Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year, whether you celebrate Christmas or not the holiday period is a chance to be with family and friends. After a few Christmases abroad we are spending this Christmas back home in the UK, and so I am taking some time to put together my Christmas food blog.
I love being surrounded by food and loved ones but getting to the point you have food in your hands and people around can be a very stressful. We set such high expectations on this time that getting ready for Christmas involves going into many shops, traveling around and spending many hours in the kitchen. It can also be a time of overeating and sugar spikes. So I have been working on some refined sugar free, gluten-free, dairy-free, mostly vegan recipes, and I have been focusing on easy meals which some can be made ahead of time and frozen or fridged to reduce the Christmas preparation stresses. I wish you all a wonderful holiday period.
All these meals with the various dishes will serve 8-12 people.
here Christmas Eve
click here Large grain salad, 1-2 hours including cooling time
I am not going to write a specific recipe for this dish as I loved its flexibility and ease. So I will just give the category of foods needed.
This recipe will be large enough for Christmas eves meal and Christmas days Aubergine Rolls.
2 cups of uncooked grain of your choice, I love quinoa, buckwheat and wild rice
2 cups diced red pepper/ cucumber/ radishes – any veggie that can be eaten raw
2 cups grated carrot/courgette
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbs ground cumin or 3 tbs orange juice or both
1 cup finely chopped herbs (coriander parsley mix or basil and parsley mix, and maybe a small amount of mint)
Season salt and pepper to taste
Optional – ¼ cup of chopped dried fruit
Optional – ½ cup seeds/ nuts
8 cups of dark leafy greens
Optional slices of avocado on top
- Cook the grains according to the packages instructions.
- Dice or grate the vegetables.
- Mix the vegetables into the grains this will allow the veggies to cook slightly in the heat of the grains.
- Leave to cool and then add the remaining ingredients except the salad.
- Put 2 ½-3 cups of the mixture in a container and in the fridge ready for the Christmas Aubergine Rolls.
- Mix the remainder in with the salad and serve up.
I love this grain salad with some poached fish (you could have any protein you wanted chicken, tofu, eggs etc) with the tomato sauce below.
Here is the recipe for the tomato sauce as it is also needed for the Christmas Aubergine rolls.
enter Tomato Sauce 40minutes
4 tins (400g) of chopped tinned tomatoes
Season to taste
- Empty in the tinned tomatoes in a pot, fill one of the tins with water, swirl around all the tins to get all the last bit of tomatoe and add the 1 tin of water to the pot. Place on low heat with the lid on for 30-40 minutes, the last 5 minutes with the lid off.
- Stirring every 10 minutes. It is done when the chunks of tomato have become soft and the liquid has reduced to a yummy thick sauce.
- Season to taste. Every tin of tomatoes, each brand has a different taste, some are sweet some are bland so I feel it is really important to season to your taste. Adding salt, pepper, maybe even a dash of coconut sugar. I tend to not add anything, just the simmered sauce has the most delicious flavor.
- Place half the mixture in a container ready for the Aubergine rolls. The rest you have to pour over your protein choice for the meal.
Christmas Eve Dessert
Click on link for recipe. These are adapted from my Bounty Bar recipe. Instead of shaping them into logs shape the coconut middle into balls, you can have whatever size you choose. Then dip in the chocolate. You will need ¼ cup more desiccate coconut for this recipe, as you will roll the balls in the extra coconut after being dipped in chocolate. Fridge again and then serve.
These can be made over a month ahead of time and frozen. Just allow a day in the fridge for them to defrost.
Cut out Cookies
Click on link for recipe
Christmas morning breakfast
Green Acai Bowl (see link for recipe- note recipe only for 1 portion so times for your needs)
Starting of with a Green Acai Bowl is a great way to make sure you have a good nutritious start to the day, even on a cold day I love these bowls of goodness. If you decorate it with red fruit (strawberries and raspberries) it looks particularly festive the green and red.
Christmas main course
Fennel Radish Orange Salad
Click link for recipe. You can make up to step 4 the day before and leave in the fridge ready to assemble, you may want to double the recipe.
Lentil Stuffing Cupcakes
Click link for recipe. You can make these up to 2 days ahead of time. They are yummy warm or at room temperature. You can even freeze them and heat up on the day.
Left over grain salad
Left over tomato sauce
4 aubergines 15-20 slices
2 tbs canola or coconut oil
Oven proof dish around 9 x 12inch (or two smaller ones)
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (375F).
2) Slice the aubergine lengthways into ½ cm thick slices. Lightly coat the slices with the oil and place on a baking tray, do not over lap them each slice should be flat on the tray.
3) Place in the oven and turn each slice over after 10-15 minutes. They will be in the oven for 20-25 minutes. They shouldn’t brown/crisp but they should be tender.
4) Collect your left over grain salad and tomato sauce and the ovenproof dish. Take one aubergine slice and place 2 tbs of the grain salad on the fat end of the aubergine. Roll over the filling and create an aubergine roll and place in the ovenproof dish. Repeat until all rolled.
5) Then pour over the tomato sauce and cover with tin foil.
6) Place in the oven. I tend to put it in at whatever temperature the oven is for other food that is cooking, any temperature between 160-200 degrees is fine, you just may not need it in as long, so between 15-40minutes is fine.
You can make this up to two days ahead of time, just pausing after step 2 and keeping it in the fridge.
Other than with the dishes I have mentioned for Christmas it is also great with any salad, bread, protein source (meat, fish, eggs, chickpeas etc)
Roasted carrots with Dukah
This recipe can’t be made ahead of time, they need to be hot from the oven. You can make the dukah ahead of time, and it is a yummy thing to have in the cupboard anyway over Christmas, who knows when you might need a little extra to your dish.
20 carrots I love to use heirloom carrots for Christmas as I love all the different colours.
2-3 tbs oil (vegetable or coconut oil)
½ recipe of Dukah will be enough for up to 12 people (See link for recipe)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (400F), don’t use fan oven if possible or they wont crisp up.
- Wash the carrots and cut any fat carrots in half lengthways, to make them roughly all a similar width (roughly width of your thumb).
- Place on a roasting tray with the oil enough to lightly cover all the carrots.
- Roast for 50 minutes – 1 hour, turning the carrots every 20 minutes. It is really nice if they are really crispy so place them in the hottest part of your oven.
- While the carrots cook make your dukah, which you will sprinkle over the carrots when they are ready to be served.
Christmas day desserts
Follow link for recipe
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Follow link for recipe. To make Christmassy you can shape it into a reindeers head (I used double the recipe to make the extra parts – with a few extra cupcakes spare to nibble on), or sprinkle with chocolate and slices of oranges.
Raw Chocolate Reef Brownie
Follow link for recipe. Shape dough into reef (whatever size you fancy) and using ¼ cup pumpkin seeds and 2 tbs mashed raspberries decorate the chocolate reef.
Follow recipe for my Raw Carrot Cake but add 1 tsp more cinnamon, 1 tsp more ground flax seed, and add additional 1/2 cup of dried fruit – soak the dried fruit in boiling water for 5 minutes before draining and adding to the cake. Place all the mixture in one small bowl, fridge for at least 20 minutes and then turn out onto a plate. Optional icing to drizzle: 2 tbs coconut cream, 1 tsp tahini, 1 tsp orange juice, 1 tsp maple syrup. Create a holly leaf using dried cranberry and some pumpkin seeds.