Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vegetarian Holiday Recipes

It is much easier on the planet to eat lower on the food chain by eating less meat. Large animals such as cows and pigs actually contribute to global warming through both carbon dioxide and methane emissions. If you want a more environmentally conscious holiday, you may wish to create your celebratory meals with less meat. Here are a few of my favorite holiday recipes to get you started.

Cream of Pumpkin Curry Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 cups water
3 vegetarian bouillon cubes
2 15-ounce cans pumpkin
1 cup half and half

Melt butter over medium heat and add onion and garlic in soup pot. Cook 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in spices. Cook for 1 minute. Add water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cook for 15-20 minutes. Add pumpkin and half and half. Cook 5 minutes. Serve as is for chunky soup or blend in food processor/blender for smooth soup.

Vegetarian Christmas Pie

Pie Crust:
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

½ cup white flour
3/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons paprika
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Filling:
2 tablespoons butter
1 finely chopped onion
1-2 crushed garlic cloves
5 cups chopped mushrooms
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs (I use mix of Italian seasonings)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cub fresh white bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Topping:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons wheat flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
3 ounces grated cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1 egg, separated

1. For the crust, knead crust ingredients together until it makes a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
2. For the filling, melt butter in pot. Cook onions until tender. Add mushrooms and garlic, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour off liquid. Stir in herbs, parsley, bread crumbs, and seasoning. Let cool.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put a baking sheet in the oven. Press pie crust into 9-inch pie pan, making a narrow rim around top edge. Chill 20 minutes.
4. For topping, melt butter in a pan. Stir in flour. Cook 2 minutes. Add milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, mustard powder, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Whisk egg white until it holds soft peaks. Then fold egg white into topping.
5. Spread dijon mustard over base of pie crust with a spatula. Spoon mushroom filling in and level it out.
6. Pour topping over filling. Bake 35-45 minutes in the oven on top of the preheated baking sheet. Pie is ready when top is golden.

(Modified from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cooking)

Orange Vegetable Casserole

This is supposed to be made entirely with sweet potatoes. But I was cleaning out the refrigerator. So I used a combination of sweet potato, butternut squash, and carrot, and it was AWESOME. Sadly, we're trying to track down a possible dairy allergy this year, so there will be no cheese involved in my holiday meal.

Casserole:
4 jumbo sweet potatoes, peeled, chunked, and boiled
(or substitute in other orange veggies)
1 large egg
3 cups grated cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Topping:
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
tiny pinch ground cloves
2/3 cup melted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

Mix casserole ingredients together, put in a casserole dish. Mix the topping ingredients together and spread evenly over the casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

(Modified from The Grit Cookbook)

What are your favorite meat-free holiday dishes?

For more green holiday ideas, visit the Kelly Green Giant's Green Holidays Guide.

4 comments:

robbie @ going green mama said...

My favorite is "hay and straw" from the Frugal Gourmet Christmas cook book. It is basically plain and spinach pastas, dripping in garlic, olive oil and butter, and it's fabulous. I never did say it was healthy!!!

Kelly said...

That sounds delicious! And it could be easy to make dairy free using a non-dairy spread like Earth Balance.

holidayrecipes said...

Thanks for sharing these vegetarian holiday recipes. They look great. It's becoming more and more important daily to reduce our impact on the environment

I've been a vegetarian for several years. I think the casserole is a great dinner idea. It can feed a whole family. I also love curried foods, so I think I'll try the pumpkin soup. Thanks for sharing :)

Happy Holidays!

Suzanne Holt said...

That Vegetarian Christmas pie sounds fabulous! Yum! The asparagus in the photo looks yum too. It's so easy to make too. I cut the bottom tips, spread them on a baking pan and sprinkle olive oil, salt pepper and a little lemon on them. Super easy and delicious!

Suzanne Holt

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