Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a brand-new player, hosting Christmas lunch or dinner can be a little stressful.
If you’re two steps away from choosing which restaurant will be catering your Christmas table, hold your metaphorical horses. I’ll be sharing three Christmas salads that are fit for a king and queen.
Firstly, choosing what to cook, can be challenging when almost everyone you know has an allergy or some sort of dietary restriction. And then, you need to consider how to make your table look beautiful and feel merry.
But fear not, hosting a fabulously festive Christmas lunch or dinner need not be stressful or take up too much room in that lovely brain of yours. With the right plan, and a little help from me, you can put in less effort and still pull off a memorable and delicious event.
Let me help you cruise through the planning so you can focus on enjoying the party you and your guests deserve.
Before we get into what food to cook, it’s essential to set the stage with a beautiful tablescape.
Choose and stick to a theme to make sure your table looks cohesive. I love a garden theme and love to use flowers and pots on the table as a decoration. Like any good Instagrammer, I use upcycled jars to place things like dressings and toppings on the table, too.
One of my other favourite ways to decorate the table is letting the food do the talking, and by that, I mean providing the colour. Spreading citrus fruit, pomegranate, and pumpkins on the table is an excellent way to bring vibrancy to your table naturally. If you need some more tips on creating a tablescape, this blog here is for you as it has all the tips and tricks and ins and outs.
To ion out any bad vibes, make sure to light candle. I often use my negative ion candle. Negative ion candles purify the air, elevate serotonin levels and look absolutely stunning on the dinner table, making it an essential piece of the Christmas table puzzle.
Now, let’s get onto the delicious part, the food.
These days, one main meal never fits all, especially when you’re cooking for a few. You might be catering to a vegetarian, flexitarian, dairy-free, grain-free, vegan, keto, or carb-free crowd, making it almost impossible to choose what to make.
Do yourself a favour and take the pressure off by choosing one main meal and letting the sides do most of the heavy lifting. It’s the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure meal and great for when you’re hosting a bunch of people. I mean, why fuss over a big roast when everyone loves the sides? There, I said it; because let's face it, someone had to!
My foolproof Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings plus a Homemade Cranberry Sauce and Christmas Stuffing Balls, is here if you want a main on the table that feels traditional but is surprisingly easy to make.
Every holiday main deserves a salad by its side.
Having mix-and-match salads will ensure your meal is family-friendly and scalable. There are a few different options here, but you can pick your favourites and leave (or should I say leaf) the rest behind.
- Kale and Blood Orange Salad
This Kale and Blood Orange Salad is a one-stop shop for all your antioxidant needs. In this tasty salad, I’ve paired the green goodness of kale with a unique crimson coloured orange that brings a delightful twist to the old green salad. Plus, it’s full of fibre that your gut microbiome will love you for, especially after one too many pieces of Christmas cake. For more gut-loving goodness this holiday season, don’t forget to stock up on Love Your Gut Powder.
- Kaleslaw with Creamy Dressing
My Kaleslaw with Creamy Dressing is light, healthy and full of serious flavour. It’s fibre and sulphur-rich, making it a liver-loving food that supports our natural detoxification pathways.
It’s sweet and tangy and goes well with just about anything. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the dressing name – it tastes like a traditional creamy dressing but is packed full of whole food ingredients, like sesame seeds, sugar-free mustard and cashews.
- Eggplant, Pomegranate and Minted Quinoa Salad
Eggplant has vitamins and minerals in spades. It’s rich in manganese, folic acid and all-important thiamine, the mineral that helps convert blood sugar into glucose for energy. Eggplant also contains a rare antioxidant known as nasunin. Found under the eggplant’s skin, nasunin protects brain cells from free-radical damage.
I hope you’ll love this wise salad, and the colours inspired by the three wise men, a perfect nativity scene for your Christmas table.
- 1 zucchini (courgette), sliced
- 1 eggplant (aubergine), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, whole
- 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling
- Celtic sea salt
- 270 g (91/2 oz/1 cup) cooked quinoa
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 bunch of mint, leaves only, plus extra, to serve
- 1 bunch of coriander (cilantro), leaves only, plus extra, to serve
- 1 pomegranate, seeds only
- 2 avocados, peeled, stones removed and sliced into wedges
- 4 small spring onions (scallions), chopped
- 125 g (41/2 oz/1 cup) slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
Place the zucchini, eggplant and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for about 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a bowl with lemon juice and zest and olive oil. Combine well.
Place in a salad bowl with all the other ingredients and serve topped with extra mint and coriander leaves.
After the year we’ve had, Christmas is the perfect time to spend time with the ones you love the most and enjoy the festivities.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.