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A gloriously glazed tofu-tastic Christmas dinner

Lilly Higgins: A delicious clove-scented, maple-glazed centrepiece for a plant-based Christmas

Apart from nut roast, vegans and vegetarians are often lacking a protein-packed main course option for Christmas dinner. A rich lentil stew or bean-based dish is always great, but it’s fun to have an attractive main course such as a hasselback butternut squash, or the whole baked cauliflower I featured here last year. These are real showpieces and perfect for entertaining.

My plant-based offering this festive season is both fun and delicious. I often use this combination of flavours in vegetarian dishes I create for my kids. They love chickpeas roasted in a marinade similar to this – just omit the mustard and add a little olive oil instead.

Use wholegrain mustard for a chunkier marinade. Honey is also good in place of the maple syrup, but doesn’t give the same layer of flavour as maple. Keep in mind also that not all vegans eat honey, just in case you’re preparing this for a vegan guest over Christmas.

Tofu is a fantastic source of protein and readily available. You can also buy ready-smoked tofu making this dish even more like the traditional Christmas smoked ham. The beauty of tofu is that it absorbs flavour so easily. Left overnight it will soak up strong flavours, making it ideal for Asian marinades rich in soy sauce, ginger and garlic.


It’s also perfect for cubing and dropping into rich-flavoured Thai curries or spicy kimchi soup. Tofu is a fantastic, protein-rich ingredient to have in your fridge over the festive season for vegetarians, and carnivores that need a break from all of the meat focused menus.

Recipe: Smoky maple-glazed tofu

Lilly’s kitchen tips

  1. A mixture of smoky, sweet paprika, umami rich soy sauce and maple syrup give tofu, beans and chickpeas a delicious chorizo style, barbecue flavour that’s ideal when creating vegan dishes. Keep them in your pantry for all your plant-based cooking.
  2. If you have any leftovers, this smoky maple glazed tofu is amazing sliced in sandwiches along with leftover stuffing and cranberry sauce.
  3. You can slice the tofu into thick slices and marinade them instead of doing a block.