The celebrations of the Christmas and New Year period are all about good food shared with good people. I’m most fond of meals that are made ahead so I get more time to chat and connect; with less time hanging out in the kitchen on my own.
So here is a tried and true meal plan for anytime you need to whip together a feast!
Dukkah, olive oil and chunks of crusty bread
[Zero waste tip – BYO containers to Wasteless Pantry for the dukkah and oil as well as taking your bread bag to the bakery for your bread (or make your own)]
Soya crisps, bhuja mix, corn chips and smashed avocado with a little lemon juice, rice cracker salad or mixed nuts
[Zero waste tip – BYO containers to Wasteless Pantry for the snacks and use a reusable produce bag for the avocado. Serve all the snacks in wide-mouthed upcycled jars so you just put the lid back on if they don’t get finished and nothing will go stale]
Brown rice salad – super easy to make in about 20 minutes and if you have extra it is great for lunches the next couple of days. Soak rice overnight if you want to speed up the cooking time.
[Zero waste tip – BYO containers for rice, seeds, currants, oil and soy sauce. Feel free to substitute what you have e.g. red onion for shallots, any colour capsicum, sultanas for currants, dried garlic for fresh (just halve the quantity suggested)]
[Zero waste tip – roast up any vegetables that you have handy, even if they are a bit limp, or shop with reusable produce bags. You don’t need to peel potato, sweet potato, carrots or mushrooms, just pop them straight onto the tray. Try reusable baking liners or oil up your tray instead of using the disposable sheets]
Roasted meat or chicken wings
[Zero waste tip – Pick smaller cuts of meat as these will take less time to cook (and less power to run your oven) and encourage your guests to eat more vegetables since it’s healthier for everyone anyhow. Take your own container to your butcher to avoid the plastic bag and meat tray]
Christmas Cake – it is super easy to make this cake that lasts up to 3 months so you will always have something on hand for unexpected visitors!
Fruit platter or grilled stone fruit sprinkled with cinnamon sugar
[Zero waste tip – eat what is in season, since there is so much local variety this time of the year anyhow! Whatever doesn’t get finished can be made into a fruit salad or smoothies for another day. In my opinion cinnamon sugar goes with everything so BYO container for this from Wasteless Pantry]
[Zero waste tip – these can be made ahead and frozen in small batches so that you can whip them out as needed. Also feel free to get creative with the ingredients by swapping in what you love and have on hand – maybe you prefer macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds, or dried apricots, or try adding in maple syrup if you like it sweeter and rolling in coconut or dip in chocolate for a more decadent treat. The main thing is to use up what you have rather than having bits and bobs going stale in your pantry]
So there you have it, simple and delicious!
Customise to appetites and guests as needed.
Photo by Best Recipe Team