The perfect healthy vegetarian Christmas dinner - Dietician in Morningside, Sandton
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The perfect healthy vegetarian Christmas dinner

The perfect healthy vegetarian Christmas dinner

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if someone could plan the perfect healthy vegetarian Christmas dinner for you? Finally you have it! From starters to desert this is the perfect vegetarian Christmas meal just for you.

What is included in this dinner?

First of all this vegetarian Christmas dinner menu begins with a wonderful slow roasted tomato, garlic and thyme soup as well as gorgeous spinach and ricotta phyllo pie. The starter course is followed by coconut curried lentil dish and one-pot pesto pasta that are both absolutely scrumptious.

The lentil and pasta dishes are accompanied by two side dishes. These side dishes include a low carb sugar free pumpkin pie and honey mustard roast sweet potatoes which are probably two of the best side dishes I’ve ever tasted.

Because a Christmas meal is not complete without a salad, your main meal is also accompanied by a delicious salad. This festive recipe is made with tomatoes, baby marrows, palm hearts and toasted pine nuts and is also absolutely scrumptious.

And finally, to end off your vegetarian Christmas dinner with a flourish, the sugar free sweet potato chocolate brownies, low carb choc chip cookies and sugar free chocolate swirl meringues are to die for.

Do you need more recipes?

When it seems like your food inspiration has dried up here is even more Christmas dinner menu inspiration then check out The perfect healthy FISH Christmas dinner!. Likewise The perfect healthy Christmas dinner has some great non-vegetarian options should you need. Finally, if you would like some other vegetarian dinner recipes to add to your repertoire this mushroom and baby marrow microwave risotto is delicious!

I wish you a wonderful festive season (without the extra kilos) and even more happy cooking. Above all I look forward to sharing new recipes with you in the new year, Leanne xoxo

STARTERS

Slow roasted tomato, garlic and thyme soup

2kg salad tomatoes
10 sprigs fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic
2 small red onions cut into wedges
Salt to taste (I used pink Himalayan salt)
Pepper to taste
olive oil
500ml vegetable stock

Method
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and place them into a baking tray
  • Add the fresh sprigs of thyme, the garlic cloves and the red onions making sure to distribute them evenly around the baking tray
  • Drizzle the olive oil generously all over the ingredients in the tray and place the baking tray into the oven
  • Roast the tomatoes at 180⁰C for about an hour or until the skins are staring to peel away from the tomatoes and there are bits of charred skin on some of the tomatoes
  • Wait a while for the tomatoes to cool down, peel the skin off the tomatoes and place the inside of the tomatoes into a pot big enough to hold all the tomatoes and stock
  • Once all the tomatoes have been peeled and added to the pot (and the skins have been discarded) add the rest of the ingredients including all the liquid in the pan into the pot with the peeled tomatoes
  • Add the stock to the pot and blend the ingredients in the pot with hand blender
  • As soon as the tomato soup is blended and you have checked the soup to see that the seasoning is correct you are almost ready to enjoy your scrumptious and healthy bowl of soup

 

Spinach and ricotta phyllo pie

Spinach filling
1 kg bay leaf spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup fat free feta cheese
1 tsp dill
1 tsp garlic, freshly minced
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 sheets phyllo pastry
2  – 3 Tbsp olive oil

Method
  • The first part of this pie is to begin steaming your spinach (you can do this in an electric food steamer or as I did mine in a pot on the stove which has a steaming attachment)
  • The volume of the spinach is large so you may need to steam the spinach in batches, as I had to
  • Once the spinach is steamed allow it cool down and then squeeze as much liquid as you are able to out of the spinach and set it aside
  • How to work with phyllo pastry
  • The next step is to begin to prepare your phyllo pastry
  • Get a clean dish cloth and wet it under a tap
  • Squeeze the liquid out of the dish cloth so that it is damp and lay it down on a clean kitchen surface
  • Unroll the phyllo pastry and remove 4 sheets
  • Lay the four sheets of phyllo pastry one on top of the other on top of the wet dishcloth
  • Using a pastry brush each layer of the phyllo pastry with olive oil and then begin layering the sheets of pastry in the springform container
  • Fist spray the springform tin with olive oil cooking spray and line the base of the tin with baking paper (I usually lay the tin onto the baking paper and draw a circle around it onto the baking paper, which I then cut out to fit the bottom of the tin)
  • Gently lay the first sheet of pastry into the tin and gently push the pastry into the tin making sure not to break it
  • Repeat this process with all four sheets of pastry making sure to place the pastry at different angles (refer to picture) so that when you close the pie there are no gaps
  • Once all four sheets have been put into the tin you are ready to make your filling and put it into the pie
  • Combine the spinach with the rest of the filling ingredients and mix well
  • Place the filling into the pie and begin closing the pie by folding in the sheets of phyllo pastry towards the centre of the tin, from the bottom sheet of phyllo pastry to the top sheet
  • The pie is rustic looking so it doesn’t have to be particularly neat
  • Brush the top of the pie with olive oil and place into an oven that has been pre-heated to 180⁰C
  • Bake the pie for 50 – 55 minutes or until the pie is a nice golden brown colour
  • Allow the pie to cool a bit and then open the outer circle of the springform tin to release the pie

 

MAINS

 Coconut curried lentils

1 large onion, chopped
2 handfuls, baby tomatoes
1 tsp fresh crushed garlic
1 tsp fresh, crushed garlic
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
½ tsp turmeric
1 can lite coconut milk
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups green lentils
2 Tbsp garam masala
2 Tbsp tomato sauce

Method
  • If you are using a slow cooker….. place all the ingredients into the slow cooker, mix well and leave on low for 4 hours
  • Likewise, if you are cooking them on the stove…… place all the ingredients into a pot, mix well and leave to simmer on the stove for 40 – 45 minutes. Enjoy!

