Friday, 17 December 2010

How to Make a Vegetarian Christmas Dinner for One Person

There are two obvious reasons why anyone would have to consider how to make a vegetarian Christmas dinner for one person. The first is where the diner is a vegetarian who will unfortunately be spending Christmas alone. The second is where one person attending a Christmas family dinner is vegetarian and alternatives to roast turkey and chipolatas have to be determined. Although I am not a vegetarian, I have published many vegetarian recipes in the past, including a few on this blog, and decided that this dedicated vegetarian feature may prove popular.

I have tried in this three course recipe to make the dishes both appealing and tasty, while at the same time fairly quick and straightforward to facilitate a larger number of alternative meals also being prepared.

Vegetarian Christmas Starter/Appetizer: Cucumber, Tomato and Mozzarella Cocktail


1 4oz ball of buffalo mozzarella cheese in brine
1/2 large tomato
2" of cucumber
2 fresh mint leaves
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


The tomato should be halved by simply cutting at alternate forty-five degree angles around the circumference and all the way through to the core. The two halves thus formed can simply be twisted apart and one half placed on the serving plate. The cucumber and mozzarella should be sliced to a thickness of approximately quarter of an inch and arranged alternately in a circle around the tomato. The mint leaves should be roughly torn and scattered on top. Note that basil leaves are an excellent alternative to mint.

There are some people who do not like olive oil on their salads, so if you are not to be eating it yourself, it is always best to check. The bulk of the preparation of this dish can be done an hour or two in advance but the mint, oil and seasoning should not be added until immediately before service.

Vegetarian Christmas Main Course/Entree: Mixed Vegetable Platter


2 large potatoes
2 large carrots
2 tbsp frozen peas
2 large fresh mint leaves
Tsp freshly chopped coriander/cilantro
Little bit of butter
Salt, pepper and malt vinegar


The potatoes are cooked in two different ways for this recipe and at different times. The first potato should be peeled and cut in to bite-sized pieces. The pieces should be added to a pot of cold, lightly salted water and put on to heat. When the water is boiling, the heat should be reduced to achieve a simmer, which should be maintained for twenty minutes. The potatoes should then be drained and returned to the pot with more cold water. They should be set aside to cool in the water while the rest of the ingredients are prepared.

The second potato should now be peeled and roughly chopped. This is the potato which will be mashed so it should be put on to boil and simmer in salted water for about twenty-five minutes. The carrots should then be peeled and chopped and added to a separate pot of cold water. They should be boiled/simmered until soft and should be ready at the same time as the potatoes.

About ten minutes before the boiling potatoes and carrots are scheduled to be ready, the cooled potato pieces should be dried with kitchen towel and added to a deep frier for seven to eight minutes until golden.

When the carrots and potatoes are ready to be mashed, the peas should be added to some boiling water for three minutes while the other ingredients are plated. The potatoes should be drained and mashed with a little butter and the torn mint leaves. The carrots should be drained and mashed with a little butter and the coriander/cilantro. The mashed vegetables should be plated with an ice cream scoop.

The roast potatoes should be drained on kitchen paper before being put on the plate. The peas should be drained and seasoned with salt, pepper and malt vinegar before being added as the final touch.

Vegetarian Christmas Pudding/Dessert: Orange and Mint Jelly with Cream

The dessert course of any meal is of course the one which is most likely to suit vegetarians and omnivores alike. There are few occasions where a separate dessert has to be made for vegetarians - vegans naturally being a different matter. Perhaps, therefore, if you are preparing a vegetarian meal for one of your guests, all of your guests may like to join them in this delicious fruity and tangy creation?

Ingredients per Serving

4 fl oz fresh orange juice
1 leaf of gelatine (or according to manufacturer's guidelines)
4 fl oz whipping cream
2 mint leaves plus small sprig for garnish
Little bit of milk chocolate for grating


This dessert recipe requires to be started at least a couple of hours prior to service. That is to allow the orange and mint jelly to set.

The leaf of gelatine should be placed in to a bowl of cold water for five minutes to soften. While this is happening, the orange juice should be placed in a small saucepan with the two mint leaves and brought to a gentle simmer. The softened leaf of gelatine should be added to the gently simmering juice for a couple of minutes. Note that it is important not to let the liquid boil.

The liquid should be left to cool slightly before being poured in to a small glass serving dish. The mint leaves should at this stage be removed and discarded. When the juice is cooled completely, the glass should be placed in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours for the gelatine to set.

The cream should be whipped to form soft peaks before it is carefully spread over the jelly and formed in to a peak in the centre. The glass should then be placed on a serving plate before the chocolate is grated over the top and around the dish as a garnish. The small mint sprig forms the final touch and should be gently placed in the top of the cream.

I very much hope that if you are vegetarian, or simply have a vegetarian Christmas dinner to prepare, I have given you a few ideas as to what you can make on Christmas Day. I will have more Christmas related posts to come over the course of the next week as we get nearer to the big day - though what is to come will be largely non-vegetarian...

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