If you are on a tight budget, Christmas food can be very difficult, causing stress, and maybe even debt too. No need to get into debt, when with a bit of extra planning, you can enjoy a delicious vegetarian Christmas festive meal, without spending a fortune.
If you don’t know where to start, or would like a few vegetarian christmas recipe ideas, have a look at this detailed, 2 person, 7 day Christmas dinner menu for the entire Christmas week.
I have tried to put in as many festive flavours as I could, using seasonal spices, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sage and mince pies.
What if I’m single?
If you are single, you might want to enjoy a lovely Christmas lunch with a friend, or if there are more of you, multiply up accordingly.
If you are going to cook for just yourself, most of the leftovers will freeze or keep in the fridge or store cupboard, and you can spread them out over more days.
You will need to buy or have available in the cupboard the following list which was priced at Asda.com in October 2019. At the date of pricing, there wasn’t very much mincemeat showing online, so I’ve assumed the same price as last year. I’ll check again in a couple of weeks.
Similarly, Brussels sprouts weren’t showing up
Satsumas were a lot cheaper than clementines this year, so I’ve swapped them. Feel free of course to change them back
Cinnamon is cheaper than mixed spice, so you could get that instead, they’re pretty interchangeable
You will need £26.16 at the checkout, and the cost of the food used over the week is £21.75, so £1.55 per person, per day
Vegetarian Christmas Recipes
|23rd December||mixed spice toast||spicy lentil soup||stuffed pancakes, mixed veg with cranberries and chestnuts|
|Xmas Eve||clementine pancakes||jkt potato with parsnip spread||Savoury vegan walnut and chestnut crumble, served with mash|
|Xmas Day||mincemeat pancakes||Chestnut, cranberry and walnut tart, parsnip & sprout dauphinoise, sauteed red cabbage.
Pot au Chocolat, served with a Spice Biscuit
|Coronation Christmas sandwich|
|Boxing Day||clementine pancakes||spicy lentil soup||parsnip and carrot tatin, candied walnuts.
steamed mincemeat pudding with cream
|27th December||mince meat porridge||sandwich parsnip spread||stuffed pancakes, mixed veg with cranberries and walnuts|
|28th December||mixed spice toast||jacket potato, roasted veg, butter||Cranberry and lentil bake, roasties|
|29th December||mince meat porridge||scraps soup||sprout and carrot gnocchi|
|cakes and bakes – mince pies 400g, spiced biscuits, lemon curd & cranberry oat bars||Use lemon curd instead of jam in the oat bars and a sprinkle of cranberries||Use mixed spice in the biscuits and leave out the raisins|
|Vegetarian Christmas Plan||Oct-19||Nov-18|
|Item||You will need||Leftover||Cost||Cost|
|walnut pieces, 200g||£2.45||£2.22|
|bread, smartprice, 800g||£0.55||£0.55|
|Brilliantly Buttery Spread, 500g||about half||£0.42||£0.84||£0.90|
|cranberry sauce, Chosen By You, 200g||£0.59||£0.75|
|packet of value stuffing||£0.25||£0.25|
|flour, smartprice, self raising, 1.5kg||£0.45||£0.45|
|rapeseed oil, 1 litre||about half||£0.54||£1.09||£1.09|
|mince meat, 822g – OR||£1.08||£1.08|
|box of 6 mince pies|
|plain chocolate, 100g||£0.30||£0.30|
|mixed spice, 33g||about half||£0.42||£0.84||£0.79|
|tomato puree, 200g||about half||£0.18||£0.34||£0.37|
|dried cranberries, 100g||£1.00||£1.00|
|puff pastry 500g ready to roll was 375g||£0.63||£1.00||£1.00|
|SP mixed dried herbs||two thirds||£0.20||£0.30||£0.30|
|smartprice mayo, 500g||most of it||£0.33||£0.41||£0.41|
|parsnips, frozen, Chosen By You, 680g,or fresh, they’re cheaper||£1.20||£1.15|
|onions, 1 kg||£0.60||£0.65|
|carrots, 1 kg||£0.50||£0.65|
|brussel sprouts, 500g||not showing in asda yet||£1.00||£1.00|
|tin lentils 390g||£0.55||£0.55|
|value oats, 1kg||£0.75||£0.75|
|lemon curd||about half||£0.17||£0.35||£0.35|
|bag red lentils, 500g||about half||£0.57||£1.15||£1.15|
|medium curry powder, 80g||about half||£0.48||£0.97||£0.75|
|2000 plus 2666 calories||£1.55||per day|
|7% protein, 38% fat, 54% carbs, 36g fibre pp|
|Govt. recommendations 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat, 45-65% carb, 25g fibre pppd|
|This plan has, per person, a total of 5 portions of fruit and veg per person|
A Vegetarian Christmas Week Meal Plan for £1.55 pppd. A week of extremely cheap festive eating Click To Tweet
Make a batch of spice biscuits today, you will need one each on Christmas Day with your Pot au Chocolat. Leave out the raisins unless you want to use them and have some in the cupboard. Add about a tblsp of mixed spice or cinnamon. Stir well and smell the mixture, if you can’t smell the spice, add a bit more.
