If you want something as a “ta- da” dish — a centerpiece that’s not meat, I’ve got some dishes to consider.
First, think of the all the sides that we love. Many or most of them don’t require any meat or meat stock to be crowd pleasing. People love stuffing and gravy. Why not do leek-mushroom-herb stuffing in muffin tins and a mushroom gravy? No bones and no griping.
The Main Dish
For an elegant centerpiece dish: try the Kale Butternut Squash Phyllo Pie made in a springform pan. Elegant and beautiful with bright colors and crispy phyllo.
Try cashew cheese and skip pancetta (or use porcinis for umami), use Earth Balance butter substitute and you’re meat-free, dairy-free.
Another of Kim’s recipes that even carnivores have asked for in subsequent meals: the Lentil-Chard Shepherd’s Pie.
Sides that Wow
The sage butter sweet potato- white potato casserole (below) is easy to make dairy-free and if you use gluten-free bread, it can be GF, too. Again, your potato ricer is your friend. Light fluffy potatoes get mixed with browned sage butter and topped off with fresh breadcrumbs. I modify Martha’s recipe and make it dairy-free and delicious.
Another dish that is a real favorite, I’ve taught it to Kitchen Confidence clients and they adored it. I love it. Red rice pilaf stuffed Delicata squash. The recipe is from Kim O’Donnel’s Meatless Celebrations. It’s colorful, delicious and substantial enough to use as a vegetarian/vegan main course.
Both of these could certainly be main courses for a meat-free meal that won’t leave you wanting.