I may be kind of a food geek, but I love being the fancy food friend at a gathering. Cooking for the holidays and having people enjoy my food truly brings me a sense of joy and accomplishment. Even simple dishes, when flavored correctly, can also wow your guests and/or family. So few things feel normal this year, that gathering together (even if that gathering is small) and enjoying a well-cooked meal should almost be a requirement to ring out 2020. Let’s be honest, there hasn’t been a ton to celebrate this year.
But, in the spirit of a non-traditional holiday menu, I am going to give you vegetarian entrees to feed your loved ones. You may be thinking ‘this isn’t for me.’ Or maybe you have been searching for a wildly satisfying vegetarian entrée option that feels extra fancy and tasty. Either way, I have you totally covered with some recipes that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside; and may even leave you putting on your stretchy pants.
First up, we have a Portabella Wellington. The traditional version asks for a beef tenderloin with a mushroom pate, all wrapped in prosciutto, pastry dough and then baked to perfection. We are going to substitute portabella mushrooms for the beef tenderloin and make this dish equally tasty and satisfying. Packed with the flavors of caramelized onions, fresh herbs and perfectly flaky dough, you are going to love this dish. And the meaty like portabellas make a great substitution for the beef tenderloin, without substituting taste or texture.
As a side, we have the stuffed acorn squash. The sweet and savory mixture makes for a wonderful compliment to the portabella wellington. Together these two dishes will make for a great vegetarian holiday meal.
(makes 2, serves 6-8)
- 4 large/whole portabella mushrooms
- 5 oz shiitake mushrooms
- 8 oz baby Bella mushrooms
- 16 oz cremini mushrooms
- 1 stick butter
- 2 yellow/sweet onions
- 1 shallot
- ¾ package tarragon
- 4-5 sprigs rosemary
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic oil
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 disks of pie/pastry dough
- 2 ½ tsp salt (plus more for seasoning)
- ½ tsp black pepperPinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 egg, for wash
- Flour for rolling dough
1. Begin by chopping up your onions, shallots, herbs and garlic. I like to dice them all up very small.
2. Add the stick of butter to your pan and cook the onions and shallots on low for 15-20 minutes, until translucent.
3. Add the minced garlic and chopped herbs and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes.
4. Chop all your mushrooms (except for the whole portabella mushrooms) to a very small dice as well. Alternately, you can pulse on chop mode in a food processor.
5. Add the mushrooms to the pan, along with 2 ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
6. Continue to cook at stir for roughly 20-30 more minutes on medium heat.
7. While the mushroom and onion mixture are cooking down, place your large portabellas on a baking tray and drizzle some olive oil and balsamic on the top, and sprinkle generously with salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and set aside.
8. Roll out your dough into a shape that is long and wide enough to cover the two portabellas and the mushroom filling entirely.
9. I find it easiest to lay down a layer of the onion/mushroom mixture, the portabellas, more onion/mushroom mixture; then cutting the strips of the dough about 1” from the filling/base and folding it up over the top. (Since we can’t roll the whole thing like a traditional Wellington, this seemed to work best).
10. Once your pastry is wrapped, brush all over with the egg wash and bake for 40-50 minutes at 400 degrees/golden brown and glossy.
11. You may make a port sauce if desired (super easy to google and make).
12. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 3 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
- 3 tbsp butter, divided
- 3 tbsp real maple syrup, divided
- 1 cup uncooked (about 2 cups cooked) quinoa
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ shallot, minced
- 3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp balsamic
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
1. Take 2 tbsp melted butter and mix together with 2 tbsp maple syrup. Brush this mixture on the halved and seeded acorn squashes.
2. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
3. While the acorn squash are cooking, cook the minced shallots, 1 tbsp butter and the finely chopped rosemary. Cook until everything is soft, translucent and fragrant (8-10 minutes on a low-medium heat).
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, chopped cherries, chopped apricots, chopped nuts, 1 tbsp maple syrup, balsamic, salt, red pepper flakes and cooked shallots into a bowl and stir well.
5. When the acorn squashes have finished cooking, generously fill them with the quinoa mixture and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Garnish and serve. Enjoy!Read comments