Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Christmas Entrées?
November 27, 2007 12:27 PM   Subscribe

What are some good Christmas entrées for lacto-ovo vegetarians?

I'm hosting Christmas dinner for my in-laws, and a couple of the family members are lacto-ovo vegetarians. I'm doing a traditional goose for the carnivores, and I'd like to serve an entrée for the vegetarians that isn't just a repurposed side.

Google seems to lean more towards the side dishes, but I did find this nice Ask from last year.

So far, I'm thinking maybe quiche or a savory pie. I've never had a nut roast, but it sounds a little... unengaging.

Does the hivemind have any inspiration to spare?
posted by rush to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Wait - does that mean they *do* eat eggs and dairy, or they don't? I'm so confused.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:36 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: Let's see. We've made or been served:
- cheese souffle
- polenta dish
- mushroom stroganoff
- moussaka
- quiche
- risotto

Do you have some particular ingredient you'd like to include? A quick google of "vegetarian thanksgiving" or things along those lines should bring up some good ideas.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:39 PM on November 27, 2007

How about a spanish tortilla with potatoes, mushrooms, cheese and herbs? Tortillas are pretty easy to make and they're kickass.
posted by cog_nate at 12:41 PM on November 27, 2007

My family always had a gorgeous, hearty spinach lasagna for the vegetarian (me) in addition to the main dish, and both the veggies and the omnivores would snack on the leftovers for many happy days. It's very easy to make the day ahead and refrigerate, and you can add in other vegetables or just an extra layer of pasta.
posted by mochapickle at 12:47 PM on November 27, 2007

What about a tofu turkey? This is not one of those rubbery precooked things you get at the store. It takes some time to prep and some time to cook but it is very good. I make it every year for thanksgiving and it is always very well received by meat and non-meat eaters alike.
posted by chrisroberts at 12:51 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: ravioli di magro, by all means
posted by matteo at 12:52 PM on November 27, 2007

Here are a few you may want to try:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Potato Slices with a Kick

Angel Hair Noodles and Cabage
posted by adriana at 12:55 PM on November 27, 2007

I heartily second cheese soufflé (it's so good with shallots and Gruyère cheese), but it can be a bit time-sensitive.

My absolute favorite vegetarian holiday recipe is Anna Thomas's Cheddar-Walnut Balls with Orange Cranberry Sauce (from The Vegetarian Epicure). They're tasty, comforting and forgiving if they need to be reheated. Meat-eaters love them as well.

Mefi Mail me if you'd like the recipe.
posted by annaramma at 12:58 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: As a vegetarian who misses the taste and texture of meat, I've been happy with the Quorn Roast's that are available. If you like 'em, they are just a straight one for one replacement of whatever the bird is that everyone else is eating.

MMMmmmm mycoprotein!
posted by merocet at 1:01 PM on November 27, 2007

Oooh, spinach lasagna would be so good, or some kind of noodle or rice stir-fry. I'd avoid anything heavy on the eggs since a lot of people don't like eggs.

If you're looking for protein, I love tempeh - I've mostly seen it in vegan dishes, but I find it way tastier and more appealing to non-vegetarians than tofu or gluten/seitan. It's great stir-fried.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:08 PM on November 27, 2007

A Mushroom Strudel (something like this) has always gone over so well at our holiday gatherings that we ended up needing to make two of them to make sure that the vegetarian(s) got some.
posted by togdon at 1:10 PM on November 27, 2007

it's a traditional jewish dish, but so delicious: savory noodle kugel!
here's a very simple recipe. for some reason there is no mention of salt and pepper, but you'll probably want it.

i would add sauteed mushrooms and top with parmesan cheese. also, some chopped thyme and parsley would be great too, with or without the mushrooms.
posted by thinkingwoman at 1:23 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: A couple of previous threads that should help:
Thanksgiving vegetarian dishes (sides but also main dishes)
hearty veg Thanksgiving

If they are strict vegetarians, you will want to avoid: gelatin (includes some ice creams, puddings, yogurts etc), cheese made with rennet (includes most cheeses, check label), and food made with meat/poultry stocks.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:54 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: For the last 10 years (since I've been a pescatarian, and don't eat poultry), my father has made mushroom risotto for the family for Christmas. It has definitely developed into a family tradition.

If risotto is too "side-dishy" (it shouldn't be) for you, you might want to try making Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Sage Brown Butter Sauce.
I used this recipe as a base recipe, and altered it a little for Thanksgiving. It is To Die ForTM.
posted by numinous at 3:08 PM on November 27, 2007

I love eggplant parmesan, gooey with cheese and lots of garlic! Also, if you make a veggie gravy all of your side dishes become festive for a vegetarian.
posted by MiffyCLB at 4:12 PM on November 27, 2007

If you are looking for easy...Morningstar Farms Chik'n Strips are sufficiently turkey-like for me in a family of carnivores. Just saute and add cranberry sauce and vegetarian gravy at the table.
posted by Morrigan at 4:16 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: Tamales. They're traditional, festive, and yummy.

