Vegan Christmas recipe - stuffed zucchinis with a cranberry pepper sauce
I have to say this has been my biggest challenge to date. I wanted to come up with something new but also not too difficult at the same time. I know Christmas can be a stressful time and when I am at my mum's house at Christmas I always get stressed about cooking and preparations. Therefore the recipe needed to be very easy using only simple ingredients so you guys can buy them in your local supermarket. And I wanted it to be festive, gluten-free, have flavours of Christmas AND taste amazing! Quite a brief and I did feel the pressure I have to admit! It took me 4 times until I got it right! My kitchen was a battlefield the last few days but I am proud of the result and I was surprised myself how delicious it was. The sweet and savoury cranberry pepper sauce (I called it pepper sauce because the flavour is similar) worked so well with the stuffed zucchinis; it was a perfect combination. I hope you all enjoy my vegan Christmas recipe!
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The sauce is so delicious, it works so well with the stuffed zucchinis. I had some sauce leftover the next day and used the it in a dish with seasoned smoked and sautéed tofu cubes and potatoes and then poured it over the dish. So nice!
I tried all kinds of sauces, even red wine sauce but none of them worked as well and tasted as much as Christmas as my cranberry pepper sauce.
I kept the sauce ingredients as simple as possible, no hard to obtain ingredients, everything easy peasy. If you don't want to use corn starch you can use a bit of white flour or a sauce thickener.
Drizzle the sauce over the baked stuffed zucchinis.
I used dried herbs in my recipe but you can also use fresh ones and then use it as decoration on your plate. I find the rosemary sprigs look like little Christmas tree branches, very festive.
INGREDIENTS (3 portions):
Step 1 - vegan Christmas stuffing ingredients :
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 150g finely chopped brown mushrooms
Step 2 - vegan Christmas stuffing ingredients:
- 150g of walnuts
- 1 can of cooked chickpeas
Step 3 - vegan Christmas stuffing ingredients:
- 150g boiled & peeled salad potatoes
- 3 tsp sundried tomato purée
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- Black pepper to taste
Step 4 - slicing and stuffing:
- 5-6 courgettes (I calculated 1 1/2 courgettes per portion)
Step 5 - savoury cranberry sauce ingredients:
- 250ml soy milk
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp French mustard (not English mustard)
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 3 tsp corn starch
- Black pepper to taste
Step 6 - savoury cranberry sauce ingredients:
- 5 tsp cranberry sauce
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Start boiling just over 150g of salad potatoes.
Finely chop 1 onion and 150g of brown mushrooms (any really, I used small portabella mushrooms).
Sauté in some oil until softened and the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Set aside.
To a food processor add 150g of walnuts and blend until you get a coarse flour (see video for reference). Then add 1 can of cooked and drained chickpeas and process as well. You might have to give your food processor the odd nudge so the walnuts and mushrooms don't stick to the sides of the processor. It doesn't have to be a smooth batter, just make sure you don't have whole chickpeas left.
Add the mixture to a large bowl and add 150g of boiled and peeled potatoes to it. I used salad potatoes because they have the best consistency and taste. Add the rest of the ingredients in step 3 and mash together well until you get a dough like consistency. Then add the sautéd onion and mushrooms from step 1 to the bowl and mix together.
Cut off the ends of the zucchinis and slice into halves. Deseed the zucchini (remove the core with a spoon) and then spoon in the stuffing mix you created in steps 1-3. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top and season with a dash of salt.
Bake in the preheated oven at 200C (390F) for 20-25 minutes.
To make the savoury cranberry pepper sauce add all ingredients in step 5 to a blender and blend until you get a smooth sauce. Make sure you use French or Dijon mustard and not English mustard, the sauce wouldn't taste the same otherwise.
Pour into a pan and add 5 tsp of cranberry sauce to it (or to taste, it depends on how sweet your sauce is). And for even more flavour also add an optional 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast (it's not necessary but it intensifies the flavour). Heat up on high to medium heat and cook for 3-5 minutes until you get a nice thick sauce. Make sure you keep stirring the sauce so it doesn't burn. Turn down the heat if it gets too hot.
Take the stuffed zucchini out of the oven and pour the cranberry pepper sauce on top. Enjoy!
And if you liked this recipe also try out my vegan cranberry cheese recipe, perfect for the holidays. Recipe is here.