Merry meat free magic: Vegan and vegetarian dishes are given a Christmas touch thanks to chefs

Serves 4

Mushroom, Kale & Chestnut Pies

What you’ll need

500g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 small celeriac (about 500g), peeled and cut into large chunks

2 tbsp vegan butter

1 tbsp plant-based milk

2½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried

2 garlic cloves, minced

400g mixed mushrooms (chestnut, button), wiped clean, halved or quartered

20g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 100ml boiling water

180g cooked chestnuts, halved or quartered

A splash of white wine (optional)

120g young kale, stems removed, shredded

250ml vegetable stock

½ lemon, for squeezing

250ml oat or soya cream

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve

Nutmeg, for grating

1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp water

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

First, make the mash. Put the potatoes and celeriac in a large pan of salted boiling water and simmer for 15–18 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to steam dry in the colander for a few minutes. Tip back into the pan and mash well with a potato masher or pass through a ricer for super-smooth mash. Beat in the butter and milk and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a sauté pan or deep-sided frying pan over a low-medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook the onion, celery and half the thyme for 6–8 minutes, until softened and lightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove from the pan onto a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. When hot, add the fresh mushrooms, stirring and frying for 3–4 minutes until slightly browned and softened. Reduce the heat to medium, chop the porcini mushrooms and add to the frying pan, reserving their soaking liquid. Fry for a further minute.

Return the onion to the pan along with the chestnuts and cook for a minute or two. Add a splash of wine (if using) and allow to bubble for 30 seconds then stir in the kale. Add the stock, a squeeze of lemon juice and the reserved porcini water. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring until combined. Stir in the cream, parsley and remaining thyme, grate in some nutmeg to taste and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the cornflour mixture, bring to the boil and stir for a minute until thickened a little. Remove from the heat and spoon into 4 individual pie dishes or a 25cm pie dish. Allow to rest for a minute or two and then pipe or spoon the mash on top.

Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Ainsley’s Good Mood Food by Ainsley Harriott, Ebury Press, £20. Photography Dan Jones. Available now

Festive Roast with Savoury Stuffing and Special Gravy

Serves 6-8

What you’ll need

For the crust

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to grease

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp ground flax seeds or ground almonds

3 x Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages (about 150g), or others of your choice

2 x Linda McCartney vegetarian burgers, or others of your choice

130g Linda McCartney vegan mince, or alternative of your choice

1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the savoury stuffing

4 tbsp olive oil

3 celery sticks, tough strings removed, finely chopped

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

12 sage leaves, very finely chopped

2 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and very finely chopped

400g breadcrumbs

250ml warm water

Leaves from a small bunch of flatleaf parsley, very finely chopped

For the special gravy

2 tbsp olive oil

120g mushrooms, finely chopped

2 tbsp red miso

2 tbsp hot water

600ml vegetable stock

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp soy sauce

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin with oil and line it with baking paper.

Put all the crust ingredients in a food processor and season well.

Blitz until everything is very finely chopped and the mixture holds together when pressed firmly between your fingers.

Transfer the mixture to the lined loaf tin and firmly press it out over the base and up the full height of the sides of the tin, compacting it as you go with your hands or the back of a spoon. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, for the stuffing, add the oil to a large non-stick frying pan and place it over a medium heat. Add the celery, onions and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Then add the sage and rosemary and fry for another 3–5 minutes until you smell the aromas. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs, warm water and parsley. Mix well and season generously to taste.

Tip the mixture into the cavity of the crust you made earlier and smooth it out, so the crust and filling are flat and even at the top.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour, until browned and firm to the touch. Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert the tin on to a serving dish. Serve alongside some roast vegetables and the special gravy.

For the special gravy, put the olive oil into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté them for 10–12 minutes, until softened and browned.

Put the miso into a bowl and mix with the hot water to make a paste.

Add this to the pan of mushrooms together with the stock, garlic powder and soy sauce. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the gravy into a blender and purée until smooth. Taste and add more soy sauce, if necessary. Pour the gravy back into the pan and reheat just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen: Over 90 plant-based recipes to save the planet and nourish the soul by Linda, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, Seven Dials, £26. Available now

Midwinter Vegan Tart

Serves 6-8

What you’ll need

For the filling

300g small cauliflower florets

20g pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

60g kale, shredded

300g potatoes, such as Maris Piper, cubed (or cooled cooked leftovers)

Juice of ½ lemon

Sea salt and black pepper

For the cauliflower purée

250g cauliflower florets 2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil

To assemble

2 sheets of filo pastry (about 48 x 25cm)

Extra virgin rapeseed oil, to brush

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.

To prepare the filling, put the cauliflower florets into a roasting tray and trickle over 1 tbsp rapeseed oil. Scatter over the pumpkin seeds and stir to give everything a good coating of oil. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes then stir in the kale with another 1 tbsp oil. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and the kale is a little crispy.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender; drain. Remove the roasting tray from the oven when the cauliflower and kale are ready, add the potatoes and set aside. Lower the oven setting to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.

To make the cauliflower purée, put the cauliflower florets and garlic cloves in a saucepan and pour on enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10–15 minutes until soft. Drain well and put into a blender with the extra virgin rapeseed oil. Blend until smooth.

Combine the veg mix and cauliflower purée, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lay the filo pastry on a non-stick baking sheet, overlapping the sheets about halfway across and brush the bottom layer of the overlap with rapeseed oil. Pile the filling mixture evenly on top, leaving a 5cm clear margin along the edges of the pastry. Fold the uncovered pastry up over the edges of the filling and brush with more rapeseed oil.

Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes until the pastry is crisp. The tart is best served straight from the oven but also good to eat warm.

Recipe courtesy of Christmas at River Cottage by Lucy Brazier and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Bloomsbury Publishing, £22. Photography by Charlotte Bland. Available now

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