Media release

Festive feasting!
From the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

30 November 2018





This Christmas, the Vegetarian Society Cookery School has three new recipes for your festive table. There’s an easy-to-make Festive Savoury Tray Bake, a rich Chestnut and Seitan Stuffed Christmas Roast, and a Hasselback Butternut Squash showstopper.

Sam Platt, the Vegetarian Society Cookery School manager, said: “I had great fun creating these delicious Christmas recipes and I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting in the kitchen and giving them a try. They range in difficulty so if you are looking for an easy option, go for the tray bake. Or, if you want to get to grips with a new ingredient, try the seitan roast. Like our veggie and vegan cookery experiences there’s something for everyone – check out the recipes and courses online. So whether you want to become a Vegan Dessert Guru, fancy trying Mauritian cuisine, satisfy your Vegan Junk Food cravings, or simply get a good foundation – there’s a course for you.”

All three delicious recipes are available at where you can also find out about the Vegetarian Society Cookery School’s many vegetarian and vegan courses. Gift vouchers are also available for cookery experiences - a perfect choice for the foodie in your life.


Festive Savoury Tray Bake


festive tray bake


Preparation: 45 mins, plus 1 hour marinating time
Cooking: 30 mins

Serves 2
Can be vegan


For the marinated Oumph!:
2 tsp cranberry sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp dried sage
2 tsp onion chutney
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vegetarian/vegan miso paste
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp celery salt
140g (½ pack) Oumph! ‘The Chunk’, defrosted (a soya-based protein, found in the freezer section in major supermarkets)

For the flavoured oil:
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt flakes
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 sprig rosemary, roughly chopped
1 sprig thyme, roughly chopped

For roasted sides:
5 small potatoes, halved and boiled until nearly soft
1 carrot, cut into long, chunky sticks
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into long, chunky sticks
8 to 10 Brussels sprouts
½ orange, cut into 3 wedges
¼ leek, sliced
100g stuffing mix, prepared and ready to oven cook as per the packet instructions
50g dried cranberries, soaked in water for a minimum of 1 hour, then drained

To serve:
Cranberry sauce
Vegetarian/vegan gravy


1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until well combined. Set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour. You can do this the day before and refrigerate until needed.

2. Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

3. Mix together the flavoured oil ingredients in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, carrots, parsnip, sprouts, orange wedges and leek slices, then stir until all of your vegetables are well coated. Shape your prepared stuffing into small balls (in about 1 inch diameter).

4. In a large baking tray or roasting dish (large enough to cook all of your ingredients on without too much overlap), spread out on the baking tray the carrot, parsnip, potatoes, sprouts, stuffing balls, and pop into the oven. After 15 minutes, take the tray out of the oven and turn all of the vegetables and stuffing balls.

5. Add the Oumph! and leek slices then return to the oven for 5 minutes. Then, turn the leek slices and Oumph! Add the orange wedges and drained cranberries and return to the oven for 20 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and serve with plenty of cranberry sauce and gravy.

©The Vegetarian Society



Chestnut Stuffed Christmas Roast

chestnut roast



Preparation: 45 mins
Cooking: 2 hours

Serves 6 as a main course
Can be vegan

For the stuffing:
75g butter/vegan margarine
1 large white or brown onion, finely diced
225g vacuum-packed/cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
125g breadcrumbs
100g rolled oats
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

For the roast:
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ tsp tahini
1 tsp garlic purée (or fresh garlic)
½ tsp dried thyme
1½ tsp onion powder
1½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp vegetarian/vegan miso paste
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
150g vital wheat gluten
225ml vegetarian/vegan vegetable stock

For the glaze:
75ml apple juice
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp date syrup
50g butter/vegan margarine
Pinch of salt

To serve:
Roast potatoes and vegetables
Vegetarian/vegan gravy

1. First, make the stuffing. On a low heat, melt the butter or vegan margarine and fry the chopped onion until soft but not starting to brown. In a large bowl, add the onion to the rest of the stuffing ingredients. Add 3 tbsp cold water and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.

2. To make the roast, place all of the roast ingredients, except the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast and vegetable stock into a large bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher until they resemble a rough paste. Ensure the beans are well mixed through the herbs and flavourings.

3. In another bowl, mix together the vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the bean paste. Mix thoroughly until it starts to come together into clumps. At this point it is best to start bringing together to dough with your hands. Add the stock, little by little, until you have flexible, but not sticky, dough.

4. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. The dough should end up stretchy and slightly rubbery. When the dough starts to feel very firm, flatten it out with your hands and a rolling pin into a rectangular shape, until it is approximately 1 inch thick.

5. Place the stuffing mix in a strip down the centre of the dough, leaving space all around the edges. Roll up the stuffing in the dough, trying to cover the stuffing entirely. (You will need to squeeze and press the dough together around the edges). Using your hands, shape the dough into a cylinder shape.

