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Australian Christmas Food ideas


It’s party time – and whether it’s the office Christmas party, the street party or just catching up with friends and family, each time is an opportunity to eat and drink to excess.

Here are my top Christmas food and drink choices to prevent overindulging TOO much this party season:

1. Eat canapés based on vegetables or seafood such as Sushi and oysters. They are an excellent alternative to the high fat spring roll that may be on offer. Sushi is high in protein, which will help you feel full while providing you with a source of healthy omega-3 fats. Raw fish also contains zinc, and the seaweed is high in nutrients such as iodine.

2. If you are going to a cocktail party or work function, make sure you eat regularly leading up to the event – that is, don’t skip lunch! Eating less simply increases your appetite and you will end up over eating. Eat a snack later in the day that is high in protein and contains low GI carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, chicken salads, a small tin of tuna, salad and avocado wraps, or a packet of raw nuts to satisfy your appetite so you don’t become ravenously hungry for the party.

3. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks or water. If you are the host, have a range of non-alcoholic drinks available, substantial food, and taxi numbers handy so everyone has a good time and arrives home safely.

4. If you find yourself starving at around 1 o’clock in the morning and feel like visiting McDonald’s, try and wait until you get home to eat. Wholegrain toast with vegemite and avocado is a much healthier and more satisfying option.

5. A helpful hangover tip is to drink a litre of water, eat a carbohydrate snack, and take a Vitamin B supplement as soon as you get home. Vitamin B is vital for processing alcohol and the carbs will help stabilise your blood glucose. Your body uses water and glucose to process alcohol so a hangover is a combination of dehydration and low blood glucose.

Prawns Cocktail with Avocado Cocktail SauceBut wait there’s more! Below are some healthy recipes for the Christmas table…

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1kg King prawns (= 500g once shells are removed)

1 large avocado, skin and seed removed

2 tbsp. good quality salt reduced tomato sauce

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 garlic clove, skin removed

3 gherkins, finely chopped

2 cups of lettuce (iceberg or baby cos), roughly chopped

Method:

  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Cook the prawns in the boiling water till they turn pink or approx. 10-15 minutes. Remove from the water and leave to cool to room temperature. Remove the shells, leaving the tail on and place in a bowl.
  • Place the avocado, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, and the garlic in a food processor and blend till smooth, add a little water if the consistency is too thick. Stir through the gherkins.
  • Serve in small bowls with lettuce on the bottom, approx. 125g (6 prawns) in each bowl and generously drizzle with the avocado cocktail sauce

Preserved Lemon Roasted Chicken with

1 x size 16 chicken, trimmed

½ a preserved lemon, finely chopped

1 bunch of fresh lemon thyme, finely chopped

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp. of salt

2 tsp. of pepper

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  • Mix all of the ingredients except the chicken together.
  • Place the chicken on a baking tray.
  • Carefully separate the flesh from the skin and insert the mixture in the middle, making sure it is evenly spread, pushing towards the legs.
  • Cook the chicken for 45 minutes.

Tip: Use latex gloves, or you could end up with messy fingernails!

Roast Cauliflower, Avocado Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 cup red quinoa

500ml chicken or vegetable stock

2 avocado, skin and seed removed

½ small bunch chives, chopped

4 tbsp. goat’s cheese, for serving

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C. In a roasting pan, add the cauliflower, oil, sea salt, pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • In a saucepan, add the stock and quinoa, bring to the boil for 3-5 minutes, turn the heart to low and cook for a further 25-30 minutes. With a fork aerate the quinoa; this will keep it from sticking together.
  • In a bowl, lightly top all of the ingredients together.
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