining ingredients, season to taste and put in a bread tin. Bake at gas mark 4 for about and hour.
~~Stuffed peppers~~: these are very simple to make and again very tasty!
Basically you'll need a large pepper ( per veggie), slice peppers in half longways, then de-seed. The filling can be practically anything! Ideas include a soya mince stuffing with tomatoe topped with cheese, or a cooked rice filling with mushrooms, onions etc in. They take about 20 minutes to bake in the oven.
~~Lentil and mushroom burgers~~: simple to make and very filling!
you'll need Mushroom's (1lb), lentils (4oz) - this is there dry weight you'll need to soak and cook them. 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, 2 tspn of parsley, 1/2oz of butter, 1 tblsp of olive oil, salt and pepper to season.
To make it you need to peel and chop the onions and mushrooms. Fry onions in oil till tender add mushrooms and garlic, cook for about 20 minutes till all liquid is gone and the mushroms are basically very mushy continue stirring at all times! Take of heat and chuck in the other ingredients, season to taste then roll out mixture into burger shapes, pop in oven for 30 minutes and enjoy!
~~Cheese and onion pie~~
You'll need a packet of puff pastry, one onion, butter to fry with, and loads of mature cheddar chesse ( ok I know this is vague but its my own recipe), pepper to season.
To make it roll out pastry on a floored surface, cut to fit a pie dish, put pastry in dish, make sure you have enough to make a pie lid. Fry onions till tender in a knob of butter. take of heat, grate cheese, into onions and mix add to pie dish if it looks abit thin on the ground filling wise keep grating! Add a little ground black pepper and put pastry lid on. Put in the oven for about 25 minutes ( or till pastry is golden) at gas mark 6
Other idea's are to have a range of side dishes which everyone can sample. My Mum does a wonderful chestnut stuffing which can even be eaten by the token meatie around our table! Other side dishes we've had include char grilled vegetables, eg Peppers and courgettes marinaded over night in lemon juice and broccoli and tomatoe bake,
You could also try expanding the range of vegetable you actually serve. Winter vegetables like mashed swede, roasted parsnips and roasted onions all add flavour to any meal.
The gravy, please dont serve up a meat based gravy! I love gravy, but not with dead bits in it! There are a wide range of veggie stock powders on the market, oxo even do their own make of veggie cubes. My favourite is by Boursin - you'll find it next to the "normal" stock and gravey products in most supermarkets! Simple to use just like any other gravy powder! But how about spicing it up a bit? My Mum does a wonderful mushroom gravy, just by adding a few cooked mushrooms!
Puddings and sweet things you'll find nowadays most crimbo pud's are veggie as are mince pies just look for the little veggie logo on the packet!
~~Useful Recipe books~~
Linda McCartney's vegetarian cook book is awash with tips and yummy recipes!
Rose Elliot's Complete Vegetarian Cook book contains over a 1000 recipes from starters to puddings and some!
The Vegetarian Society's The New Vegetarian cookbook. Again an excellent book with simple and easy recipes.
Now all I need are a few recipes and tips to work out what on earth I'm gonna give the meatie for Christmas dinner!
I am lucky to know of a field where I can gather my own mushrooms and although I am not a vegetarian I do like your recipe for the mushroom loaf jo1l. If you have grandchildren or small children you may be interested in reading my review of the recipes I make with my great grandchildren on xmas eve. It can be very messy but such good fun,
freespirit1402 29.01.2003 18:00
Linda does a good cook book but by god she does dodgy sausages
Calypte 18.01.2003 16:11
Well, I'm very late, but hope you did have a lovely Christmas, and Happy New Year! :)