With Christmas around the corner we are all looking for some great recipes for our families, and that includes recipes that Children with Cancer will enjoy, but what about those of us who are vegetarian?
Children with Cancer especially, need to eat as many veggies as possible as they need them to build up their immmune systems which are impaired due to the cancer and the chemotherapy and/ radiation therapy treatments.
Cooking for a vegetarian can be, but need not be, either expensive or boring. Today we bring you some great vegetarian recipes (including a gluten free tabouli).
Vegetarian Xmas Recipes
Don’t let vegetarians be relegated to eating only salad and potatoes during your Xmas feasting! Whether you’re a family of vegos, or you need to accommodate the dietary requirements of your extended family – these recipes are easy, meat-free and oh-so tasty.
Pumpkin & Sage Cannelloni
Everyone loves a tried-and-true spinach and ricotta cannelloni. This pumpkin version has a lovely mellow flavour that is sure to please even the fussiest of eaters.
- 600g pumpkin, peeled
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 40g butter
- 2 T plain flour
- 1 1/2 (375ml) cups warm milk
- 300g ricotta
- 2 tsp sage, finely chopped
- 1 packet fresh lasagne sheets
- 2 T parmesan, grated
- Preheat oven to 180°C conventional (160°C fan-forced). Chop pumpkin into 3cm cubes. Toss in olive oil then spread on a baking tray in a single layer with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Season well with salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.
- Heat a small saucepan over gentle heat and melt butter. Add flour and whisk until smooth, then leave to cook for 1 minute. Add a small amount of milk and whisk. Continue adding milk gradually, whisking continuously, until you have a smooth white sauce. Leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes then set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a fork to roughly mash pumpkin with ricotta, sage and the garlic that has been squeezed from its skins. Remove lasagne sheets from the packet and lay them flat. Cut them widthwise to form squares. Place a large spoonful of pumpkin mix at one end and roll up to form a sausage shape. Continue until all of the mixture has been used.
- Increase oven temperature to 220°C conventional (200°C fan-forced). Spread a few spoonfuls of the white sauce in the bottom of a medium-sized lasagne dish. Nestle cannelloni tubes in a single layer in the dish, seam-side down, ensuring they are quite close together. Top with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
- Double the recipe and freeze a second portion for another time.
- For an extra punch of sage flavour, melt 40g of butter in a small frying-pan with a big handful of sage leaves. Swirl the pan for a minute or two to allow the leaves to crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Serve with the cannelloni.
This delicious herby tabouli salad sings of summer. Make it gluten free by replacing traditional bulgur with blitzed raw cauliflower. Its texture and taste is reminiscent of the original, and it suits those on a wheat or gluten free diet.
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup fresh mint
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1/2 punnet cherry tomato (halved)
- 1/2 unit continental cucumber (diced)
- 1/2 unit Spanish onion (finely diced)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 100 ml extra light virgin olive oil
- Roughly chop cauliflower. In a food processor, blitz it until it resembles couscous grains.
- Pick leaves from parsley and mint and roughly chop. Shred spinach. Place in a bowl with remaining vegetables and blitzed cauliflower.
- Combine lemon juice and olive oil to make a dressing.
- Pour dressing over salad ingredients and combine. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Salad can be prepared and dressed ahead of time – just toss it well before serving.
- Choose firm, creamy white cauliflower with tightly closed florets.
- Vary ingredients according to taste. It is delicious with diced capsicum and shallots, and would be extra special with some crumbled feta or toasted nuts sprinkled over the top.
Caramelised Onion & Sweet Potato Frittata
The sweetness of the onions and potatoes are a lovely foil for the sharp parmesan cheese in this frittata. If you’re organised enough to cook your vegetables ahead of time, dinner can be ready in less than 15 minutes.
- 60ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
- 2 brown onions, sliced
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) balsamic vinegar
- 250g sweet potato, peeled
- 6 eggs
- 2 tbsp parmesan, grated
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 190°C conventional (170°C fan-forced).
- Heat 20ml (1 tbsp) olive oil in a small saucepan with a lid. Add onions and stir to coat, then seal with lid and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop sweet potato into 1cm dice. Toss in 20ml (1 tbsp) olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, and bake for 25-30 minutes until soft.
