‘Tis the season to… eat to your hearts content, but not just any sort of food will do!
It’s not often we get a moment to indulge unless you are from my part of the world, then well, eat and be merry lol but on a more serious note…Christmas is the time of year when we go all out, setting the table, making sure it is perfect for that ‘round the table’ sort of meal, and for us in my family, we make no exceptions.
It takes a lot of will power to make a huge spread even for the minimal number of guests but it still takes time to prep.
My advice is- write a prep list, days before Christmas. If there is anything you can prep days ahead that won’t spoil. Please do so! Plan the order in which you will be making your dishes! The last thing you want is to be slaying away in the kitchen and missing out on all the fun and food!
Here are some simple but classy recipes you can implement as part of your Christmas day meal!
1: POMEGRANATE SALAD
I recommend dressing in rich honey or maple-mustard salad dressing. You can, of course, make your own but I really love Aldi's dressing with this. This salad is amazing paired with Pineapple and Plum marinated BBQ Spare Ribs
Method: Chop what needs to be chopped lol, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Dressing of your choice is optional.
2: PINEAPPLE AND PLUM MARINATED BBQ SPARE RIBS
BBQ spare ribs has been an all-time favourite of mine, on this occasion I decided to do something different and make a marinade with pineapple and plum. Sweetest, finger licking good, ribs ever!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
(depending on your love for ribs)
Pack of pork or lamb spare ribs
1/2 Red Onion
All Purpose Seasoning
First rinse off meat thoroughly and rub down with and squeeze half a lemon.
Add red onion, pineapple and plum into blender adding a few drops of water to break down ingredients. Blend till completely smooth.
Season meat with parsley, all purpose season, cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, bbq sauce and honey to taste.
Pour blended contents from the blender and rub into ribs thoroughly.
Set aside for 10 minutes whilst you turn on and pre-heat the oven.
Place ribs into a baking tray, any residue marinade, gently brush back onto meat.
Pop into the oven for 15/20 minutes. After, take out, turn over the meat and brush with marinade again making sure all parts of the meat is fully seasoned.
After 35-40 minutes, your ribs should be cooked and ready to get stuck into.
3: DUCK SALAD
I bring you this delightful and succulent duck breast recipe. I love this dish because it's full of sweet and savoury flavours, it's light and not to heavy so there's definitely room for more food afterwards. I would serve something like this as a first main meal or during Christmas lunch.
2x Gressingham Duck Breast
1/2 Medium Butternut Squash
1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
1 tbsp Pomegranate Seeds
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Tamari Sauce
4 walnuts, crushed
Handful Rocket leaves
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp Sesame seed oil
re-heat oven 180 degrees (fan)
In a bowl rinse the duck breast and drain.
Add honey, mixed spice, salt and pepper (to taste), Tamari and minced garlic clove. Mix in well, cover then set aside for 5/10 mins.
Heat up a pan or skillet with sesame seed oil and add the duck breast skin down first. Cook until golden brown and charged, approximately 6 mins. Turn over and cook the other side the same. Keep the pan warm for squash
Place duck breast into an oven dish and pop into the oven for 20 minutes.
Next cut your squash into rough triangles, season with dry parsley and salt and pepper. Add the the same skillet you removed the duck from and sear until brown. Add 1/2 cup warm water and boil for 5/10 mins.
Once squash has softened, place into and oven dish and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Plate up some rocket leaves, add the squash, and carefully sliced duck breast, garnish with crushed walnuts, chopped coriander, Pomegranate Seeds and Pomegranate Molasses. #dineinwithduck #gressinghamduck
4: ROASTED GARLIC BUTTERY SKIN ON MASH
I wont say much other than THIS is what garlic mash potato dreams are made of! Scroll for full recipe.
Serves: 4-8 Prepping Time: 5-10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
8 Medium baking potatoes
2 Garlic Bulbs
1 Carton of Oat Cream
4 tbsp Vegan Butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Fresh herbs to garnish
Pre-heat fan oven 180 degrees or mark 7 for gas.
For the garlic, take two bulbs and slice off the top. The whole garlic bulb should still be intact. Drizzle with olive oil and then wrap in parchment paper. Roast for a minimum of 30 mins (I did mine with my Garlic and Lemon Herb Roast Chicken).
Next, simply cut potatoes with the skin on and boil till soft. Mash roughly with cream/milk and butter of your choice (I used oat cream/milk and dairy-free butter). Season with salt n pepper to taste. Next, take the roasted garlic bulbs and squeeze the garlic from the skin onto the potatoes. Finally, garnish with herbs and serve.
5: ROAST SWEET POTATO, BUTTERNUT SQUASH PLANTAIN SOUP
Winter ain't tryna be shy so I think I'm due for another bowl of my Plantain, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup. For this recipe I roasted my veg for extra flavour which makes all the difference when making soup but you can boil your veg if you wish.
1 Large Plantain 2 Sweet Potatoes 1/2 Butternut Squash 3 Spring Onion 2 Garlic Clove 4 Vegetable Stock Cubes Olive oil Chopped Parsley (dry) Salt and Pepper (to taste) Chillies (optional) Fresh herbs (to garnish) Method: Pre-heat oven 170 degrees Chop the veg and place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spray or drizzle olive oil over veg and season with parsley salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until potatoes and squash are soft. Next in a jug add 600ml of hot water, drop in stock cubes and mixed till dissolved. Once your veg has roasted, add into a soup maker or a food processor and pour in the vegetable stock. Mix well then pop the lid on and blitz till smooth or chunky whichever you prefer. Serve and garnish with herbs, chilli and enjoy with some warm (gluten-free) bread.
6: VEGAN MAC & CHEESE
Who said Mac and Cheese is only for a season? If you go to any cookout, one of the first things that’s asked for is mac and cheese! Would you want to be the person who didn’t have mac and cheese at their meal or would you want to be the one who slayed with my go to recipe.