 

One-pot pesto pasta

3 ½ cups vegetable stock
450g spaghetti, broken in half (apologies to all the Italians I just offended)
½ cup basil and cashew pesto
1 cup baby tomatoes, halved (halve them before measuring)
2/3 cup sliced Kalamata olives

Method
  • Place the stock into a large pot and bring to the boil
  • Once boiling add the rest of the ingredients and give everything a good stir
  • Reduce the heat on the stove to a low simmer and leave the pasta to cook for 10 minutes with the lid on
  • Make sure to stir every few minutes or the pasta sticks to the pot
  • Once the 10 minutes is over leave the pot on the stove with the lid on for a further 5 minutes to absorb the rest of the liquid then enjoy!

 

Low carb sugar free pumpkin pie

1kg pumpkin, cut into cubes
2 eggs
2 egg whites
½ cup lite coconut milk
½ cup almond flour
1 ½ Tbsp stevia erythritol blend
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder

Method
  • Steam the pumpkin for 40 – 45 minutes or until it is soft enough to mash
  • Allow the pumpkin to cool down a bit and then add the rest of the ingredients
  • Mix the ingredients well so that there are no lumps of almond flour and pour into a baking dish that has been sprayed with olive oil spray
  • Bake the pumpkin pie for 55 – 60 minutes or until it is set
  • Enjoy!

 

Honey mustard roast sweet potatoes

1 kg small sweet potatoes (you can use any variety of sweet potatoes and yams will work well too)
Dressing
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp water

Method
  • Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and mix well
  • Place the sweet potatoes into an ovenproof baking dish and pour the dressing over the potatoes
  • Bake in the oven 180C for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through (if you poke them with a knife, the knife should go through easily)

 

Tomato, baby marrow and palm heart salad with toasted pine nuts

450g baby tomatoes of various different sizes
1 heaped cup sliced palm hearts
4 baby marrows, sliced
14 green olives, pitted and sliced
2 spring onions, chopped
¼ c pine nuts

Dressing
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic and herb seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
  • Cut the baby tomatoes in half and place into a salad bowl
  • Add the palm hearts, sliced baby marrows, green olive and spring onions to the tomatoes
  • Place the pine nuts onto a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes at 180⁰C or until they ate lightly toasted
  • Remove the pine nuts from the oven, allow them to cool down and add to the salad with the rest of the ingredients
  • Combine the salad dressing ingredients and mix well
  • Pour the salad dressing over the salad ingredients and toss well to combine all the flavours well
  • This salad is best served at room temperature

 

DESSERT

 

Fudgy sugar free sweet potato brownies

1 large sweet potato (should fill a 250ml cup when mashed)
2 tsp oil
40ml (Half of a third of a cup) coconut oil
¼ c stevia (make sure it’s one that it’s suitable for baking or it goes very bitter)
¼ c castor xylitol (finely ground)
2 Tbsp honey
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup almond milk
1 large egg
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp Vanilla extract

Method
  • Drizzle the sweet potato with the oil and bake in the oven at 180C for about 45 – 60 minutes or until it’s properly cooked through and soft enough to mash
  • Once cooled own peel the sweet potato and mash well
  • Combine the mashed potato with the rest of the ingredients and mix well
  • Pour the batter into an ovenproof dish that is about 22cm x 22cm in diameter and bake at 180C for 40 minutes

 

Low carb choc chip cookies

1 cup cashew nut butter*
½ cup castor xylitol
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp chocolate chips
1 jumbo egg
¼ tsp baking powder
*cashew nut butter can be quite expensive so feel free to use the nut butter of your choosing

Method
  • Mix all the ingredients together until they form a dough
  • Take spoonful’s of the dough using a teaspoon and form each spoonful of dough into a ball so that each ball is roughly the size of  a large walnut
  • Place each ball on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 180C for 10 minutes. When they come out of the oven they are soft and they harden as they cool

 

Sugar free chocolate swirl meringues

3 extra large egg whites
2 Tbsp stevia-erythritol blend (it must be suitable for baking or it goes very bitter)
¼ tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp boiling water
¼ tsp cocoa powder

Method
  1. Combine the cocoa powder and boiling water, mix them well and set aside
  2. Separate the eggs and place the egg whites into a clean bowl (if the bowl has any residue or isn’t clean then the egg whites won’t whip)
  3. Beat the egg until the they are starting to form peaks
  4. At this point start slowly adding the stevia until the egg whites are looking glossy
  5. Then add the lemon juice and vanilla until the meringue mixture has formed stiff peaks (the ultimate test is if you turn the bowl over then the egg whites stay in the bowl))
  6. Drop a few drops of the cocoa mixture into the eggs whites and fold the mixture 2 – 3 times to incorporate the chocolate (be very gentle doing this and don’t fold more than two or three times or you won’t get the swirl effect
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 120⁰C
  8. Place the meringues into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 100⁰C
  9. Bake the meringues at 100C for one hour
  10. After an hour turn the oven off, open the door to the oven slightly and allow the meringues to cool down in the oven
  11. Once they have cooled down the meringues are ready to serve and eat

 

Disclaimer

Please feel free to add the link to this post to your articles but this article is an original publication and All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. Copyright. Sandtondiet 2018.

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