Have yourself a meatless Christmas

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Who doesn’t love a traditional Christmas dinner? But every Free Athlete knows, it’s worth stepping out of our comfort zone every now and again. This year, try something new. Why not swap those heavy meat dishes for vegetarian or vegan options? Not yet convinced? Here are some ideas for your veggie Christmas feast, that are just as nutritious and delicious for meat-eaters, as they are vegetarians:

Nut roast

It’s the classic vegetarian Christmas dish – also known as vegetarian’s turkey. Packed with nuts, dried fruits, spices and loads of vegetables, it’s a good source of proteins, healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids and fibres. There are many different ways to prepare this by adding lentils, quinoa or cheese.

Our tip: Drop the dairy products for a vegan option.

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Stuff it!

Is stuffing your favorite part of a Christmas roast? Well guess what…you don’t need meat to enjoy stuffing.

Our tip: Stuff potatoes, mushrooms or pumpkin by wrapping it up in foil and baking it in the oven. Just as good!

Potato heaven

Roasted, fried, mashed, boiled… a feast isn’t a feast without potatoes. But instead of cooking these guys in goose-fat, bake or fry them in virgin olive oil for a golden crunch and a fluffy center.

Our tip: Season with some fresh rosemary and a pinch of sea salt to perfect your favorite side.

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DIY veggie gravy

Can’t imagine making a flavoursome gravy without meat? It’s totally possible.

Our tip: Boil caramelized onions, mushrooms, cranberries, tomato purée and organic vegetable stock and add to your roast. As flavoursome as the real thing, it will bring your meal to life.

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Make veggies the main attraction

If you only ever have vegetables as a side dish, then it’s time they got an upgrade. Winter offers a wide range of seasonal vegetables to brighten up your Christmas menu. Brussel sprouts, parsnips, squash, carrots, cabbage…there’s something for everyone.

Our tip: Roast them with fresh herbs and honey, and sprinkle some orange zest on top for an extra kick of flavour.

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Embrace festive ingredients

Worried your veggie meal will fail the familiar tastes of Christmas? Then try adding some classic Christmas flavors.

Our tip: Use cinnamon, clove and citrus to season, or add cranberries, pecans, figs and dates to bring your winter salad to the next level. Grilled, toasted or dried, they will boost the flavour of just about everything and make it taste like Christmas.

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And the best part…dessert

No matter how full we are, there is always room for dessert. Christmas cookies, baked apple or pecan brownies can all be prepared vegan. Coconut milk is also a good alternative. Discover more healthy, sweet recipes in our Freeletics Nutrition Coach.

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Even if tradition is well and good, break the rules this year. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You never know, it may be your best Christmas feast yet.