Whip up a wholesome Christmas lunch for $20 per head


Image: iStock

For so long as I can keep in mind, Christmas has been an event of nice ceremony in our household. With the Scottish heritage of my grandma [Australia’s queen of cooking Margaret Fulton] working deep and with all the ladies in our household being meals writers, nothing is finished by 1/2 measures. Weeks earlier than most individuals have even considered their Christmas menu, my household has ready the pudding, marinated the fruit mince and ordered the turkey. In the lead as much as the massive day, Christmas stockings are crammed to the brim and you’ll barely see the tree for the presents piled round it.

Although all this effort makes for a beautiful Christmas Day, because the diet author and health-conscious eater of the household, I’d fortunately settle for an altogether smaller affair. Call me Scrooge, however as a substitute of our all-day degustation and reward overload, a deliciously wholesome three-course meal and a Kris Kringle would go well with me to a tee. I do know that our normally full bellies and shrunken financial institution balances would thank us, and it might imply extra time for simply flopping across the pool, which is what I need to do most in the summertime warmth.

So, it’s with open arms that I embraced this Christmas finances problem. To kick off the festivities is one among my favorite dishes: a child beetroot salad. It’s bursting with goodness and vivid festive color. In the spirit of price saving, I’ve used the nutritious child beetroot leaves, which so usually simply get tossed out.

For the principle course, I’ve chosen salmon with loads of veg. Salmon is filled with wholesome omega-3 fat and far simpler to arrange than an entire roast turkey or fillet of beef, making it the right celebration meal.

As a rule, selecting an entire fish is probably the most cost-effective possibility, and it appears to be like so spectacular because the centrepiece of the desk. Serving a scrumptious home-made mayonnaise and greens on the aspect makes this an extravagant festive meal with out the hefty price ticket.

My upbringing has instilled in me that Christmas merely wouldn’t be Christmas and not using a fruit pudding. I’ve so many fond reminiscences of Grandma triumphantly coming into the eating room holding her lovingly-prepared pudding, completed with flaming brandy and do-it-yourself custard, and studded with a silver threepence for 1 fortunate particular person to want on. So the candy ending to my menu is my more healthy tackle our conventional household pudding. Made with quinoa, extra-virgin olive oil, almonds and a small sprint of brandy, it’s each virtuous and completely scrumptious.

Now that I’ve the wholesome Christmas menu sorted there’s simply the small matter of getting the remainder of the household on board. One step at a time… possibly the Kris Kringle must wait till subsequent yr.

Baby beetroot salad with orange, avocado and walnuts

Fresh beetroot is a splendidly wholesome and fairly ingredient so as to add to any festive salad. Its vivid color is so Christmassy and it’s additionally an indication that this veg is filled with vitamins, together with fibre, folate and manganese.

  • 2-3 bunches child beetroots (beets), trimmed, leaves reserved
  • 2 small oranges, lower into segments, juice reserved
  • 2 small avocados, peeled, stones eliminated and sliced
  • 120g cream cheese, damaged into items
  • 60g chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to style

1. Steam the child beetroots for 30 minutes, or till tender. Set apart to chill barely. Select among the smaller, fairly beetroot leaves, rinse effectively and put aside.

2. Using your fingers, take away the skins from the beetroots. Cut them into wedges and prepare them on six plates. Top with the orange segments and avocado slices, and scatter over the items of cream cheese, walnuts and beetroot leaves.

3. Drizzle over the reserved orange juice and olive oil simply earlier than serving. Season with salt and pepper to style.

Cost: approx. $2.88 per serve

Crispy smashed potatoes

Low-GI potatoes resembling Carisma and Nicola assist minimise a blood sugar spike. The skins comprise vitamins and fibre. For a crispier outcome strive utilizing child red-skinned potatoes.

  • 750g child Carisma or Nicola potatoes, unpeeled
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to style
  • Chopped continental parsley, to serve
  • Mint leaves, to serve
  • 2 bunches asparagus, ends trimmed, steamed (optionally available)
  • Herb mayonnaise (see recipe, beneath)

1.Place the potatoes in a big saucepan. Cover with 3cm water. Bring to the boil over excessive warmth and cook dinner, coated, for about 25 minutes till simply tender. Drain. Transfer to a clear tea towel or some kitchen paper to dry.

2. Brush a big baking tray with oil and unfold the potatoes on the tray. Using a potato masher, press down on each to flatten. Place the tray within the fridge for 1-2 hours to permit the potatoes to chill fully.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Drizzle over the remaining oil (use a pastry brush to distribute the oil evenly) and roast for 15 minutes, turning as soon as, till the potatoes are crispy and golden.

