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Award-winning food writer Nicola Miller takes Suffolk News through her best non-meat alternatives for Christmas dinner



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With the number of vegetarians and vegans in the UK on the increase, what are some of the best non-meat alternatives for Christmas lunch or dinner this festive period?

SuffolkNews spoke to Nicola Miller, freelance writer, columnist for Iliffe Media and Guild of Food Writers Online Food Writer of the Year 2020, for some ideas.

These are seven of the suggestions she put forward.

Vegetarian pies are a great alternative to meat at Christmas.
Vegetarian pies are a great alternative to meat at Christmas.

1. Individual Christmas pies

These vegetarian pies from the BBC can be made with pastry, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes and more.

For the recipe, click here.

Award-winning food writer Nicola Miller has taken us through some of her best non-meat alternatives for Christmas dinner this year.
Award-winning food writer Nicola Miller has taken us through some of her best non-meat alternatives for Christmas dinner this year.

Nicola also said a parsnip and carrot-topped tarte tatin made from all-butter puff pastry scattered with chopped walnuts was a more than satisfactory alternative.

2. Squash and chestnut crackers

These can be served with gravy and all the trimmings. You can get creative with the pastry as well.

For the recipe, click here.

Why not try a squash and chestnut cracker this year?
Why not try a squash and chestnut cracker this year?

3. Roast stuffed pumpkin with gingery tomato sauce

This Nigella Lawson recipe looks delicious and there's no need for a, as she calls it, microwavé either.

For the recipe, click here.

Nigella Lawson's pumpkin recipe could be worth a go.
Nigella Lawson's pumpkin recipe could be worth a go.

A variation on this could be done with a cauliflower or celeriac flavoured with shawarma spices, Nicola said.

4. Savoy cabbage, walnut and sage lasagne

Maybe try a Savoy cabbage, walnut and sage lasagne this festive period.
Maybe try a Savoy cabbage, walnut and sage lasagne this festive period.

Nicola said a vegetarian lasagne made a good centre piece meal, especially if you are not bothered about traditional roasts.

Click here for this Waitrose recipe.

5. Chickpea sambusa with spinach and mint

Why not try this sambusa recipe?

6. Persian squash pistachio roast

This Jamie Oliver recipe has 'brash, punchy' flavours suitable for Christmas.

To check it out, click here.

7. Plov

Lastly, Nicola said one option was a plov, a Russian one pot dish, stuffed with saffron, dried apricots, golden raisins, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, crispy tofu or quorn.

She said they can easily be made vegan as well.

For a recipe, try here.