Christmas for me is all about spending time with the people you love and eating delicious food. This year I will spending Christmas with my parents and I will be the one in charge of the all the cooking! We are going to have for the first time a vegan Christmas and I hope I can show them that you can have an utterly delicious and sumptuous Christmas without animal products. The mushroom & nut wellington is probably one of my favourite thing to make when it comes to celebrations, the filling is very “meaty” and packed with lots of different textures and flavours. And how can you beat a flaky layer of puff pastry? The lemony potatoes are officially my favourite way of eating potatoes EVER! The lemon together with the garlic and rosemary infuse the potatoes with the most gorgeous flavours! Finally the maple Brussel sprouts are probably my favourite way to eat Brussel sprouts as the maple syrup adds a lovely sweetness that goes so well with the crunchy hazelnuts and the more tangy pomegranate seeds.
Mushroom & Nut Wellington
Serves 4-5 people
1 white onion – finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – chopped
1/2 cup of red split lentils
7 chestnut mushrooms- sliced
1 cup of mixed nuts – I have used a mix of walnuts, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts – roughly chopped
1 carrot – peeled and chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup of cooked chestnuts (about 80-100gr) – roughly chopped
1tbsp of brown miso paste
A small bunch of fresh sage- leaves finely chopped
An handful of fresh thyme leaves
And handful of fresh rosemary – roughly chopped
1tsp of apple cider vinegar
A dash of oil for cooking
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pack of shop bought puff pastry
Give the lentils a rinse, place them in a pan, cover them with boiling water and cook them until soft and mushy. About 10-15 minutes. Drain them and set onto one side.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius.
Add the oil to a large frying pan. Once hot add in the chopped onion and carrot. Cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent and soft. Add in the chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the chopped mushrooms and chestnut. Cook for 4-6 minutes until all the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add in the miso paste, all the herbs and the nuts. Mix everything really well and keep cooking for another 5 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor and add the cooked lentils as well. Pulse few times, you don’t want to have a completely pureed mixture so make sure you don’t over processed it.
Cover a large baking tray with some parchment paper. Roll the puff pastry sheet onto it. Place the mushroom mixture in the middle of the sheet trying to form a “sausage” kind of shape. Fold the pastry from each side onto the mixture sealing the wellington. Close each ends by folding the pastry. Cut out the any excess and if you want roll the pastry again an cut out stars to decorate the wellington. Flip the wellington onto the other side so you won’t see the seam of the pastry fold. Brush it with some non dairy milk ( I have used cashew milk) and place it in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the puff pastry is nice and golden.
Cut the wellington into slices and enjoy while still warm!
Lemon & Rosemary Potatoes
Serves 3-4 people
500gr of baby potatoes
1 head of garlic
A generous bunch of fresh rosemary
1 lemon – preferably organic or unwaxed
3 tbsp of olive oil
Plenty of salt and pepper to taste
Cut the lemon into slices and place them at the bottom of a baking tray. Place the potatoes on top. Add the olive oil, rosemary (stalk included) and all the garlic cloves. With your hands mix everything together so the potatoes get fully coated. Make sure the lemon slices are still at the bottom of the tray. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Roast them in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown and slightly crispy. The lemon slices should have gone soft and squidgy. I love rubbing them onto the potatoes for that extra zing!
Maple & Cranberries Brussel Sprouts
Serves 3-4 people
500gr of Brussel Sprouts
1/2 cup of hazelnuts
An handful of dried cranberries – soak in some warm water for 30 minutes
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Slice the Brussel sprouts in half and add them to a baking tray with a generous drizzle of olive oil, 1 tbsp of maple syrup, salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for 15 minutes. At this point add in the hazelnuts. Place them back in the oven for another 15 minutes until they start to go golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven, add the other tablespoon of maple syrup and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, cranberries and some black pepper.