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Christmas Food & Drink

Christmas Dinner – An Alternative Twist

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The festive season is upon us, and with it comes one of the Christmas Dinner . The most eagerly anticipated feasts of the year. While a bunch of us swear by holiday traditions, opting for turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pigs in blankets, it’s not so straight forward for others.

Whether you’ve got dietary requirements to cater for, or you just want to change things up in 2020, we’ve got a few ideas for you. So, tuck in and get inspired, then you can end the year on a big Christmassy high. We’ll even throw in a few healthy ideas, so your new years resolutions aren’t so daunting come January.

Marvellous Meatless Feasts

Veganism has very much been on the rise in 2020, and with plant-based diets becoming more and more popular. So, Christmas dinner could be looking a little different in some households. With meat-free alternatives having a stab at recreating the flavour and texture of their meat-filled brethren, the lines are starting to blur.

round blue plate

Whether you go for seitan or tofu turkey, you can get that centrepiece sorted. Alternatively, you can go a little left-field. Whether that means a nut roast, or even a Christmas curry. By getting away from the traditional turkey (I mean let’s be honest, it’s a little dry), you can treat yourself to a marvellous meat-free feast.

Then you can turn your attention to those essential extras. Whether you have an undying love for pigs in blankets, like your potatoes roasted in duck fat, or you’re just a sucker for some stuffing, there’s a meat-free alternative. All you need to do is substitute that duck fat for vegetable oil. Swap those pigs in blankets for vegan sausages and “facon”, and you’re good to go.

Another Christmas staple that isn’t suitable for vegans, is Baileys. We all like a festive tipple, so try replacing the dairy found in Irish cream for almond or coconut milk. You’ve got yourself a refreshing and homemade, boozy Christmas beverage that meets your dietary requirements!

Sainsburys have a huge range of delicious vegan and vegetarian foods to enjoy.

You can serve dinner in style with some fresh dining furniture from Wayfair.

Delights to Meet Dietary Requirements

Some of us have made decisions to change the way we eat. Whether that’s going vegan to cut down your carbon footprint or going plant-based for health reasons. But some of us are unfortunate enough to have intolerances and strict dietary requirements. Whether that’s a nut allergy, lactose intolerance or even a gluten intolerance. So, Christmas dinner isn’t as straight forward as it seems.

brown and white chocolate bars

Most of us have the luxury of being able to open a tin of Quality Street and bury our faces. But with nuts and dairy making an appearance, others must tread carefully. Luckily, supermarkets stock dairy-free and nut-free chocolate selections, as well as advent calendars! So, nobody needs to feel left out this Christmas.

Gluten is another allergy that can cause a few problems at Christmas. With stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, beers and spirits including it, you’ve got to keep a close eye out. Luckily, gluten-free products are becoming easier to get your hands on. With whole sections at the supermarket dedicated to these kinds of foods and drinks.

The best way to deal with allergies at Christmas is to do your research and check those ingredients! It’s important to bear in mind that even things like pine trees and wood fires can set off allergies too. So, the considerations aren’t just on dinner table during the festive season!

Head over to Virgin Wines to get your festive tipples sorted this Christmas.

ASDA have a ton of dairy and gluten free options, so every diet is catered for this Winter.

Go International with Your Christmas Dinner

While allergies and diets can make Christmas dinner a little more complicated, sometimes you just want something a little different. That’s why it’s such a great idea to take a little inspiration from how our international neighbours handle their festive feasts.

KFC fries and chicken lot

You can change up the centre piece by taking a tip out of the Puerto Rico book, and treating the family to a suckling pig. But if that’s a little too complicated for your kitchen, Japan enjoy some delicious chicken, courtesy of the colonel with a KFC feast. They even serve hot sake, so you can wash down your perfectly crispy popcorn chicken.

A great way to get some international flavours and cater for the pescatarians is to go Portuguese or Eastern European for Christmas dinner. Whether it’s cod, pike, herring or carp, you can chow down on a delicious and healthy meal that’s packed with omega three.

Meats like goose and duck are popular in Germany, while Norway go for flavour packed pork roasts. And while you may not want to go all in on these different dishes, you can certainly get a little inspiration. Whether you want to change that turkey out for a lamb shank, or you just fancy mixing up the side dishes, you can keep Christmas fresh.

You can serve up in style with some fabulous dinnerware from Emma Bridgewater or Dunelm.

No Waste No Worries

Christmas is a time of excess, but we’re all becoming more concerned with sustainability and the environment. So, it’s important when you’re tucking into Christmas dinner, you’re thinking about cutting down on that waste. The small changes we make can have a cracking impact on the planet!

Mince Pies on a Plate

At Christmas we produce 30% more food waste that the rest of the year, with over a thousand tonnes of turkey and nearly 400 tonnes of mince pies going to waste. Usually this can be down to catering for the family, we don’t want to run out of food or drink, so we overstock. But we’ll more than likely be having a smaller gathering in 2020 thanks to the Coronavirus.

This is where Boxing Day steps in to save the day! You can use those leftovers to whip up a fabulous meal for the whole family. From bubble and squeak and turkey casserole to sprout sandwiches if you’re feeling daring, there’s a recipe to make use of all those leftovers after Christmas Day. So, get creative with your leftovers, and check out a few recipes online.

A good way to avoid waste altogether is to write a list and stick to it! That way you can plan for what you’ll need, without throwing everything into the trolly. And of course, there’s always the option of freezing your leftovers and getting them out when you’re ready, cutting down on that waste. It’s even worth keeping your eyes peeled for companies that do their best to cut down on that carbon footprint.

Hello Fresh offer quality food and do their best to cut down on the carbon footprint.

At Morrisons you can get sustainably packaged food and even wobbly vegetables to help cut down on waste.

Chow Down on an Alternative Christmas Dinner

white snowman figurine beside red heart ornament

So, when it comes to your Christmas dinner, think differently. Whether you just want to try out something new, or you’ve got a few different diets to cater for, it can shake things up through the festive season. Whether you want to check out a few recipes, or need some international inspiration, plan ahead so you can cook up a storm on the big day.

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