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I am sure everyone is gearing up for the biggest cooking fest of the year, Christmas! Instead of doing the usual Turkey and stuffing recipes, I decided to look at vegetarian dishes this year. Often overlooked during this period in particular, my vegetarian friends say they usually end up with the normal Christmas dinner without the meat! Why not make your veggie guests feel special with a purpose made dish? Below are a few recipes which are easy to make and not a nut roast in sight! All can be made beforehand, leaving you time to enjoy your guests when they arrive and would be complemented by the vegetables and potatoes you mare making for the rest of your guests.

Buen Apetito and Feliz Navidad

Roasted Pesto Portobellos

8 large Portobello mushroom caps

2tbs extra virgin olive oil

I tbsp pesto

2 to 3 cup breadcrumbs

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Quarter cup hazelnuts finely chopped

Third cup parmesan cheese

Salt taste

Preheat oven to 180º

Gently remove stems from mushrooms. Finely chop the stems and set aside. Lightly brush the mushroom tops with olive oil. Grill side up on a baking sheet and lightly salt. Take the chopped stems and mix with breadcrumbs, pesto, zest, vinegar and hazelnuts. Spoon 2 tbsp into each mushroom cap. Roast in oven for 5 minutes, sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Mushroom and Cheese Macaroni

400g whole wheat macaroni

60g butter or margarine

2 tbsp chopped parsley

450g mushrooms

60g grated cheese

Cook macaroni. Slice mushrooms and fry in fat for 8 mins and then add the parsley. Drain the macaroni and toss in the mushrooms and juice. Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

Almond and Feta Stuffed Peppers

4 large Bell Peppers green/red or both

2 cups rice cooked

1 cup almonds

2 onions thinly sliced

1 can tomatoes

Quarter cup of fresh parsley

1 cup feta cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese grated

2 eggs


Salt and pepper

Wash peppers and remove stems and seeds. Drop into a pan of boiling water, boil for 2 minutes and then plunge straight into cold water. In a large bowl mix the rest of the ingredients except the mozzarella cheese. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

Stuffed Artichokes

8 artichokes

2 tsp butter

2 large onions

3 cloves of garlic

2 cup walnuts

Half cup of bread crumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Half cup of apple juice

Half cup of fresh parsley

¼ tsp thyme

¼ tsp paprika

2 cups of cheddar cheese

2tbs fresh lemon juice

Cook chopped onions and garlic in butter until translucent. Stir in walnuts, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Cook over a low heat for 6 to 7 minutes and stir all the time. Add apple juice, parsley, thyme and paprika and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add cheese and lemon juice and mix well. Divide the stuffing among the artichokes, cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes in a medium heat oven.

Tomato and Cheese Tart

200g full fat soft cheese

75g butter

2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk

10ml mustard

225g plain flour

450g ripe tomatoes

75ml milk


Salt and pepper

Beat half the cheese with butter, egg yolk and mustard. Mix into flour and then knead until smooth. Roll out pastry and line a tin, bake in 200º for 10 to 15 minutes until set. Meanwhile skin tomatoes and cut into wedges. Whisk together the eggs, remaining cheese, milk and rosemary and seasoning. Arrange tomatoes in flan case and pour over mixture. Bake on 180º for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.