6. Wrap the dough in cling film, baking parchment or foil, making sure it is secure at both ends. At this point you can tie string around the wrapped dough at intervals to create a more authentic roast shape. Place the parcel into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, turning every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking and adding more water if necessary.

7. Carefully remove from the pan and remove the wrapping. The roast can be cooled at this point to cook when you’re ready. To do this, leave at room temperature for an hour, cover with cling film or foil, then refrigerate. The roast can be frozen at this point too, if you’re making it ahead, and then defrosted thoroughly in the fridge before the next step.

8. When you’re ready to cook your roast, preheat your oven to 200⁰C/gas mark 6. Place the roast in an oiled oven dish, then cover the whole dish in foil. Cook for 20 minutes from cold or 10 minutes straight from the boiling stage.

9. While the roast is cooking, make the glaze. Place all of the glaze ingredients into a pan and simply melt on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often to ensure it doesn’t burn.

10. Remove the roast from the oven, uncover, and then brush generously with the glaze. Return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until starting to crisp and turn golden brown. Don’t leave the roast in the oven too long as it will dry out.

11. When the roast is cooked, slice and serve with roast potatoes, gravy and vegetables.

©The Vegetarian Society




Hasselback Butternut Squash with Chestnut and Cranberry Granola Crust


hassleback squash



Preparation: 50 mins
Cooking: 1 hour 10 mins

Serves 4


1 large butternut squash, washed, halved lengthwise, then de-seeded

For the stuffing:
150g cooked quinoa (cooked as per packet instructions, with ½ vegetable stock cube for extra flavour)
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
50g kale, washed and roughly chopped
Pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp wholegrain mustard

For the granola crust:
10g pecans
20g chestnuts
15g dried cranberries
30g oats
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tbsp rapeseed oil

To serve:
Roast potatoes and vegetables
Cranberry sauce
Vegetarian/vegan gravy


1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.

2. Line a flat baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. Place the squash cut-side down onto the tray and bake for 35 minutes. (This is to make sure it is soft enough to cut the hasselback slices.)

3. While your squash is roasting, make the stuffing. Heat the oil gently on a medium heat in a frying pan. Add the diced shallot, crushed garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Fry gently, stirring regularly until the shallot starts to soften.

4. Add the kale and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the kale is wilted. Add the nutritional yeast, quinoa and mustard and stir well. Set aside until needed.

5. After 35 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut partially through the squash width ways, along the whole length, at half-inch intervals. Don’t cut all the way through each slice – leave about half an inch still uncut to keep the squash in one piece. Your aim is create large enough slits to stuff, which will open out slightly during cooking. (To be sure you don’t cut all of the way through the squash, lay a wooden spoon next to the squash so your knife will touch the spoon rather than the tray. This should give you about the right depth of slice.)

6. Using a teaspoon or small knife, push a little of your stuffing into each cut, gently easing the slices apart to create a gap. Carry on in this way until you have filled all of the cuts. (Don’t worry if the stuffing drops through the space where the seeds were, it will still cook through.) Use all of the stuffing if possible. Depending on the size of your squash, the filling may spill out of the side and the top, but this creates a lovely overstuffed appearance. Return the squash to the oven and roast for a further 10 minutes.

7. Next make the granola. Roughly chop the pecans, chestnuts and cranberries. Combine all of the ingredients, except the oil, in a small bowl and set aside until needed.

8. After 10 minutes, remove the squash from the oven. Using a pastry bush, generously oil the squash, paying particular attention to any exposed skin. Sprinkle your granola over the squash. You can cover the squash entirely or crust a wide line along the top of the squash.

9. Return to the oven for a further 12 to 15 minutes. When cooked, the squash should be soft to the touch and the granola should be crisp. Any exposed kale may blacken slightly, which gives a great charcoal flavour.

10. Carefully transfer the squash to a long serving platter or wooden board. Serve as your centrepiece with roast potatoes, vegetables, plenty of cranberry sauce and gravy.

©The Vegetarian Society

The Vegetarian Society Cookery School loves getting people in the kitchen for fun, hands-on and informative cooking experiences in a friendly atmosphere. Based in Greater Manchester, the school attracts people from all over the world. Find out more at

Notes to Editors
• For hi-res recipe images or more info please contact or call 0161 925 2012


Online Community
Sign-up to the site
Quick polls

Join and Support Us
Join or renew online
Members' Area
Leave a legacy


The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Fundraising Regulator logo
Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358 (England and Wales),
Registered Company No. 00959115 (England and Wales)


Privacy | | Contact | Press | Advertising | Jobs

The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358, Registered Company No. 959115 (England and Wales)

Fundraising Regulations