2020 has been tough year for everyone, and no less us here in Australia. The year kicked off with raging bushfires and followed with the COVID19 pandemic. We haven’t seen very much of each other this year, and many of us may have spent much of it alone. Let’s take this opportunity at Christmas to be kind to each other and to ourselves with good nourishment and enjoying the opportunity we have to be together.
The holiday season is often a time when a lot of people overindulge, but it doesn’t have to be. Summer is the best time for many of our favourite salad vegetables, delicious melons and stone fruits, and beautiful local produce.
Caring Christmas snacks:
A fully-loaded table can be overwhelming and is usually unnecessary, especially if there will be a main course served. Serve two or three options for the pre-lunch nibbles, and focus on the best-quality produce and presentation you can manage.
The classic plate of veg sticks and hummus is always popular. Carrots, cucumber, and capsicum are favourites, but you can also try snow peas, green beans or the smaller leaves of cos lettuce and wombok cabbage. Other great dips to try include tzatziki and a beetroot, cheese and spinach dip – they are simple and economical to make.
Spend a little extra on two or three good-quality smallgoods and cheeses. Serve small amounts of each – a small wedge of each cheese, a couple of meats, then fill out your platter with nuts, fruit, antipasto and plain water crackers. This will help your guests enjoy a balance of nutritious foods with smaller portions of the higher-fat foods, plus t also looks attractive!
For Christmas Dinner:
Salad: think less options and good quality. Perhaps a green salad with AAALLL the favourite vegies, and a nice rice, quinoa or buckwheat salad.
Chicken and turkey can all be reasonably lean if they are roasted in their own juices. For something a little different, you could try a whole fish steamed in foil on the BBQ.
A fruit platter is usually well-received by everyone for dessert.
Serve everything on small plates and bowls so that guests don’t feel they have to “use up” all the food. This will also save on waste.
Ways to use the leftovers:
Ask guests to bring containers to take leftover food home
For good food safety take out the meats and seafood from the fridge just before serving. Then when everyone is finished lunch, put all the food back in the fridge as soon as possible and keep for not more than 1-2 days for good food safety.
Chicken, turkey, seafood, cheeses and small good meats can all be mixed and matched with leftover salads. Dips can be combined with olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice to make dressings.
Getting Into The Spirit:
Good food also calls for something nice to wash it down with. There are great ways for you and your guests to enjoy your favourite drinks without overdoing it:
Have a large jug of water on ice on or near the Christmas table. You can make it special by adding slices of lemon, cucumber, or even some star fruit slices for a festive touch.
Try simple mixed drinks using a splash of green ginger wine, blood orange spirit or bitters with a good squeeze of lemon or lime and a big glug of soda or mineral water.
Our spiced punch (recipe below) is refreshing and relatively low in kilojoules. It can be enjoyed at lunch or dinner, or even for something different at breakfast.
Some enjoyable exercise after lunch, or as the sun goes down, is a great way to get the metabolism moving and help you feel happy, healthy and vibrant for Christmas. Backyard cricket is always a popular choice for the whole family – remember the “6 and out” rule! The whole family may also enjoy some other games such as Red Light, Statues, or the often hotly-contested classic, Musical Chairs.
We hope that these tips will inspire you to make Christmas in 2020 one of the most treasured memories yet. From all of us at Bright Diets, we wish you peace, happiness and health for Christmas and all the very best for 2021.