4. Season with salt, scatter with the herbs and serve with steamed asparagus, baked salmon and herb mayonnaise (see recipe, beneath).

Cost: approx. $1.71 per serve per serve

Baked salmon with herb mayonnaise

If you possibly can’t supply an entire fish, use 6 x 150g fillets (our price per serve makes use of fillets, however an entire fish will make this dish at the least $3 much less per serve), and cook dinner in a non-stick pan or barbecue grill over medium-high warmth for 4 minutes both sides.

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2kg recent complete Atlantic salmon or ocean trout
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Thyme sprigs, to serve
  • Herb mayonnaise
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs every finely chopped continental parsley, chives, basil and dill
  • Salt and freshly floor black pepper, to style

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a big baking dish with foil and sprinkle it with 1/2 the salt. Lay the fish on high and place the lemon slices and thyme sprigs within the cavity. You can tie it with kitchen string to carry it collectively. Sprinkle with extra thyme and the remaining salt. Cover loosely with foil and cook dinner for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and relaxation for 15 minutes.

2. To make the mayonnaise, mix the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a meals processor. With the motor working, add 1/4 cup of oil, 1 tbs at a time, till the combination begins to thicken. Add the remaining oil in a skinny stream till the combination is thick and easy. Add the herbs, course of to mix and season.

3. Transfer the fish to a serving plate, draining off juices. If you favor to serve it with out the pores and skin, make a shallow lower beneath the tail, alongside the again and throughout the beginning of the top, then fastidiously pull the pores and skin away. Cut down the centre and ease off items, avoiding the bones. Repeat on the opposite aspect. Serve with the mayonnaise, asparagus and crispy potatoes (above).

Cost: approx. $11.27 per serve

TIP: The fish is cooked when the eyes are white and a skewer inserted into the thickest partof it feels heat when it’s examined on the again of your wrist.

Quinoa Christmas pudding

This is ideal for many who can’t eat gluten, but it surely nonetheless tastes decadent. For 140g of cooked quinoa, you want about 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa. Bring it to the boil in a pan with 1/2 cup water, cut back warmth to low, cowl and cook dinner for 12-14 minutes till the water has been absorbed.

  • 150g sultanas
  • 150g currants
  • 150g pitted prunes, finely chopped
  • 150g dried dates, finely chopped
  • 2 oranges, juiced and rind grated
  • 1 tbs brandy (optionally available)
  • 11/2 cups almond meal
  • 3/4 cup cooked white quinoa (see directions, above)
  • 1 tsp floor cinnamon
  • 1 tsp combined spice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Icing sugar, to mud (optionally available)


  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • 2 cups milk

1.Place the sultanas, currants, prunes, dates, orange rind, juice and brandy in a glass bowl. Cover and put aside in a single day.

2. Lightly spray a 5-cup capability pudding basin with oil. Line the bottom and sides with baking paper. Add the almond meal, cooked quinoa, cinnamon and spices to the fruit combination and stir to mix.

3. Whisk collectively the oil and eggs. Pour over the fruit and blend till effectively mixed. Spoon into the ready basin and easy the floor. Secure a lid on high, or cowl with a layer of baking paper and foil, pleated down the centre to present it room to rise, and safe it with string.

4. Place the basin in a saucepan on an upturned heatproof saucer. Pour boiling water into the pan so it comes midway up the aspect of the basin. Cover and cook dinner over medium warmth for 3 hours, refilling with boiling water to take care of the extent. Remove the basin from the pan, stand for 10 minutes, then end up onto a serving plate.

5. To make the custard, whisk the sugar, eggs, egg yolk and cornflour collectively in a bowl. Heat the milk in a small saucepan till it simply begins to simmer. Slowly pour into the egg combination, whisking till it’s mixed. Return to the saucepan and cook dinner, stirring, over low warmth for 3 minutes or till the combination thickens and coats the again of a spoon when examined. Remove the custard from the warmth and pressure to take away any lumps. Dust the pudding with icing sugar and serve with the custard.

Cost: approx. $3.61 per serve

Total meal: approx. $19.47 per serve

Festive drink concepts

For added festive cheer, splash out on these recent drinks which are massive on style and lightweight on energy.

Cranberry Fizz

  • Mineral water
  • Cranberry juice
  • Passionfruit pulp
  • Lemon items

Summer Squash

  • Soda water
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime items
  • Mint leaves

Complete your Christmas feast with this attractive fruit platter.

Source: bodyandsoul.com.au

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