Christmas: that day each year that lights us up! It’s a time for family and friends, balmy weather, delicious festive feasts and the smell of stone fruit. To avoid your Christmas feast leaving you feeling drained like the bottom of the punch bowl, I have prepared some tips to ensure you are set for your healthy Christmas feast and don’t miss out on the festivities:
The Main Event – Tips and tricks
- Roast vegetable and quinoa salad: combine a mix of your favourite roast vegetables with cooked quinoa, fresh herbs and some feta/goat cheese. This recipe is equally delicious served cold and can be made ahead. Save some roast vegetables for the morning and make a Boxing Day breakfast omelette with sliced ham. If roasting beetroot, cook a little extra and make a quick dip to serve with vegetables.
- Bake a whole salmon or some fillets the day before, flake and combine with cool cooked potato. Toss together with a yoghurt and pesto dressing for a light lunch! Left-over salmon has your Boxing Day lunch sorted, use in rice paper rolls or wraps.
- Sushi is always a crowd pleaser and can be made before guests arrive – try my spicy cashew and avocado sushi rolls for a new take on the traditional kind, your guests won’t be able to stop at one: http://www.goodchefbadchef.com.au/recipe/spicy-cashew-and-avocado-sushi-rolls/
- Prawns are an Aussie classic and a Christmas must: simple, fast to cook and delicious, try marinating in a sesame, soy and garlic marinade and serve with a mango and avocado salsa.
Dessert – tips and tricks
- Bake a crumbly slice a few days before, crumble over fresh fruit salad and serve with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt; not only a crowd pleaser but also makes a sneaky snack to keep energy levels up.
- Chocolate truffles/balls can be made a few days before the big event and are a great teatime treat to have for those last minute guests!
- Biscotti is a light Italian biscuit which can keep for weeks. The flavour options are limitless; try pistachio and cranberry for a Christmas classic or orange and cacao for a jaffa twist. Better still, biscotti can be made using wholegrain flour such as spelt for added nutrition.
- Fruit salad is not only healthy and brightens up any table, it makes a perfect left over to have on hand; blitz with yoghurt, milk and chia seeds in the morning for a simple Boxing Day breakfast or even a satisfying snack between family gatherings.
Other handy time saving tips
- Write a to do list and stick it to the fridge for easy reference
- Jot down a timetable for when each task needs to be started
- When putting food away, organise the pantry and fridge in a way that will allow for easy access and avoid the need to search high and low!
- Consider doing your food shopping online
- Delegate tasks on the day to share the load
- If not buying fresh, think about when food needs to be taken out of the freezer to allow for defrosting
- Avoid a last minute scramble by having an idea about which serving dishes will be used in advance
Looking after you
We can get so caught up in the festivities we forget to take time to look after ourselves, to ease through Christmas day be sure to:
- Eat regularly to maintain blood sugar levels
- Include protein at each meal and snack to keep appetite in check
- Start the day right with a balanced breakfast
- Stay hydrated, have a glass of water with you at all times
- Be ok with saying ‘no’ and ‘yes’ to accepting help
Most importantly eat well, stress less, be mindful and have fun! The perfect recipe for a happy and healthy Christmas!
Merry Christmas everyone!