How to have a climatarian Christmas dinner

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…

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 cranberries
  • 25g pistachio nuts
  • 100g parsnips
  • 1 can of green lentils (400g)
  • 150g portobello mushrooms
  • 15ml Henderson’s Relish               
  • 60g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 brown onion
  • 80g cheddar cheese
  • 30ml soy sauce 
  • 1 tsp dried sage 
  • 4 white potatoes
  • 360g 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

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 oil
  • 1 (280g) bag Dopsu No-Chicken pieces, thawed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked ground paprika
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche or dairy-free alternative
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Credit: Dopsu

Braised red cabbage, apples, balsamic and sultanas

Seasonal vegetables abound in this tasty side dish.


  • 1 small red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced
  • 200ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 60g sultanas
  • Salt 


Credit: Gousto

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 oil
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 110g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5g sea salt
  • 90g soft dark brown sugar
  • 100g high quality dark chocolate (suitable for vegans)
  • 75g dairy-free sunflower margarine
  • 100ml soya milk
  • 1tsp red wine vinegar


Credit: Jamie Robinson

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