"You no longer have to be jealous of your peers tucking into their roast turkey or beef."
Holidays and Festivals are times of great enjoyment and celebration.
They often involve people getting together and indulging in a tasty feast.
Occasionally however, vegetarians can feel sidelined with a lack of appetising options available to them.
These three recipes mean that you will no longer have to be jealous of your peers at the dinner table tucking into their roast turkey or beef.
Spicy Roasted Whole Cauliflower
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ a small bunch of fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large cauliflower, with outer leaves left on
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
- Mash the garlic, paprika, curry powder, and half of the thyme leaves into a paste. Add two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem. Cut a cross into the base.
- Rub all over with the paste, then place on a lightly greased baking tray.
- Squeeze the lemon juice on top, then pop in the hot oven for around 50 minutes, or until just tender and golden.
- Sprinkle over the lemon zest and pick over the remaining thyme leaves. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then carve up.
This can be served with rice, steamed vegetables, or leafy green salad.
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 125g vegetarian Halloumi cheese, thinly sliced
- 50g cashews
- 50g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 100g walnuts
- 50g ground almonds
- 150g cooked basmati rice (about 75g uncooked weight), cooled
- 1 small red pepper, cut into small dice (about ½ cm)
- 2 – 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 75ml hot light stock
- 50g stoned black olives, halved
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 375F / Gas 5. Grease a 450g loaf tin.
- Line the base and ends with a single strip of baking paper, leaving an overhang at each end. This will help to ease the loaf out of the tin when cooked.
- Gently sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan until soft but not coloured. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Use the same pan to fry the halloumi cheese quickly until brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool, then cut into small dices.
- Grind the cashew nuts with half the walnuts until powdery and add the breadcrumbs.
- Put the remaining walnuts into a processor and process until very finely chopped.
- In a large bowl, mix all the nuts together with the onions and halloumi cheese and all the remaining ingredients.
- Press the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, with a slightly rounded top surface. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until firm.
- Check after 30 minutes, and if it appears to be browning too fast, cover with foil.
Curried Vegetable Pie
For the pastry:
- 125g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 50g butter, cubed
- 30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.
- Use fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it is mixed well together with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that it does not become greasy.
- Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.
For the pie:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground turmeric and ground cumin
- 2 carrots, cubed
- 1 parsnip, cubed
- 225g cauliflower florets
- 1 courgette, cubed
- 75g frozen peas
- 25g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 4 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp milk, to glaze
- Heat oven to 200C / Fan 180C / Gas 6.
- Heat oil in a large pan, then cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 2-3 mins until tender.
- Stir in the garam masala, turmeric and cumin, then cook for a further 2-3 mins.
- Add carrots, parsnip, cauliflower and courgette to the pan with 300ml of water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins until the vegetables are almost tender.
- Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, then mix with the peas.
- Melt butter in a small pan, stir in flour, then cook for 1 min. Add reserved vegetable cooking liquid, then cook, stirring, until it forms a thick sauce.
- Simmer for 3 mins, stirring, then remove from heat and stir in the yogurt, coriander, vegetables and seasoning. Leave to cool.
- Spoon the mixture into a pie dish. Brush the rim of the dish with water.
- Roll out pastry and use to cover the pie, pressing firmly on to the rim. Trim edges and press firmly to seal.
- Make a hole in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Brush with the milk, place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 mins.
With the range of colours, tastes, and flavours in vegetarian food, these recipes are worth trying whether you are vegetarian or not.
Preparing and cooking food, especially with family and friends, can be really fun. So roll up your sleeves, get stuck in, and try making one of these yourself!