If there's anything more difficult than being a Coeliac at Christmas, it's being a vegetarian Coeliac at Christmas. I do not envy all you gluten free veggies out there; most vegetarian options are pastry or pasta based and Christmas dinner has the potential to be just a gravy-less plate of sprouts if you're not careful. On this day when turkey gravy is consumed and the oven is filled with that big bird, what is a vegetarian to eat? Assuming you don't cook goose-fat potatoes, or put pancetta through your sprouts, all you really need is a good centrepiece.
On day 4 of our Free From & Festive we are here to help! Ruby over at Rubelle's Moon has been inspired by a vegetarian friend and has come up with a great suggestion for a gluten free vegetarian main. If you fancy a colourful nut roast on your plate this Christmas, head over for the recipe.
I took on this challenge too, I'm guilty of a complete lack of imagination where meat-free is involved and I thought this was a good time to remedy it!
Mushroom and Kale Suet Pudding
This steamed pudding solves the lack-of-oven-space issue, and the individual puddings cook while the turkey is resting. This recipe serves two.
1tbsp light olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
175g mushrooms, thickly sliced
50g kale, roughly chopped
1tsp thyme leaves
100g gluten free self raising mix (plus extra for dusting)
50g vegetable suet (Atora make a gluten free one, or try your local health food shop)
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and mushrooms. Gently fry for about 5 minutes to soften then add the kale and thyme and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes - you want to cook it so that the liquid mostly cooks away or you'll have a stodgy pudding! Remove from the heat, season and leave to cool.
- Sift the self raising mix into a bowl with the suet. Slowly add cold water, mixing gently to form a soft dough. Cover and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to rest.
- Dust your worktop and rolling pin with flour and roll out 2/3 of the dough to 2-4mm thick and line two individual pudding basins with it. Fill this with the mushroom and kale mix.
- Roll out the last third of pastry and top your puddings. Cover the puddings with a piece of greaseproof paper then with foil and secure with string. (If you fold a crease into both, then you'll make space for the pastry to rise)
- For a better description of how to do this, have a look here.
- Steam the puddings for 45 minutes. I just put them in a covered saucepan of simmering water, on top of an upturned plate.
- Once cooked, remove the string, foil and greaseproof paper and turn the puddings out.
(If you want to be prepared, this will freeze well, uncooked, for up to 3 months.)