For the past six years or so, my family has eaten our Cranberry Glazed Nut Loaf as the centrepiece to our Christmas dinner. It’s our favourite nut loaf and I only make it once or twice a year to keep it special. I originally posted the recipe on the blog in 2013 and it fast became a reader favourite. If you have the Bit of the Good Stuff cookbook, you’ll also find the recipe on p141 along with my favourite easy vegan Red Onion Miso Gravy.
The loaf stores really well (in fact I think it tastes even better a day or two after its made) so I’m planning on making it today (Christmas Eve). Then, tomorrow, all we need to do is cut some slices and heat them up either in the oven or in my mum’s microwave. Easy peasy and minimal time spent in the kitchen, which means more time for fun, games, films and forest walks. That’s how I like to spend my Christmas day!
While I have our main Christmas meal sorted for this year, I am really looking forward to trying out some new recipes during our week off. There are a handful in particular that have caught my eye and I thought I’d share them in today’s post in case you’re looking for some recipe inspiration too.
It wasn’t intentional, but all the recipes I’ve picked happen to be pastry-based. I do love a tasty pie or tart this time of year!
Let’s kick off with a couple of puff pastry pies that would make fantastic centrepieces for festive or winter dinners.
Ale and Mushroom Puff Pastry Pie with Champ by The Vegetarian Society
This recipe contains just 9 ingredients and takes 10 minutes to prepare. The instructions are really simple too. My family are big mushroom fans so I’m sure they’ll love this pie. I can’t wait to give it a try!
Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie by The Vegetarian Society
This pie looks so rich and inviting! It contains ready-cooked chestnuts which are easy to come by in UK supermarkets this time of year. It takes just 15 minutes to prepare and, again, the instructions look simple and straightforward.
Next up, we have a couple of tasty-looking puff pastry Wellingtons. When making these, I’d recommend planning ahead and making the filling in advance to give it time to cool down. That way, when you wrap it in the puff pastry, it will puff up and go crispy rather than soggy.
Thanksgiving Roast by Hot For Food
Lauren originally posted this as a Thanksgiving recipe, but I think it would be perfect for any special winter or festive dinner. As well as the recipe, Lauren helpfully shares a YouTube tutorial on how to make it.
Mushroom Wellington by Delicious Everyday
This recipe is one of Jennifer’s firm Christmas favourites and it looks so delicious, don’t you think? The instructions sound easy to follow and it only takes 10 minutes to prepare. Big thank you to Jennier for re-publishing a veganized version of the recipe. I can’t wait to give it a try!
Next up, we have a couple of tarts that look just perfect for this time of year. It’s really easy to make your own short-crust pastry. It’s just a case of whizzing the ingredients together in a food processor then chilling before rolling. My ‘go to’ recipe can be found in this post for Roasted Tenderstem, Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche (another recipe that would be great for festive buffets and dinner parties!) However, if you haven’t got the time or lack the inclination to make your own, there are plenty of vegan pastries available in our stores now, such as Jus-Rol.
Festive Chickpea Tart by Plant-Powered Kitchen
I’ve been meaning to try this tart ever since Dreena published the recipe. It’s high time I got round to it! The recipe uses easy to find ingredients and sounds pretty simple to follow.
Smoky Leek and Hazelnut Tart by The Vegetarian Society
Here is another tart that would be perfect for serving this season. It does use cheese in the recipe and suggests Wensleydale with cranberries, so the Sainsbury’s FreeFrom Wensleydale could work as an alternative (or the Vegusto cheese mentioned in the recipe)… otherwise I might try some blended silken tofu, Dijon mustard and nutritional yeast flakes. This is what I use in my Frittatas and I love the creamy texture it provides. When I get round to making it, I’ll be sure to report back.
Woodland Pie by The Vegetarian Society
And finally, how about a Woodland Pie? This reminds me of the kind of pies they used to serve in Tudor times… except it’s full of delicious plant-based ingredients rather than animals!
As you will have noticed, a lot of the recipes in this post come from The Vegetarian Society. Over the past few years, the society has been sharing more and more vegan recipes, which is fantastic! They have a really handy recipe app which is free to download. The recipes can be filtered in all kinds of ways, including ‘vegan’. Another feature I love about the app is that it states the prep and cooking times for each recipe. That’s always good for meal planning, especially when you want to maximise your time with the family.
Happy Holidays everyone!