There are a zillion recipes out there for vegetarian tamales. I like them with chipotles, cheese, and a little fresh corn. And my brother-in-law makes some fantastic goat cheese tamales. Somewhere around here I have a recipe for them; if you want it, drop me a line and I'll look around for it.
posted by sculpin at 4:33 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: As a vegetarian who has been served many an unusual and inedible dish at well-meaning family Christmas dinners, I'd say, JUST ASK THE VEGETARIANS WHAT THEY WANT. We have food preferences too, just like everyone else; not all vegetarians like fake meat, maybe they're allergic to some weird vegetable, who knows.

The absolute worst part about Christmas for vegetarians in a meat household is when you're at the table, plate piled high with food you'd never choose to eat, and you're trying to choke it down and not make waves, while your family sits around you and constantly reminds you, "We made that special for you! Don't you just love unseasoned garbanzo beans with frozen spinach melted on them?" (This was my "special veggie xmas meal" 2 years ago.)
posted by holyrood at 5:04 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]

Quorn pot pie.

2nding moussaka, tamales (which depending on whether you live in one of the good parts of the world which contains abuelas, you should be able to order) and asking the vegetarians.

As a no-farmed-meat eater, I keep getting served farmed fish because shucks it's not meat is it?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:00 PM on November 27, 2007

I also like doing up a big bowl of pad thai tofu and fresh spring rolls for holidays. Of course, if you make something that awesome, you better make a lot of it because the meat eaters will want some too!

As a vegetarian who has suffered through meals with a plate of plain mashed potatoes, some canned corn and a dinner roll; I salute you for making sure your vegetarian guests get happily fed.
posted by pluckysparrow at 6:03 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: You definitely want something that doesn't involve complicated alternate cooking arrangements, while you're trying to get multiple mains and sides all hot and served at the same time. I used to be vegetarian, and honestly - I could have happily eaten something that didn't have to harmonise with all the boring roast dinner sides - but I'm probably the exception...

Personally I think you should aim to make something that can be prepared ahead of time, and cooked in the oven at the same temperature as the goose on the day. Filo pastry parcels filled with a duxelle of wild mushrooms, cream and spinach - maybe even some cranberries for a seasonal touch is a nice idea. I did this a few times, making them in the shape of a money purse, with the top tied together with a blanched strip of scallion or leek. Not really something that needs a recipe - just play it by ear.

I personally always HATED nut roasts and the like when I was veggie. Not sure I was particularly unusual in that respect either. I think a lot of vegetarians are relieved when they are served them, solely on the basis that it is something they can be sure does not contain animal products.
posted by bifter at 2:03 AM on November 28, 2007

Best answer: For the family Thanksgiving this year, my (vegetarian) partner brought Deborah Madison's roasted squash galettes: roasted squash with caramelized garlic, fresh sage, and parmesan in a yeast-raised olive oil dough. He made a dozen small pastries rather than one big one. You can find the recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

They're a handsome dish, especially if you add an egg glaze before baking, and are very festive and wintry. Bonus: they look fancy but aren't much trouble to make, and can be made in advance and baked just before serving. I tell you, the meat-eaters as well as vegetarians in our party fell upon these galettes with moans of delight, and though we were too civilized to fight over the leftovers the next day, it was a near thing.

(Vegans could use an eggless dough and eliminate the parmesan from the filling, adding more salt or sage to zing up the filling. The first time my fella made these, he left out the parmesan, and they were fantastic.)
posted by Elsa at 11:40 AM on November 28, 2007

Okay, thanks for answering.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:29 PM on November 28, 2007

Best answer: Grilled eggplant slices, rolled around crumbled feta seasoned with lemon juice and rind, fresh red chiles, fresh mint and olive oil.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:42 AM on November 29, 2007

Response by poster: IndigoRain, "lacto-ovo," like the term "vegetarian" itself, refers to what they do eat. So, in this case, we're talking about folks who do eat eggs and dairy products.
posted by rush at 12:52 PM on November 29, 2007

Best answer: Thank you to everyone that helped out - there is absolutely no way I could have planned this without your fantastic ideas.

Here's my final menu, for two days. I'm including the meat-eater menus, so you can see how I tried to make everything work together on the table.

Day One - Omnivores

Shrimp Bisque

Beet Salad

Standing Rib Roast with Sage Jus

Horseradish Cream Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Button Mushrooms
Brussels Sprouts

Baba Au Rhum

Day One - Herbivores

Cream of Asparagus

Beet Salad

Spinach & Truffle Quiche

Mashed Potatoes
Button Mushrooms
Brussels Sprouts

Baba Au Rhum

Day Two - Omnivores

Chilled Avocado Ginger

Market Green Salad

Roasted Goose

Goose Gravy
Oyster Stuffing
Beet Arancini
Seasonal Greens
Cranberry Salad

Creme Caramel

Day Two - Herbivores

Chilled Avocado Ginger

Market Green Salad

Mushroom and Potato Pie

Beet Arancini
Seasonal Greens
Cranberry Salad

Creme Caramel

Thanks again, and if you have any further input, please let me know. Cheers!
posted by rush at 11:48 AM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

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