Putting the Ho!, Ho!, Ho! into Christmas instead of the no, no, no…

Chocolate peppermint meringue trees

Let’s face it, if you’re eating clean, are gluten free, dairy free or vegan, the thought of Christmas and all the food and drink it involves, it can seem like quite a complex time when you want to join in and enjoy all the season has to offer but also still avoiding all the food that you don’t usually eat.

Well, why should we miss out? There’s always alternative ingredients and recipe adaptations which mean we can still enjoy all of the food, and God forbid, serve it to visiting friends and family who I bet won’t even notice the difference.

So, sit back and take a look at my ten best recipe suggestions covering everything from mince pies, to cranberry sauce and stuffing. I’ve trawled the internet so you don’t have to.

Also remember, don’t like a particular ingredient? Fine, change it for an alternative you like (or have), after all these are just suggestions, there’s a million ways to skin a cat!

Christmas pudding
Christmas pudding recipe by tanyazuoez.com

 

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Pumpkin, beef and chickpea stew

I love it when I ask the kids what they’d like for dinner and the suggestions that come back are all healthy. 

Yesterday my son requested prawn and chicken Thai curry and today my daughter requested “that yummy stuff with the rounds beans in it”. It took me a minute to deduce she meant chick peas, so of course I made it for her – what she meant was stew. 

 

Pumpkin, beef and chickpea stew
Pumpkin, beef and chickpea stew
 
The best thing about this stew is that it uses seasonal ingredients as its flavour base – pumpkins and tons of fresh turmeric. 

Ingredients 

  1. 500g organic stewing beef
  2. 1 small pumpkin or squash. I used one small blue ballet pumpkin
  3. 100g of fresh turmeric fingers
  4. 1 tin of tomatoes
  5. 1 onion
  6. 1 tin of chickpeas in water
  7. 1 litre of organic beef stock
  8. 1 clove of garlic

Cooking method

  • Melt the coconut oil and brown the meat in a pan
  • Add the browned meat to a slow cooker
  • In the same pan brown the onion and garlic which can be chopped roughly into strips
  • Once soft also add this to the slow cooker
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and beef stock and stir
  • Peel and chop the squash/pumpkin into cubes and also add to the pan along with the turmeric which apart from washing needs no prep.
  • Season with salt and pepper and slow cook for 7 hours.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 7 hours

Serves 6

Italian pesto chicken with courgetti

I don’t mean to big myself up but I have created one of the finest (healthiest) meals!!!

Tastes indulgent, looks great and best of all it’s made from lovely ingredients. I know the kids will love this food too…

 

Italian pesto chicken
Italian pesto chicken
 
Ingredients 

  1. 3 yellow courgettes
  2. One can of coconut milk
  3. 3 tbsps of pesto (Dairy free brand)
  4. 1 green pepper
  5. 1  small red chilli 
  6. 2 breasts of chicken
  7. 1 clove of garlic
  8. 1 tsp of mixed herbs
  9. Salt to season 
  10. 2 tbsps coconut oil

Cooking method

  • Spiralize your courgettes and set aside. (You’ll need a spiralizer to create ‘spaghetti’)
  • Chop the pepper, left over courgette (the ends that won’t go through the spiralizer) garlic and chilli and brown in some coconut oil
  • Next dice the chicken and fry until cooked through
  • Add the cooked vegetables to the chicken along with the pesto, coconut milk and herbs
  • Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle a pinch of salt over the courgetti and microwave on full power for two minutes. 
  • Once the courgette is cooked drain off any excess water and serve straight away so it doesn’t go cold. 
  • Construct the dish and finish off with black pepper and a dusting of Parmesan (not if you’re strictly dairy free).

For a vegetarian alternative swap the chicken for mushrooms or for a seasonal choice, pumpkin. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 2