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A memorable vegetarian Christmas dinner should include a variety of appetizers, an outstanding main course and flavorful desserts. Vegetarians typically forgo foods containing meat products, so cooks should be sure to use acceptable ingredients. An important tip is to choose recipes where these items either are not included or can be replaced with vegetarian-friendly substitutions.
The holiday dinner can start off with light appetizers, such as red, white and green salad or roasted chestnuts. Soup is another appetizer option, and many flavors can be served either hot or cold. Vegetarian options include bell pepper, French onion and minestrone soup.
For finger-food appetizers, a platter of crudités, French for raw vegetables, can be placed on a buffet table. A variety of vegetables can be used, including mushrooms, broccoli and celery. The vegetables should be prepared so they are appealing and ready to eat. They should be peeled, have seeds and spots removed, and be cut into bite-sized sticks or rounds. An assortment of vegetarian dips, such as hummus, herb dip and Caesar dressing, should be served with the vegetables.
A main course for a vegetarian Christmas dinner should be in step with the significance of the occasion, and ensure that the entree is special enough for the holiday. Vegetarian entree options include winter squash risotto, eggplant gratin or a Greek dish, spanakopita, which is a spinach-cheese pie. Other main entree options for a vegetarian Christmas dinner include cabbage rolls, lasagna and vegetable gratin.
Side dishes for a vegetarian Christmas dinner should focus on traditional favorites, such as stuffing, potatoes and gravy, which can be adapted to be vegetarian-friendly. For example, a nut-based rather than meat-based gravy recipe can be used. Adding garlic to traditional mashed potatoes adds extra flavor, and stuffing can be baked casserole-style with apples and walnuts rather than in a turkey. Other side dishes include stuffed tomatoes and stuffed sweet potatoes.
Another vegetarian Christmas dinner mainstay is bread. Biscuits, corn bread and dinner rolls can all be made using vegetarian recipes. Another option is making popovers, which can be served hot out of the oven.
No vegetarian Christmas dinner would be complete without a delectable dessert. A tip for selecting a suitable dessert is to choose a family favorite recipe and adapt it to be vegetarian, such as plum pudding or mincemeat. Mincemeat can be made with vegetables rather than meat, and plum pudding can be made without suet. Other vegetarian Christmas dinner dessert options include apple pie and gingerbread. A vegetarian Christmas dinner can be topped off with mulled wine.