After sharing our Christmas meals with you in 2016, 2015, and 2014, it’s time again for another festive round-up. Christmas 2017 actually came in two parts, as J was off to Australia to be a groomsman at a friend’s wedding – so we decided to have our own mini-Christmas in mid-December.
I was pretty proud of myself for putting together a fairly nice spread. We had a traditional serving of Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, peas, and carrots, but I also made a mushroom and nut loaf from one of our older recipes.
It was super delicious, and held its shape really well, so bonus points to myself for that! It was lovely with gravy over it, too. Of course, one of the downsides was that with just the two of us, I ended up with far too much.
But what is Christmas about if not leftovers? Personally, they’re one of my favourite parts!
Next up was the official Christmas Day, cooked as always by V in her very busy kitchen. We like to have two courses on Christmas Day, followed by a dessert much, much later in the day. Later enough to have actually digested something to make room!
We started out with this baked garlic mushroom dish, served with a cherry tomato sauce, and topped with stilton and quark. It was also served with a few olive crispbreads to dip into the sauce. This was adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe, suited more to our tastes.
This was really delicious with the mushrooms and tomatoes really working together. The olive breads also had a nice crunch when scooping up a bit of sauce and topping. It all went very well together and definitely one to try again.
The main was adapted from Slimming World’s recipe books. It was a rice, lentil, butter bean, cheddar, and mixed nut roast. It cooked beautifully and had a wonderful texture, with the nuts scattered on top adding that extra bit of crunch.
This delicious dish was served with roasted parsnips, roast potatoes in their skins, swede and carrot mash, and red cabbage with cranberries. The salty potatoes against the sweet parsnip and tart cranberries was a fantastic mix.
It was hugely filling, as you might expect, but made for a wonderful and colourful plate that we all enjoyed thoroughly.
We topped everything off with gravy, bread sauce, and cranberry sauce – the perfect additions to a special dinner. I haven’t had bread sauce since last Christmas as we’re trying to avoid high-calorie sauces, so it was a fantastic treat.
Boxing Day has always been just as important as Christmas Day for us in terms of the food. Two courses again, and a similar format. We have a trio of these meals over the festive period, with the last one being New Year’s Day.
We started with a salad of fresh rocket and spinach, feta, beetroot, and orange segments with walnut. Drizzled over this was a light, fruity dressing. The basis was taken from a Jamie Oliver recipe but, of course, adapted.
You wouldn’t think that orange would go with beetroot and feta, but it does. The walnut also pairs with the flavours to create a really festive package.
For the main we had a shop-bought pie, which definitely wasn’t cheating because there was so much going on around it. The pie was a mushroom Wellington and was very good itself.
For the sides, we had a chunky potato and celeriac gratin, lemony carrots, French peas, and (not for me) sprouts. If you’re wondering about the peas, the “bacon” was courtesy of Quorn.
It was all great. Personally, a real highlight is the lemony carrots. That zing of the lemon really brings out the flavour of the carrots and elevates them to something else.
New Year’s Day
For us, New Year’s Eve is a night of buffet food, drinks, and – inevitably – dancing. That means we leave our big meal until New Year’s Day, perfect for soaking up hangovers and replenishing energy levels.
This starter was smashed avocado and lemon juice with roasted cherry tomatoes and feta on corn bread.
This was SO tasty. The avocado went perfectly with the juicy tomatoes, and the bread was a perfect base. This would go down very well for breakfast too, perhaps on fancy occasions when you really want to impress.
The main part of the main course was another pie, in this case mushroom and chestnut.
It was paired with roasted parsnips, new potaotoes, and a golden broccoli bake adapted from another Slimming World recipe. It combined broccoli, cauliflower, quark, and cheese with some leftover chestnuts added into the mix.
The parsnips are always my favourite part of the meal because they are just so damn good. Give me parsnips and sweet potatoes, pair them with mushrooms, and then I don’t need anything else. Well, maybe a chestnut or two.
We had a great time over the festive season with a lot of great feasts. It’s always a highlight of the year and a time to focus on food rather than worrying about waistlines.
And now, time for that ever-present New Year’s resolution to lose weight…