- In a large bowl, using a fork, beat eggs. Stir through caramelised onions, baked potato cubes, parmesan and thyme leaves. Season well. Heat remaining oil in a 25cm frypan over very gentle heat. Pour in egg mixture and scrape base of pan with a spatula intermittently until eggs begin to set. Leave for 8-10 minutes until almost done. Place under a grill for a further 2 minutes until the top has just set.
- Serve wedges of frittata with a salad of rocket and balsamic.
- This frittata is lovely either warm or at room temperature. It would make great picnic food.
- Slice into smaller wedges and add it to an antipasto plate with chargrilled vegetables and cured meats.
Maple Roasted Pumpkin
This pumpkin recipe is simple, sweet and so delicious. This recipe makes your pumpkin a deep orange with those lovely caramelised edges that make roasted pumpkin special. Serve it with your favourite roast or toss it into summer salads.
- 1kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into even sized chunks
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp maple flavoured syrup
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a tray with baking paper and set aside.
- In a bowl, toss the pumpkin in the olive oil and set pieces on the tray so they are not touching.
- Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove and drizzle the maple flavoured syrup over the pumpkin, making sure to turn it so that each piece is evenly covered.
- Place back into the oven for a further 15-20 mins so that edges are just a little darkened.
- You could use real maple syrup but it is very expensive. I have used both and I found no flavour difference after baking.
Cheat’s Christmas Shortbread
This simple shortbread recipe is as buttery and melt-in-the-mouth as any fancy traditional recipe. Whip up a batch and wrap them up for Christmas!
- 125 g caster sugar
- 125 g cornflour
- 2 cups plain flour
- 250 g butter
- Preheat the oven to 170˚C.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until it’s all combined.
- Line a 28cm x 18cm lamington tin with baking paper and press the mixture in.
- Bake at 170˚c for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, cut into 24 squares, sprinkle evenly with caster sugar and prick each piece with a fork.
- Return to oven for 15 minutes. Cool in tin.
- Don’t skip the final step of cutting and returning to oven.
Gluten-Free Christmas Chocolate Shortbread Stars
These Gluten-free shortbread stars are a beautiful baking gift at Christmas time or a lovely treat for coeliac friends.
- 1/2 cup (125g) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (60g) caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2/3 cup (100g) gluten-free plain flour
- 1/2 cup (75g) rice flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 13/4 cups (275g) pure icing sugar
- coloured sugar, to decorate (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Grease 2 large baking trays. Line with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter, caster sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Sift flours, cocoa and ¼ cup icing sugar into a bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface (see notes). Knead until just smooth. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using a 5cm star-shaped cutter, cut 30 stars from dough, re-rolling scraps. Place stars, 2cm apart, on prepared trays. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are just firm to touch, swapping position of trays halfway through cooking. Stand on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Sift remaining icing sugar into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon cold water. Stir until a smooth, spreadable paste forms, adding more water if necessary. Spoon icing into a snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner. Leaving a 5mm border around edges, pipe icing over biscuits to cover. Sprinkle with coloured sugar. Set aside for 20 minutes or until set. Serve.
- NUTRITION: (each) 401kJ; 3.5g fat; 2.3g sat fat; 0.3g protein; 15.7g carbs; 0.1g fibre; 6mg chol; 34mg sodium.
Ice Cream Tacos
These delicious Ice cream tacos are the perfect party treat and the kids will love to help you make them. Bedazzle them with your favourite topping and enjoy!
- 375g dark cooking chocolate
- 12 taco shells
- 2L ice cream
- sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed nuts
- Break chocolate into squares and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute and then stir and stand for 30 seconds. Heat for a further 30 seconds or until melted.
- Place the taco shells in a tray in the upright position.
- Fill each shell with ice cream.
- Drizzle with melted chocolate or press sprinkles, chocolate chips or nuts into the ice cream. Place in the freezer for two hours to set before serving.
- If the weather is warm, you will need to put these straight into the freezer as you make each one.
- We used a palate knife to fill and smooth these tacos. It gives them a nice smooth edge.
- We used melted cooking chocolate for these ice cream tacos but you could use a ready-made chocolate topping like Ice Magic.