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How to Have a Climatarian Christmas Dinner

Yum, tastes like a smaller carbon footprint (Picture: Getty Images)

Climatarianism is basically a flexible approach to having a more carbon-friendly diet.

It differs from vegetarianism and veganism in that you don’t have to swear off meat and animal products so much as carefully consider the carbon footprint of what you put on your plate.

As eco-art activists Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe previously told us: ‘Beef, mutton and milk production contribute 80% of total greenhouse gas emissions amongst livestock.’

So, if you wanted to take a more climatarian route but still crave meat, you could pick something like chicken for your roast instead, as the carbon footprint of poultry farming is far smaller.

You’ll also want to swerve products containing palm oil and opt for locally grown seasonal produce that doesn’t need to be shipped and isn’t wrapped in plastic.

Christmas, a delightful but notoriously consumerist holiday, isn’t typically great for the environment, but adopting some new climate-friendly recipes like these can help…

Lentils are a great alternative to meat (Picture: Gousto)

Pistachio and cranberry nut roast with gravy, roast potatoes and winter vegetables

This very climate-friendly main includes lentils and seasonal vegetables in the form of parsnips, carrots and mushrooms.


Serves two

30g dried cranberries25g pistachio nuts100g parsnips1 can of green lentils (400g)150g portobello mushrooms15ml Henderson’s Relish               60g panko breadcrumbs1 brown onion80g cheddar cheese30ml soy sauce 1 tsp dried sage 4 white potatoes360g carrots and sprouts


Peel and finely chop the brown onion, then finely chop the portobello mushrooms.Heat a large wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) over a medium-low heat with a large knob of butter and a generous pinch of salt. Once hot, add the onion and cook for five-six minutes, then increase the heat to high, add the mushrooms and cook for a further five-seven minutes.While the mushrooms are cooking, preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C (fan)/ 425°F/ Gas 7, and boil a kettle.Peel and chop the potatoes in half, then add them to a pot of boiled water with a large pinch of salt, bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for 10-15 min or until fork-tender. Once they’re done, drain and leave them to steam dry, reserving the pot for later.Meanwhile, chop the cranberries and pistachios roughly, grate the cheddar cheese, and drain the lentils. Add the grated cheese, drained lentils, cranberries, pistachios, panko breadcrumbs, dried sage and half the soy sauce to the onion and mushroom pan and mash until chunky. Give everything a good old mix up – this is your nut roast mixture.Line a loaf tin (23 x13 x7cm) with non-stick baking paper and grease with vegetable oil. Add the nut roast mixture to the prepared tin, pressing down into the corners and smoothing out the top with a spatula (if you don’t have a loaf tin, shape into a log instead. Roast for 40-45 minutes in the oven or until golden and firm in the middle.While the nut roast is in the oven, add the cooked potatoes to a baking tray with a large drizzle of vegetable oil and season generously with salt. Put the tray in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until crispy, turning halfway through.While the potatoes are cooking, trim, and halve the Chantenay carrots (no need to peel), trim the ends from the Brussels sprouts, and peel and quarter the parsnips. Add the carrots and parsnips to a baking tray with a drizzle of vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Put the tray in the oven for an initial 15 minutes or until the veg is starting to soften.After 15 minutes, add the Brussels sprouts to the tray and return it to the oven for 10 min or until everything has softened – these are your winter roast vegetables. While the vegetables are roasting, re-boil a kettle.Return the pan to a medium heat with a large knob of butter over a medium heat with 1 tsp [2 tsp] flour and cook for one-two minutes, stirring frequently, until you’re left with a sandy paste. Gradually stir in 200ml [350ml] boiled water, the remaining soy sauce and Henderson’s Relish and cook for four minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Season with a pinch of sugar and a very generous grind of black pepper.Gently turn the pistachio & cranberry nut roast out onto a chopping board, let it cool slightly and slice thickly. Serve it over the gravy with the roast potatoes, carrots and sprouts to the side

Credit: Gousto

Perfect for Christmas Eve (Picture: Dopsu)

No-Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff

Dopsu’s No-Chicken Pieces have a carbon footprint that’s 30% smaller than real chicken, and they’re made free from palm oil, making this stroganoff a great choice for a festive meal.


2 tbsp vegetable oil1 (280g) bag Dopsu No-Chicken pieces, thawed1 onion, chopped200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced1 clove garlic, crushed2 tsp ground paprika1 tsp smoked ground paprika2 tbsp sherry2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp Dijon mustard1 tbsp tomato puree150ml vegetable stock4 tbsp creme fraiche or dairy-free alternative Salt and freshly ground black pepper3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Heat half the oil in a large wok or frying pan, add the No-Chicken pieces and cook over a medium heat until they are beginning to turn golden. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil, onions and mushrooms to the pan and fry over a high heat for five-six minutes, stirring until soft and golden. Return the No-Chicken to the pan along with the garlic and spices, then cook, stirring for 30 seconds or so the spices release their flavours.Add the sherry, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, tomato purée and stock, then bring to the boil, stirring until a smooth sauce forms. Cover the pan with a baking tray or lid and simmer for five minutes.Uncover, add the crème fraîche and stir well until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste.

Credit: Dopsu

Feel free to add carrot shavings too (Picture: Gousto)

Braised red cabbage, apples, balsamic and sultanas

Seasonal vegetables abound in this tasty side dish.


1 small red cabbage, shredded1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced2 tart apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced200ml balsamic vinegar2 tbsp brown sugar60g sultanasSalt 


Heat a large, wide-based pan over a medium high heat with a large drizzle of vegetable oil.Add the cabbage, onion and a large pinch of salt, and cook for 10 minutes or until softened.Add the apple, balsamic, sugar and sultanas, and 150ml water, cover with a lid and cook for 40-50 minutes further or until really soft.Season and serve. 

Credit: Gousto

More: Lifestyle

Perfect for afters (Picture: Getty Images/Image Source)

Speedy plant based melt in the middle chocolate fondant

Executive Chef at Tesco Jamie Robinson has shared his recipe for a scrumptious plant-based chocolate fondant.


40ml sunflower oil30g cocoa powder110g plain flour1 tsp baking powder5g sea salt90g soft dark brown sugar100g high quality dark chocolate (suitable for vegans)75g dairy-free sunflower margarine100ml soya milk1tsp red wine vinegar


In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder together.Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a saucepan with the margarine. Melt over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the soya milk, oil and red wine vinegar until everything is well combined.To bake straight away, divide the mix between four – six oven proof medium-sized ramekins lined with plant-based butter and sugar, and bake for 14 minutes at 180°. If freezing this pudding mix, defrost the day before or morning of eating, then bake for 14 minutes at 180°.

Credit: Jamie Robinson

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