Christmas Dinner


Any kind of festivities can be a bit daunting for anyone on a plantbased, gluten/dairy/sugar free diet, christamas time can be especially tricky for the high volume of parties and dinner parties serving nothing but meat and chocolaty treat and deserts. The temptation for the latter can be extreme. Oscar Wilde once said "I can resist anything but temptation" and that literally couldn't define christmas better for me. 
I often find myself pulling back from any kind of hosting activities, because I'm scared my guests won't like the idea of a plant-based christmas dinner and will go running home to stuff themselves with some ham. I wondered why people are resistant to the idea and I realised it's mostly thinking they will get served salads and/or quinoa and will leave still feeling hungry, so when I found out what the problem was I proceeded to think of a solution and this is what I came up with! 
The walnut & rice filled mushrooms will both fill you up and replace the meat with a similar kind of texture, the cinnamon paprika roasted sweet potatoes are both incredibly christmassy, simply delicious and filling and lastly I wanted to add a german tradition "Rotkohl" aka red cabbage which has kind of a sweet-ish soft texture and just tastes amazing. 
All three each take under an hour to make so you shouldn't really be stuck in the kitchen for too long (just another benefit to not cooking meat)!

Serves 3-4

For the sweet poatatoes
2 medium-sized sweet poatoes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons paprika
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200°C. 
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized cubes, add all of the spices, salt and drizzle with oil in a bowl. 
Mix well until all cubes are coated and fill into a baking dish. 
Cook for about 40 mins until the potatoes turn golden and crunchy. 

For the stuffed mushrooms
6 portobello mushrooms
1 cup black rice
60gr choppes walnunts
2 handfuls parsley
2 garlic cloves
inch of salt

Preheat oven to 180°C (or just add the tray to the sweet potatoes in the oven)
Cook the rice in lightly salted water (about 30-40mins), taste to know when ready. 
Clean the mushroom and cut or pull away the stems, place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and into the oven for about 10-15 mins, check with a fork if they are well cooked (this depends on their size). 
Chop the walnuts into tiny pieces and roast for a few minutes in the oven or in a pan. 
In a saucepan mix oil, garlic and parsley and cook whilst stirring often for a few minutes, add the walnuts and roast for another few minutes. 
When the rice is cooked mix in the sauce and fill the mushrooms! 

For the red cabbage
500gr red cabbage
2 apples
vegetable stock cube
2 cinnamon sticks
juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 anis star
2 cloves

Place a couple of cups of water and the vegetable stock into a big pot and bring to boil.
Wash and peel off front leaves of the red cabbage, then slice as thinnly as you can lengthways and place into pot with the water. 
Wash and cut the apples into little cubes and add to the pot as well as all of the spices. Leave to simmer on medium-low heat for about half an hour stirring occasionally. 
The cooking time will vary depending on how thinnly the cabbage has been sliced - for reference, mine was quite thin. 

That's it, hope you enjoy!! x

MainsJil Carrara