Breakfast – make 2 slices toast each. Lightly oil or butter them on both sides. Mix a little mixed spice and sugar together and rub on the bread, then toast it
Lunch – make spicy lentil soup using as much curry powder as you like
Dinner – make crepe style pancakes using just flour and water. Make 2 or 3 pancakes each. Sauté a carrot, a sliced onion, 1 or 2 shredded sprouts, until cooked through. Add a tblsp of tomato puree and a splash of water to moisten and make a little sauce. Not too much, we don’t want it watery. Add a tblsp of dried cranberries, 2 tblsp cranberry sauce and 2 tblsps of chopped chestnuts . Lay out the filling on your pancakes and roll them up. Brush with a little melted Buttery and cranberry sauce mixed together and heat through in the oven
Breakfast – Peel 2 clementines, add a tbsp sugar and a tblsp of alcohol if you have any – anything from the back of the cupboard. If you don’t have any, doesn’t matter at all. Leave to macerate and create a lovely juice for a couple of hours. So this step is best done the night before.
Mix 100g flour with a tblsp of sugar and a good pinch of salt, add enough cold water to make a batter. Make fat American style pancakes with the batter. Serve sprinkled with a tiny bit of sugar and the clementines on the side or piled on top.
Lunch – bake a nice sized jacket potato each. Make parsnip sandwich paste. Cut your jkt, squeeze together and mash in a knob of Buttery. Top with half the parsnip paste between you. Keep the remaining half for the 27th
Parsnip sandwich paste
a big pinch salt
a big pinch of pepper
Juice and zest of half a lemon
a crushed clove garlic
Roast the parsnips as per the packet instructions
Add everything else and whizz with a hand blender or similar until smooth. Leave some bits unblended if you would like that. If you don’t have a blender, cook the veg until very soft and mash with a fork.
Dinner – Vegan Walnut & Chestnut Crumble, serve with a little Buttery mashed potato
Breakfast – Mincemeat pancakes. Mix 100g flour with a tblsp of sugar and a good pinch of salt, add enough cold water to make a batter, mix in 50g mincemeat and make fat American type pancakes. Serve sprinkled with sugar
Lunch – using oil pastry and 150g of flour and 75ml oil, make your tart pastry and line 2 x 4” pastry tart tins or a small tart tin, big enough for two. Fry 4 medium sliced mushrooms until they have given off their water. Take off the heat and add 50g chestnuts, 20g dried cranberries, 2 tblsps cranberry sauce. Add a tsp of flour to the pan and a splash of water, about 50ml, enough to make a sauce. Pile into the tart case.
Parsnip & Sprout Dauphinoise
Slice 4 parsnips from the packet, shred 6 sprouts. Cook through by steaming in a tiny bit of water. Season 150ml cream with salt, pepper and a crushed garlic clove. Put the veg in an oven proof dish and pour over the cream. Bake in a medium oven for about 30 minutes, until the cream has been absorbed.