For the recipe, head to shop on my website
7: GRILLED BABY CARROTS DRESSED WITH SPICY CHIMICHURRI MAYO
Baby carrots are so handy if you ever get a hold of some, mine are from Waitrose and they just save you the hassle of cutting and slicing regular sized ones. I don't know about you but I'm always whipping up something in the kitchen so if I can find something will make my job easier, I'm game.
This side dish has easily become a new favourite and you all know how much I love me some Chimichurri.
Prepping Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes.
1 pack baby carrots
Salt and Pepper
Cashew nuts, crushed
Large Bunch Parsley
6 Small Green Chilli's
1 Large Spring Onion
2-3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 tsp Pink Salt
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add all the chimichurri ingredients into a food processor or jug if using an immersion blender and blitz for 30 seconds - 1 minute, you don't want it to be a fine smooth sauce. Next, add the mayonnaise and mix it all together. you can then transfer into a sterilized glass jar to store your chimichurri mayo in the fridge.
Wash and peel your carrots, leaving the green stems. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Heat up your griddle and then transfer carrots over. Grill for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through. Once ready serve onto a plate and dress with your Chimichurri mayo. Garnish with chopped parsley and crushed cashew nuts.
8: ULTIMATE BBQ ROAST
This is one of my favourite go to’s as it can be eaten at any time of the year!
I know you want this recipe but you will need to purchase the recipe from my shop. I promise, it will NOT disappoint
9: ALMOND AND WALNUT STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Gluten free Plain Flour
What you'll need:
Mortar & Pestle
Remove the stems from the strawberries
Cut the strawberries into halves/quarters and place them in the baking dish
Add a few spoons of the brown sugar to the strawberries in the dish to sweeten it a bit
Once you have put in a decent amount, mix in thoroughly with your hands and set aside
Preheat the oven on gas mark 7
Combine Walnuts and Almonds to the mortal and pestle and crush till its crumbly but textured
Add 3 teaspoons of brown sugar to the flour
Add 4 teaspoons of butter also to the flour
Combine all ingredients with your hands until you feel all ingredients come together
Once completed, add crushed Almond and Walnuts and mix into your crumble.
And that’s it!
Bake for 15-20 minutes
10: BAILEYS CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
Here's another dessert for you guys to try and share over the Christmas holidays, my delightful No bake, Gluten Free, Bailey's Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake! Please note there is dairy in this as the chocolates contain some and was used to make the brownie base. Also there is small amounts of alcohol in the @Baileyschocolates so please do not share with individuals under the age of 18! It's an adult dessert, sorry kids! To see how I've made this catch a snippet in my stories and I will save them in my 'recipe' highlights too, full recipe details are below!
Ingredients: 4 bags Bailey Salted Caramel Chocolates 350ml coconut milk (canned) 1 bag cashew nuts 100ml oat milk 1/4 cup gluten free or oat flour 1/4 cup flaxseeds 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup melted dairy free butter 150g coconut cheese cream 8 tbsp Agave syrup 12 gluten free digestives biscuits 1 tsp vanilla extract PLEASE NOTE: This recipe requires you soaking a bag of cashew nuts over night or a minimum of 6 hours. GLUTEN FREE CHEESECAKE BASE METHOD: In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of baking butter or any butter you have to hand. Once melted set aside. Next crush your digestive biscuits anyway you see fit (it's very therapeutic). Once all crumbed, pour in the melted butter and mix together. In a round cheesecake baking tin, add the crushed digestives, spreading it evenly in the bottom of the tin. Then set aside whilst you make your brownie base. BROWNIE BASE METHOD: In medium sized sauce pan, add the oat milk and two bags of the #BaileysChocolates, melt over medium heat. Stir continuously to avoid it over cooking and burning. Once melted, take it off the heat and set aside. In a food processor add the 4 tbsp agave nectar, flaxseeds, cocoa powder, peanut butter, oat or gluten free flour and 150g coconut milk. Turn on the processor and mix for about 1 minute before adding 3/4 of the melted Bailey's chocolate sauce whilst still melted
AND LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST
11: STICKY COCONUT TOFFEE PUDDING
Using @LylesGoldenSyrup you're currently salivating at my Apple Spiced Sticky Coconut Toffee Pudding! Yes it's mouthful, verbally and literally 😩, p.s the recipe is dairy and gluten free. What I love about Lyles Golden Syrup is that it adds a more sweetly caramelized flavour and golden hue colour making it perfect for this recipe! Good news too these 700ml bottles have just launched and are available in you local supermarket. I hope you'll try my recipe for Christmas this year!
Ingredients: For the Coconut Toffee Apple: 1/4 cup butter 1 can coconut evaporated milk 1 tsp Lyles Golden Syrup 1 Bramley apple, sliced Pinch of Salt For the Spiced Apple Cake Batter: 1/2 cup dairy free butter 1/2 cup Muscavo sugar 4 tsp vanilla extract 1/3 cup Lyles Golden Syrup 3 large eggs 1/2 cups apple sauce 2 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour 3 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg Method: For the toffee apples: Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a large bundt pan and add the sliced apples into the steps or ridges of your bundt. In a small pan, melt butter with salt and add the coconut evaporated milk, Lyles Golden Syrup, bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring often and then simmer on a low heat for 2 minutes. Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the bottom of the bundt and apples carefully. Leave to one side. For the cake batter: Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract well using a hand mixer. Add Lyles Golden Syrup and mix well. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the apple sauce. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the to the creamed mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with hand blender for approximately 3 minutes or until smooth. Pour cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 mins. Let the cake rest in the pans for 10-15 mins before inverting the cake onto a serving plate.