Christmas Dinner....More Vegetarian Recipes to feed the Meat Eaters

Merry belated Christmas! If all the Christmas cheer has left you feeling over stuffed and exhausted, perhaps you are now ready to try a few vegetarian recipes for the New Year.

My family is not vegan, heck, I'm not even vegan. I tired the vegan thing for just over two years. While I felt great, I kinda got sick of feeling like a pain in the ass every time that I ate out. So I let some of it slide. I now eat eggs from time to time, and I do enjoy the occasional dish with cheese. What I took from my two years as a vegan was some great recipes! I don't drink milk, or eat yogurt. I found that almond milk is a far better product and that coconut based yogurt hits the spot if you have a craving or come across a recipe calling for it.

But what did I feed my family for Christmas eve dinner!? Well, I had 5 people present, all meat eaters (my husband is a meat eater by the way, and I have managed to keep him full and eating vegetarian every day for dinner). I have made my family the standard turkey fare in the past, but this year I just did not feel like having a dead animal on my counter. So, I had to plan to fill up five meat eaters without meat!

While I did serve brie cheese as an app, and I did have dairy filled sugary desserts, everything in between was vegan. Here are my recipes for the three dishes I served, great for day to day as sides, or as entrees, not just for a special Christmas dinner. I started with a butternut squash soup (and I'll posted that recipe another time), for now, here are three excellent recipes to launch you into a New Year of less meat.

Cumin Scented Bulgar with Sweet Potato (EASY!)

Chop up some sweet potato (cubes) and toss them in a bowl. Cover in oil (you'll be baking this, so we don't want olive oil - thats a no no with high heat) I like roasting with Avacado Oil. Sprinkle with cumin, toss it about til its all covered. Bake for 30-40 at 350 degrees.

Make your bulgar - its a great grain. Its easily located in the health food section at zehrs or sobeys' - also at Goodness Me or Fiddleheads. Directions are on the bag, but it only takes 12min plus boiling time. Great tip -- You can make using water, OR for added flavour, use veggie soup broth. Just boil your liquid, add the bulgar- and simmer with the lid on for 12 min. 

Once your potato is roasted and bulgar is made, mix them both together in the bowl, add juice from a fresh lemon and (optional) fresh chopped cilantro. 

Thats is! You won't believe how filling and flavour filled this easy dish will be. 

Recipe Two (EVEN EASIER!)

Chop up a bunch of beets and carrots (cube size) --this is also good with sweet potato in the mix, but because I was serving it with the above note bulgar dish, I left the sweet potato out for Christmas dinner. Put it all in a bowl and toss with a high heat oil (Avacado is my recommendation), sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. This makes it like a treat dish. During the year, when its just my husband and I, I leave the sugar out when I roast this combo. Honestly, the beets are sweet enough --- but if you are feeding children, or entertaining, brown sugar makes everything appealing. Roast it all for 30-40min at 350.

Recipe Three (a bit more involved, but still not difficult) 

So this one has been kinda taken from the vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen. It my absolute highest recommended cookbook. I believe that over the years of making it, its a bit different then there's, but its pretty close.

Chop up two or three white potato's (cubes) toss in a high heat oil and season with some pink salt (or sea salt) and pepper. Roast at 350 for 30min. Chop up two bunches of asparagus. Season it the same way - oil, salt and pepper. In the last 15min of your potato roasting, you'll add the asparagus so it roasts for 15min. 

In a blender (I like the small magic bullet for this), put in two avacado's. A bunch of chopped dill, juice from a whole lemon and some salt and pepper. Blend (if blending is giving you a hard time, just add a bit of oil for added liquid). Once your potato and asparagus are done, put it all in a bowl and cover it in your avacado dill blend. It'll coat your potato and asparagus like an alfredo sauce, thick and creamy. It's amazing. This dish always impresses.

The Thug Kitchen version includes some green onion, you'd add it to the blender sauce and chop some up for a sprinkle topping, but my husband and I are not onion fans, so I leave it out. Its tasty enough without them, but I have made it with them too, and despite not being an onion fan, it worked well!

There you go! This fed 5 meat eaters. Everyone was stuffed, there was lots of leftovers and dessert put us all over the edge of pure gluttony. No one missed the meat. 

Happy Boxing Day! Please feel free to reply, or email me if you have questions. Also, I'm always open to suggestions on what you'd like to hear about next. I am an Osteopath DO(MP), and Experienced Yoga Teacher, card carrying Vegetarian for nearly 30years with loads of nutritional knowledge. 

Dana Smith DO(MP)

Dana Smith