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Supercharge Your Christmas + Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Lunch, Christmas, Seasonal

The festive season has arrived yet again, and boy do I have some ridiculously good sustainable ideas and recipes to grace your table this Christmas!

This celebratory season is all about love, connection and gratitude centred around the best food you'll cook all year. My latest book Supercharge Your Life features lots of festive recipes from decadent grazing platter morsels to gorgeous roasts and pot luck favourites to share with family and friends over the Christmas break.

Supercharge Your Life centres around food as the catalyst for pleasure, enjoyment, love and connection. To ramp up the love even further, I’ve put a huge focus on how our food and entertaining choices can be a gift to heal our planet.

The Australian Retailers Association predicts that Aussies will spend approximately $48 billion over Christmas, which results in a massive increase in the waste we produce. The average western country is estimated to throw away around 300,000 tonnes of card packaging, 8000 tonnes/approximately 50,000 trees worth of wrapping paper, 125,000 tonnes of plastic, and 200,000 tonnes of meat!

This doesn’t sit well with me.

So here are some tips straight from my own personal Christmas plans that will hopefully inspire you and your family this year. Why not curate a Christmas experience that will help to save the environment and your wallet, whilst savouring a wholesome feast to delight the senses and warm the hearts of everyone.

Full Tummy, empty bins: Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! To cut down on waste, be sure to carefully plan your Christmas day spread, being mindful not to over cater. Ask your guests to bring along some containers so that they can take leftovers home for boxing day lunch rather than tossing all that beautiful food in the bin. Compost or worm farm all your food scraps; it’s good for the garden and the planet!.

Use brown paper bags and newspaper: Instead of using wrapping paper, opt for leftover newspaper to wrap your gifts. Tie with ribbons or twine (tip- I always save these from gifts and keep them in a special box. This saves me money too!) and poke some foraged flowers, foliage or herbs into the bow. Brown paper bags can be used to bag up cutlery- just tie the top with twine and again pop in some rosemary. Brown paper can also be used to write up menu cards or to gift wrap fresh herbs for your guests.

Forage baby forage! Real plants and foliage offer a free way to decorate your table or create Christmas decorations. Walk through your garden or search for overhanging plants on your street on Christmas morning with a basket and scissors. Snip flowers and/or greenery and place in jars of water. Herbs like rosemary can be tied with string around cutlery or bunched up and given as gifts. Natives like eucalyptus can be woven into a wreath for your front door, or laid out across the middle of the table for a rustic tablescape. Dry eucalyptus leaves can also be used as name tags for your gifts. Simply hole punch them, thread ribbon on twine through them and write the persons name on the leaf for a unique and thoughtful touch.

Ditch the plastic tableware: Straws, cups, plates, and other plastic tableware are simply terrible for our environment and find their way into our oceans; destroying our marine life. Stick to your regular ceramic ware and metal cutlery or invest into some bamboo eco tableware that is more durable and biodegradable. Metal straws and beeswax wraps are widely available now and significantly cut down on single use plastics.

Make a mason jar snow globe: Skip on the plastic Christmas ornaments and make your own out of mason jars and desiccated coconut! Simply glue small ornaments or beautiful small items already available to you into the inside of the mason jar lid. Place a handful of the coconut into the jar, screw the lid on and place upside down for your very own DIY snow globes. Your guests will love the creativity!

Make a herb garland: Herbs are the perfect Chrissy decoration because they reflect the theme of greenery that we all love at Christmas, but they’re also an edible decoration! Weave together herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf branches, mint, or any others you like. Add red chillies, cherries or garlic bulbs for hits of other festive colours. Give sections of it away as gifts or use them to flavour your meals.

Explore the beach: Hit the seaside with kids and collect beautiful pieces of driftwood, stones, shells and feathers to express a beachy vibe for your Christmas table. Driftwood can be collected in different lengths to be glued together in the shape of a Christmas tree. Sand can also be placed in small jars and topped with a tea light candle.

Buy second hand or recycled: Buy a bundle of unique clothes, accessories, books or retro ceramics from your local thrift store as gifts and invest into the circular economy. Chances are that if they’ve survived one person’s ownership, they’ll be of the quality that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Give thoughtful gifts: Common Christmas gifts like i-pads, phones, clothing and fashion accessories are encased in layers of styrofoam and plastic packaging. To eliminate waste, opt for experiences such as tickets to a concert or shout them a cooking lesson. If the kids are into video games, get them off their screens and into a real life experience like a go-karting class rather than giving them more “stuff”.

Use old magazines as place mats: For Christmas last year I used decorating magazines as place mats. They were the talking point of the table and everyone wanted to take them home afterwards! Simple, creative thoughts like this can be a great way to upcycle things you already have in your home that would simply go straight to land fill.

If you really want to create a show stopper meal this Christmas, get organised, roll up your sleeves and throw yourself into the joy of creating and devouring this gorgeous recipe from my new book Supercharge Your Life:

I hope you have a lovely Christmas filled with good cheer, friendship, family and the kind of food that shares love and brings people together!

Xx Lee

Christmas stuffing balls

{ makes 12 }

These can be made the day before and warmed in the oven while the turkey rests – 10 minutes at 150°C (300°C) should do the trick.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs (e.g. sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 110 g (334 oz/12 cup) cooked quinoa or 95 g (314 oz/12 cup) cooked brown rice
  • 115 g (4 oz/34 cup) pine nuts or crushed nuts
  • 100 g (312 oz/1 cup) almond meal
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and grease a baking tray.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 3–4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the pork, mixed herbs, parsley and lemon zest, then cook until the pork is no longer pink. Add the quinoa and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Roll 60 g (214 oz/14 cup) portions of the mixture into balls, sit them on the prepared baking tray, then bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Cranberry sauce

{ makes about 500 ml [17 fl oz/2 cups] }

INGREDIENTS

  • 310 g (11 oz/212 cups) fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained, or frozen cranberries
  • 180 g (614 oz/12 cup) rice malt syrup, plus extra as needed
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/12 cup) filtered water
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 12 teaspoon ground cinnamon

METHOD

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  • Taste for sweetness, add more rice malt syrup if necessary, then cool and seal in a sterilised jar until ready to use.

Roasted whole turkey

{ serves 1012 }

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 × 6 kg (13 lb 4 oz) turkey, giblets removed
  • large handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 170 g (6 oz) butter, softened
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • large handful thyme
  • small handful sage
  • 3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 brown onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 leeks, pale part only, halved lengthways
  • 4 baby carrots, halved
  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthways
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) chicken stock

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F).
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towel. Place the parsley in the cavity. Season the turkey with salt and pepper, and place in a large roasting tin. Spread the butter all over the bird. Drizzle over the lemon juice, sprinkle over the zest, and tuck the remaining herbs under the bird.
  • Arrange the onion, leek, carrot, celery and whole garlic bulbs around the turkey, then pour in the stock. Cover the tin with foil and roast for 45 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (325°F) and roast for a further 3–4 hours. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F) and roast until the turkey skin is golden brown and crisp, and the juices from the thickest part of the leg run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Enjoy your Christmas and let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments section below.

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Comments (2)

  • Aine

    |

    I absolutely love this Lee.. your Christmas ideas are awesome! I especially love the idea of using magazines as place mats.. how unique and totally you!! I always hit a thrift store and find old silk scarves to wrap my gifts .. then people can wear the wrapper! Best blog ever 💖💖

    Reply

    • Lee

      |

      So glad you like it! What a great idea about the scarves 🙂 Lee x

      Reply

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