Sauteed Red Cabbage
Shred 150g red cabbage. Saute gently in a pan with some Buttery until very soft. This will take at least 15 minutes. Can be done in advance, then reheated
When ready to eat, cook your tartlets and dauphinoise in the oven at the same time and reheat the cabbage.The dauphinoise will take about 10 minutes longer than the tartlet
Spiced Pot au Chocolat
Break up the 100g bar of chocolate and melt in a bowl over a pan of very gently simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Leave to cool. Add a 2 tsps of mixed spice and 100ml of whipped cream. If you have any liquers in the cupboard, add 2 tblsps. Mix thoroughly and put into small pretty glasses, tea cups or tiny bowls. Leave to set. Serve with one of the spice biscuits that you made yesterday.
Tea – Drain the can of lentils. Mix a tsp curry powder (not paste, that needs to be cooked), 2 tblsps mincemeat, half the tin of lentils, or 140g cooked lentils, and a tbslp mayo. Stir well together and make 2 sandwiches with the mix, no need for butter. If you have any salad leaves available, they go well.
Dinner – Cranberry and lentil bake, serve with roasties
Cranberry and Lentil Bake
Oil and line the base of 2 x 200ml ovenproof ramekins or similar with a circle of greaseproof paper. If you don’t have anything this size, see if anyone you know buys Gu: puddings, they are great fr individual servings of all kinds of things.
Put 50g dried cranberries in a small saucepan with 2 tblsps cranberry sauce and warm through until the dried cranberries are plumped up. Put into the base of your dishes.
Slice an onion and fry gently until cooked through.
Put the 2nd half of your drained tin of lentils in a bowl and add the onions. Add 25g chopped chestnuts, 2 tblsps of stuffing mix, 2 tblsps water, 2 tblsps tomato puree, a crushed clove of garlic, 2 tsps flour and 2 tsps curry powder or 1 tsp mixed dried herbs. Mix everything together well, taste and season. Pile on top of the cranberries and press down well.
Peel and par boil 400g potatoes. Toss in oil, season and roast at 200c for 30 minutes. Add the ramekins and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Serve immediately with any other veg you have left
Breakfast – mincemeat porridge
Lunch – Scraps soup. Saute a good mixture of whatever veg you have left , until cooked through. Add 100g red lentils, a good squirt of tomato puree and about 750ml water. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Blitz smooth, taste and season.
Dinner – Sprout and carrot gnocchi
Sprout & Carrot Gnocchi
Cook 100g sprouts until soft. Roast a clove of garlic, 100g sliced carrots and 300g potatoes which have been peeled and cut into chunks until completely soft. Leave to cool. Tip into a food processor. Squeeze the garlic out of the skin. Add 50g flour, and half a tsp of pepper, a good pinch of dried mixed herbs and a squeeze of tomato puree. Now pulse the food processor until holding together as a dough. If you don’t have a food processor, mash the vegetables well in a bowl, making sure there are no lumps left before adding the flour.
While the vegetables are cooking, melt a little Buttery, coat 30g walnuts
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tip the dough onto a worktop and halve it. Roll one half into a sausage shape about 35cm long and 2.5cm wide. Using a tea spoon, cut the sausage into small pillow shaped gnocchi, each around 2cm long. Repeat for the remaining dough. Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water, a few at a time, for 1 min or until they float to the surface. Remove and drain well. Set aside until ready to eat.
When ready to eat, in a frying pan, melt a good knob of Buttery and add the gnocchi. Saute gently until golden, about 3 or 4 minutes. Divide between 2 bowls or plates. Sprinkle over black pepper, 30g toasted walnuts and the pan juices. Serve with any of the root veg you have, roasted
Cakes, bakes and extras
Use these items whenever you like
Make a batch of jammy oat bars using lemon curd instead of jam. Sprinkle 30g of dried cranberries onto the lemon curd before topping with the oat mixture.
Make a batch of spiced biscuits using this recipe. Add a heaped tsp of mixed spice. Stir well and smell the mixture, add more spice if it needs it
If you aren’t buying a pack of mince pies, make a batch using half the jar of mincemeat and oil pastry using about 200g flour and 100g melted Buttery
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one