What! No Turkey?!

Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on December 13, 2016.

Christmas is almost upon us and with it the festivities and the indulging can begin. The inner child in us can rejoice at all the fun and excitement of this month. It can be quite upsetting if any hiccups occur along the way or on the day, so planning and preparation is essential. With the […]

Christmas is almost upon us and with it the festivities and the indulging can begin. The inner child in us can rejoice at all the fun and excitement of this month. It can be quite upsetting if any hiccups occur along the way or on the day, so planning and preparation is essential.

With the rise in popularity in vegetarianism and veganism, many homes across the country are facing a new hurdle for the day. What should they serve the vegetarian/vegan who’s joining them this year?

Well don’t panic, there is plenty to offer. After years of experience of dealing with the prospect of looking at a plate of vegetables and gravy, I will give you some handy tips and recipes to ensure your new dinner guest are sufficiently stuffed – as is the norm of the day!

Many non-meat eaters are delighted with the prospect of trying something new and tasty, so think outside the box. We do like to venture away from plates of salad and tofu.

For your starter an easy option for everyone to enjoy would be soup, just be careful which stock you use. Or for something a bit more complex and something light, different bruschetta’s is always a hit.

Aíne Carlin has some delicious recipes for starters in her cookbook “The New Vegan”.

For the main course, if you like making meals from scratch then the best option is to go with is a nut loaf. There’s more to it than nuts, and it can be as simple or as complex as you like. And can be made weeks in advance, once it’s frozen after the prep is done. They also are quick to cook and don’t take up too much room in the oven.  This will go great with all the usual vegetables for the day. If you really want to impress, you could make separate gravy without the beef dripping. Though once you taste it you won’t want any other gravy on your own plate. Again this can be made ahead and frozen.

Jamie Oliver has a fantastic recipe for a Nut loaf and gravy in his new cookbook “Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook”.  It also has some lovely recipes for your vegetables.

Finally to the dessert, the majority of desserts are vegetarian friendly, so whatever you have planned will most likely go down a treat. But if your guest is vegan, you’ll need something separate for them. If you’re looking for some decadent, rich and gooey for your dessert, then the only cook books to consult are either of “The Happy Pear” cookbooks. In both of these there is plenty to choose from. For example they have a beautiful Banoffee pie, or an indulgent chocolate cake. They’re so good; you’ll struggle to believe they’re vegan.

Hopefully this will help alleviate any worries you have and you get to see happy faces all around the table. And you can relax in the knowledge your new dinner guest will be singing your praises for years to come.

If you didn’t see any recipes here that catch your eye or you fancy trying something different, there are plenty of resources here in the library to source some delicious recipes. Just come along to your nearest Fingal Library Branch and the staff there will be happy to help with your search. Or check out our books and resources online, you can reserve a cookbook and collect in your local branch.

And finally if any of this has intrigued you and would like to learn about more about Vegetarianism and Veganism there are plenty of resources in the library that will provide all the information needed. E.g. the DVD “Food Inc.”, the cookbook “Deliciously Ella” by Ella Woodward and either of the Happy Pear cookbooks.

By Claire Fay, Garristown Library