Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holiday Feasting

So, What Do You Eat, Anyway??

One of the most common questions we vegetarians hear around the holidays (and at any other time, really) is "so, what do you eat if you don't eat meat?" My answers range from "everything but the turkey" to providing a detailed listing of the menu offerings for my holiday dinner that particular year. The latter is usually the more enlightening of the two responses, so here it is... my winter solstice feast for 2008:

Menu - Christmas Dinner, 2008

Roasted squash and coconut milk soup
Mixed green salad with lemon vinaigrette
Roasted root veggies with maple, balsamic glaze
Spinach and ricotta filo strudel
Pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream

These were all very easy recipes to make and total cooking time from beginning of prep to digging in at dinner was approximately 90 minutes with two of us on prep-and-cook duty. The "meat substitute" was the filo strudel, of course, which forms the pretty focal point for the meal and it offers a savory counterpoint to the sweet roasted root veggies and a satisfying crunch!

Meat substitutes like "Tofurky" are fine for alleviating any concerns that the vegetarian's platter "isn't complete without the meat", but I prefer to opt for a healthier, non-processed, homemade main instead whenever I can. That said, I've been known to enjoy a store-bought "chickeny cutlet" at a holiday dinner from time to time!

When I'm hosting, however, strudels or savory tarts are the holiday main. This year, other than the salad, my menu was comprised entirely of recipes from two of my favorite cookbooks and are not my own creations, however I unhesitatingly recommend them.

The roasted root veggies are from a fantastic vegan cookbook published in 2008 called "Get it Ripe" by Jae Steele. Jae lives here in Toronto and her book has become my favorite cookbook of 2008! Jae also has a blog, called Domestic Affair, which is where I found the squash soup recipe. The spinach-ricotta strudel is from a Rose Reisman cookbook (not vegetarian) called "Secrets for Permanent Weight Loss", published in 2005 and which has been a wonderful resource for me with amazingly flavorful and creative dishes that are also low in calories. If you are interested in any of these recipes, please feel free to email me and I'll be happy to share them with you.

I'll be posting more of my own recipes very soon, so stay tuned.

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