A Christmas Feast

Christmas is coming, really soon. So I have decided to compose a little festive plant-based menu for you guys. I know the struggle of sitting in the midst of a bunch of turkey munching relatives and being asked if you eat anything other than vegetables. Well, I think the best answer to that question is just surprising them with an amazing plant-based dinner on Christmas Eve.

There are three recipes for a starter, a side and a main, I also have a few suggestions for desserts. The first one is an insanely creamy Chestnut & White Wine Soup. Chestnut might not be your first thought when you think of soup. But it works so well, especially together with the white wine.

The second is my favourite, it’s a simple Sweet Potato Casserole. My family has been having this for Christmas for as long as I can remember. A couple of years ago we veganized the recipe we always used to make. We added some coconut milk and coconut oil, instead of cream and butter, which makes it even more delicious if you ask me.

Finally the main, since there is already quite a lot to prepare for Christmas dinner I wanted to keep this simple. There is a simple Mushroom filling in a flaky puff pastry crust. You could always make the puff pastry yourself but since we want to keep it simple I have used a store bought one, which is vegan a lot of the time. As a little extra, I have added Kalettes, in the filling as well as crispy fried to go with the Wellingtons. Kalettes are a fairly new vegetable that is a cross between brussel sprouts and kale, it’s delicious! If you can’t get them where you are, just simply use kale or brussel sprouts, or both!

As a dessert, I have a few suggestions from past recipes, some yummy stuffed apples, an orange cake with chestnut icing, simply some cookies or a fennel & apple cake!

Chestnut & White Wine Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks of fresh thyme
  • 250ml or 1 cup white wine
  • 400g chestnuts
  • 1L or 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 125ml or 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  • Slice the onion into thin slices and fry with the thyme in some oil until translucent in a medium sized soup pot.
  • Deglaze with the white wine and then add the chestnuts and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Next add the broth, cover and let the soup simmer for 30 mins.
  • After 30 minutes add the remaining ingredients and blend with an immersion blender.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 30g or 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 125ml or 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseeds mixed in 6 tbsp of water and thickend.)
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt to taste

for the topping:

  • 180g or 1 cup of pecans
  • 70g coconut oil (melted)
  • 80g of brown sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Boil and mash the sweet potatoes. Then mix them in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and transfer into a casserole dish.
  3. For the topping chop the pecans and mix with the sugar and coconut oil and crumble the mixture on top of the sweet potato.
  4. Bake in the oven for 40 mins.

Mushroom Wellington with Crispy Kalettes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 300g of mushrooms
  • 2 stalks of thyme
  • 3 tbsp of red wine
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter
  • 3 tbsp of tamari
  • a few pinches of liquid smoke
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups or 125 g of kalettes
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 2 cups of kalettes for serving.

Method:

  • Chop the onion and mushrooms and heat up the olive oil in a skillet.
  • Then fry the onions until translucent and add the mushrooms and the thyme and fry until the mushrooms are cooked.
  • Next, deglaze with the red wine and add the almond butter, tamari and liquid smoke.
  • Cook for a few more minutes to allow everything to thicken.
  • Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C
  • Heat up the olive oil in the same skillet you used to cook the mushrooms and fry the kalettes until crispy and then sprinkle with salt.
  • Mix the kalettes in with the mushrooms.
  • Then cut out 8 circles from the puff pastry and divide the filling up between four of them.
  • Place the other four on top of the ones with the filling and pinch the sides together using a fork. Slice a cross in the top of each of the pockets to allow the steam from the filling to be released.
  • Now bake for about 25 mins.
  • In the meantime fry some more of the kalettes in some oil and sprinkle with salt and serve on the side of the Mushroom Wellingtons

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