A Merry Veggie Christmas
A Merry Veggie ChristmasBack to News
Vegetarianism often comes with the territory of caring for the environment and I have dabbled in being plant-based myself. In fact, all of 2020 I stuck to a vegetarian diet but crumbled when it came to Christmas and I was stuck in lockdown, feeling homesick and nostalgic for a classic Christmas dinner. I still try to eat more veggie meals than meat-based but I am not perfect AT ALL. I was interested to see what plant-based Christmas meals were out there because it feels like we are pushed into this idea of a big ol’ turkey in the middle of the table but I can’t bring myself to believe that people are really that bothered about it.
Obviously, as is my favourite thing to do when I have a query, I took to google and found quite a few vegetarian sides and a whole bunch of puddings but there weren’t many main dishes that could grace a vegetarian Christmas table. What there was, was an abundance of pastry wrapped delights such as sausage plaits and beef wellingtons. At first, I didn’t really see them as being all that Christmas-y but looking at the pictures of artful holly leaves made of pastry and the way they looked surrounded by all the traditional festive trimmings I figured...why couldn’t they be festive!
I tried out making a vegetarian sausage plait that would make a great centre piece for any table.
For the ‘sausage meat’ I used the BBC Good Food vegetarian sausage roll recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegetarian-sausage-rolls
I had to substitute the brown rice miso (can’t find it anywhere!) for soy sauce and also added a little Christmas flair to mine with a little cranberry sauce.
The recipe was pretty easy to follow. I always prep everything before I start so everything is ready to grab as you move through the instructions. The substitution of 1 tablespoon of miso for 1 tablespoon of soy sauce worked pretty great. The only thing I had trouble with was cutting the leeks finely - weirdly hard to chop up a leek apparently! Adding the cranberry sauce right at the end, about 3 teaspoons was good for me but definitely taste as you go because you might prefer less or more.
Instead of following the instructions for making individual sausage rolls I used my pastry to make the plait. I rolled it out so it was a little bigger and marked out a middle third for the ‘meat’ to go in. Now here is the point where I greatly overestimated my culinary skills and thought I would be able to cut with no guide. It wasn’t the worst...but it wasn’t the best. For those of you who aren’t quite so (mistakenly) confident in your cutting skills, here is a link to a video on how to do it correctly.
I put nearly all of the filling down the middle of the pastry. You can probably add all of it but I was wary of over-filling as this was a first attempt. After this I tucked up the ends and then folded over the strips. A bit of egg wash and it was ready to go into the oven!
The recipe I used was for small individual sausage rolls and said to cook it for around 25-30 mins but as this was a bigger one, I figured I would need longer. I started out with 30 mins and then added an extra 5 at a time until I was happy with how it looked. It was in for around 45 minutes but always make sure you check on yours while it’s baking.
I was so happy with how this turned out and it tasted so good! The addition of the cranberry sauce gave it a bit of festive fun and I think it would go great with all the other trimmings of a usual Christmas dinner.
Plait instructions: How to: Braiding puff pastry | Really Simple Recipes