I’m always amazed at Christmas time how magazines and television programmes encourage us to make elaborate dishes. So often people who never cook much all year put themselves under a lot of stress because they feel they ought to cook from scratch.
I think this needs turning on its head. I much prefer to cook well throughout the year using fresh ingredients and lots of vegetables but at Christmas I’m prepared to cheat if necessary to save myself hassle. After all it’s only a couple of days.
If I only have a few visitors and time to prepare then I’m able to cook everything from scratch but what if you have a crowd to feed and especially if it includes lots of people who are not into your healthy lifestyle? My answer is cheat!
Don’t spend time making a three bird roast or your own stuffing, gravy and pigs in blankets. Buy them ready to cook. Look for frozen vegetables and if necessary test them beforehand to make sure they come up to standard. You can get things like roast parsnips, cauliflower in white sauce and roast potatoes that taste really good. They are not something that I would buy on a regular basis as I’m not happy with the type of fat and seasoning they include but for one meal it’s OK. If you have serious intolerance’s then look out for free from alternatives as there are lots available now.
Buying a pudding for one meal is not a big deal but having sweet things around to tempt you over the holidays is not a good one. Christmas dinner doesn’t need to be unhealthy but it’s all those sweets and snacks that are. So this is where I plan ahead and make sure I have some cakes, puddings, snacks and treats in the freezer. Try my salted caramel cups or chocolate truffles which you will find in the latest recipe section on my website or in my book Easy Tasty Healthy. With a little ingenuity and forward planning there is no need to have a stressful or unhealthy Christmas.