December can be a tricky month when it comes to staying healthy. For those planning on the traditional Christmas festivities, it can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to food. Well, help is at hand, as we have come up with three healthy festive recipes for your Christmas dinner so that you can have a delicious meal with less guilt. Of course, there should still be some room for pudding, too; it is Christmas after all.
Whole chicken (approx. 1.5kg)
2 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
400g carrots, cut into chunks
400g squash (we use butternut), cut into chunks
250g parsnips, cut into chunks
2-3 medium red onions, cut into wedges
5 garlic cloves
1 lemon, juiced
2 thyme and rosemary sprigs
Heat the oven to 200c/ 180c fan. Remove all the trussing from the chicken and place it in a large roasting tin.
Pour the lemon juice onto the chicken and rub it in. Add half the oil and the thyme and rosemary and rub them into the chicken. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Add the vegetables to a bowl and add the remaining oil, and season with salt and pepper. Mix it all together.
After 30 minutes, take the chicken out and place it on a plate. Add the vegetables to the roasting tin and place the chicken on top – roast for a further 45 minutes. Be sure to check the vegetables don’t catch by turning now and then.
Check the chicken is cooked by ensuring the juices run clear. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven, cover it with foil, and rest it for 5-10 minutes. Serve the chicken and roasted vegetables. We recommend teaming them with gravy and green veg.
1kg Brussel sprouts, trimmed
150g bacon lardons
1 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Cut all the Brussel sprouts into thin slices. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to slice them.
Add the bacon to the pan and fry for a few minutes. Next, add the Brussel sprouts and fry for approximately five minutes.
Add a splash or two of water to the pan and cook it off.
When the Brussels are cooked to your liking, add to a bowl and season with a small amount of salt and pepper and the chilli flakes if using.
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3-4 carrots, chopped
A handful of button mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1L vegetable or chicken stock
1-2 tbsp cornflour
Warm the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 15 minutes until browning.
Next, add the mushrooms and cook for another few minutes before adding the tomato puree and cooking for a further 2 minutes. Keep stirring it, so it doesn’t catch.
Add the vinegar and cook for a minute or two and then add the stock – season with a small amount of salt and some pepper.
Boil for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables become soft. Using a blender, blend the mixture to create a smooth consistency. Pass the mixture through a sieve and add back to the pan.
Bring the pan to a simmer. Mix 1 tbsp of cornflour with a splash of water and whisk to make a paste. Add the paste to the saucepan and stir to thicken the gravy. You can repeat the process with some more cornflour depending on how thick you want your gravy.
Serve the gravy straight away or freeze for up to two months.