Let’s be a bit more inclusive this year for Christmas by providing vegetarian options!
As a vegetarian of course I wanted to write this article but also because I can see a lot of people struggling for the Christmas dinner when they invite over some vegetarian guests.
I wanted to give you some options to cook a very easy and simple dinner for your friends and family, with maybe less animal products. Of course it’s not part of my usual craft field, but it’s part of the creativity you have to develop.
The classic French menu for the end of the year celebrations
Christmas is a holiday in France during which we usually dine on a lot of dishes rich in animal products.
As a starter there are often oysters and seafood, accompanied by salmon or shrimp. Then there is the traditional goose or duck foie gras. A delight for the taste buds but a terrible breeding practice for poor animals. Then the main course is usually made up of poultry: turkey, capon, goose… it all depends on the number of guests. Accompanied by potatoes. This is followed by the cheese platter with good bread, and the sweet ”bûche”/cake made up the dessert.
In short, Christmas is very plentiful in France and it is not always easy for a vegetarian like me to find something savoury and indulgent to eat.
The vegetarian menu for the holidays
So here is a gourmet and vegetarian menu that should delight you for the end of the year celebrations (but not only!). The idea is to adapt your usual meal to the vegetarians who are at your table.
As a starter or as an aperitif, you can offer eggplant caviar or tapenade toast. I often find eggplant caviar finer and tastier for a holiday menu. This will easily replace foie gras toasts. There is also “vegan foie gras”. A kind of vegan foie gras. Each brand has its own recipe but my favorite is the faux gras from the Gaia brand. It is sold in the Netherlands, France and Belgium.
The main course
Rather than making a special dish for your vegetarian friend, why not just take the poultry off their plate and replace it with some mushrooms and chestnuts? This is usually hearty and tasty enough for your guest. Being vegetarian does not necessarily mean that we want to replace meat / fish in our dishes at all costs. We are happy to only have what we consider “accompaniment”: vegetables and starches.
Cheese and dessert
As for the rest of the meal, if your guests are vegan then there are various vegan cheeses on the market. Do not ruin yourself, very often at this stage of the meal the guests are not really hungry anymore...
Finally, the dessert can consist either of a traditional yule log, or of fruit and chocolates. It is increasingly easy to find vegan products (like logs or vegan cakes) in stores, but you can also make your own vegan dessert.
I hope that through this article you will find the inspiration you need to cook vegetarian or vegan for the holiday season.