Egg-free Vegetarian Christmas Stuffing

Stuffing is an essential part of Christmas lunch but it so often contains egg, nuts or other allergens (or meat and so I avoid it!). This year we’re having Christmas at home and I wanted to make some veg stuffing to add to the meal, so I’ve been playing around with flavours and binders , and finally I’ve come up with a combination I’m happy with.

These little stuffing balls based on breadcrumbs and are flavoured with onion, garlic and herbs, then given a savoury tang from some soy sauce and a couple of sneaky mushrooms (top hint: don’t tell the kids and they’ll happily eat them!) and bound with mustard. The mustard is the genius feature, you get flavour and punch whilst also binding the ingredients together. If you can’t have mustard then I’d recommend another similar condiment such as horseradish, or perhaps a sauce or even a vegan mayo.

 

I’ve chosen to make then as small balls and only a small amount, but do multiple as desired.

 

Egg-free Vegetarian Stuffing Balls

 (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes 10 mini balls

 

2 slices of fresh bread, whizzed up into breadcrumbs

1 tbsp olive oil

½ onion

5 sage leaves, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 mushrooms, roughly chopped

Small handful parsley, chopped

½ tsp soy sauce

1 and ½ tsps. Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

 

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft (5-10 minutes), stir in the mushrooms, sage, thyme and garlic and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are well cooked. Taste, season and cool.
  2. In a food processor, blend together the breadcrumbs with the fried onion and herb mix. Add the parsley and blend again. Add the soy sauce and mustard and pulse until it comes together. You want to keep some texture.
  3. Form into small balls and place in a baking dish that has been drizzled with oil. Cover the dish with foil.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade with foil on, then remove the foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how crunchy you’d like them, These also freeze brilliantly once cooked. Just heat from frozen for 10-15 minutes, covered in foil.

Stuffing and Sprouts

egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free stuffing

Thoughts are rapidly turning to Christmas lunch and how to make it as friendly as possible. This is a fantastic friendly side dish, incorporating two Christmas classics in one dish (stuffing and sprouts), that is perfect to be included on the festive table whether it features turkey or a vegetarian centre-piece.

Stuffing is always problem for us – so often it contains egg, milk and/or nuts. We could go without, but stuffing is an essential part of a traditional English Christmas lunch, and why should we always go without when a food item is tricky to source! This vegetarian version is particularly tasty, flavoured with both dried and fresh herbs and pepped up with a good dose of Dijon mustard. Any recipe based on breadcrumbs (and by all means use gluten-free if you wish) have a tendency to fall apart if you don’t use eggs. In this instance I’ve used aquafaba (water from a tin of beans) to bind the ingredients, and it does a fantastic job of keeping the little stuffing balls together during cooking.

Brussels sprouts are much maligned but also a real Christmas tradition – to the ridicules extent that my hairdresser said the other week that she can’t stand them but has to have them at Christmas! Bonkers or what? I actually quite like Brussels, but only if they cooked properly – none of this boiling them til they resemmble sludgy little green balls! In this recipe I’ve roasted them alongside the stuffing. It takes no more time and results in wonderfully flavoursome, slightly charred Brussels with no hint of song – give them a go, I reckon you might be a convert too.

In my opinion, these stuffing balls with sprouts,  an array of tasty veg and some stunning sauces would make for a perfect veggie spread.

Stuffing and Sprouts

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, can be gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan christmas stuffing and sprouts

Serves 2 as a centre-piece, 4 as a side

3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 sage leaf, finely chopped

1/4 tsp herbs de Provence

1/4 cup mushrooms, very finely chopped ( approx 1 medium mushroom)

Small handful parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsps aquafaba

  1. Fry the onions in a little oil until softened, add the herbs and mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened. Season.
  2. Mix in the breadcrumbs, dijon mustard and aquafaba and set aside to cool.
  3. Roll into neat balls and place in the fridge to firm up.
  4. To cook, preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Halve the sprouts and toss them and the stuffing balls in a little oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes until cooked throu and starting to turn golden brown.
  5. Serve with all the usual Christmas trimmings.

egg-free stuffing