This year will be my second vegetarian Christmas, and I’m pretty excited! I’ve been researching lots of recipes so make my plate as hearty as any meat-eater’s. I know that for many, the stuffing is one of the best parts of the festive meal, but it is something I don’t remember having last year. For me, I always want my stuffing to be full of chestnuts as they’re just so delicious. My favourite stuffing that I’ve every had also included dried figs, which I wanted to recreate in a plant-based alternative. In planning out my Christmas meal this year, I have noticed a lot of repetition in ingredients, which is fine to a certain degree, but not when your plate becomes 90% lentils! I’m making a mushroom wellington this year, so wanted to avoid them in my stuffing, and switch up my legumes too. Instead, this stuffing uses chickpeas, which I chose due to their dense texture and subtle taste. I used parsley, but feel free to use your favourite herbs -try sage, rosemary or perhaps thyme depending on your preference!
I used coconut aminos, which taste similar to soy sauce, but have a milder Unami flavour and are lower in sodium, which works beautifully for this recipe. You can purchase them from some health food shops and supermarkets.
- 1 medium leek, chopped and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic
- A few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
- 100g dried figs, roughly chopped
- 150g pre-cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 50g breadcrumbs (or blend up rolled oats)
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- Sauté the leeks for five minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further two.
- Next, stir in the parsley, figs, chestnuts, breadcrumbs and chickpeas, and cook for 10 minutes until piping hot.
- Add the aminos or soy sauce, then season to taste.
- Either serve immediately; cool, and freeze for later; or decant into a baking dish and cook alongside your Christmas main in the oven. I'd recommend 30-40 minutes to allow the stuffing to go crispy, but it will be quite forgiving in both time and temperature.