Saturday 10 December 2016

Recipes: Megan Young shares her meat-free Christmas feast

Megan Young

Published 04/12/2011 | 06:00

CHRISTMAS FILO PASTRY PARCELS
CHRISTMAS FILO PASTRY PARCELS
SPICED COUSCOUS BRUSSELS SPROUTS
CHRISTMAS SALAD

Christmas dinner without turkey and ham? Yes, it is possible! I come from Australia, where it could quite easily be 30°C on Christmas Day.

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As a result, many people tend to get a bit more creative with Christmas lunch in the hope of keeping the kitchen cooler.

Large salads are a staple on the Australian Christmas table.

This year, I have put together a full-flavoured vegetarian menu using influences from Australian and European traditions.

I believe that even though the menu is vegetarian, it is important to include traditional elements. The classic ingredients I have chosen include Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and pomegranates.

Christmas Day is a great time to make something rich and special. The filo-pastry parcels are a great option to wow your dinner guests. The soft and creamy filling offers great contrast to the crispy light pastry. Each bite, enjoyed with the homemade red-onion marmalade, is a rich treat.

This recipe has quite a few steps and the pastry is a little tricky to work with, but the result is well worth the effort.

I have had great success with the spicy Brussels sprouts recipe. Sprouts are a regular on the Irish Christmas table, but are not loved by everyone.

Yet by lightly cooking them and combining them with spices, couscous and mushrooms, you can create a very appealing dish.

Colour is a very important part of your Christmas table, but it is possible to create the festive look with the food itself, rather than with decorations.

The Christmas salad makes a delicious centrepiece for your table.

Why not think outside the box this Christmas and try something a little different?

For you vegetarians out there, dig in and enjoy!

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