Household waste increases by 30% over the festive period, and while it’s challenging to have an entirely waste-free Christmas, there are many ways in which we can drastically cut down – all it takes is some clever planning and a creative approach to ingredients.
Cooking a huge, expensive turkey for a lot of people can be a daunting task. Up to a third of turkeys don’t even make it to the table due to undercooking, and many of the ones that do are so overdone that most of the bird is thrown away after the meal. Avoid disaster by writing and following a strict plan on the day, or use our turkey guide and Christmas time planner at Olivemagazine.com to ensure everything is cooked perfectly, on time.
It’s easier said than done, but stick to your shopping list!
Christmas is a time of excess and supermarkets like to encourage us to buy more than we need with two-for-one and multi-pack deals. It may be better value to buy the 1.5kg bag of carrots, but if you only need three or four then there is far more chance of them going to waste. Panic buying is a real problem over Christmas, but keep calm and think: do I really need this? Where possible, buy loose vegetables from supermarkets, greengrocers or markets so you can buy exactly what you need. It may seem obvious but also look for the longest use-by dates you can find. You’d hate to throw something away that would have been eaten just because it goes out of date on Boxing Day.
USE YOUR FREEZER
Having the freezer stocked with items such as pre-made canapés, bulkers like garlic bread and puddings will mean you can easily whip things out for an easy meal or feed unexpected guests at the last minute. Having these bits frozen will also keep them from going off and save you valuable fridge space. Get in lots of storage containers and reusable freezer bags as well as labels so you know exactly what everything is and when it was frozen. Any food that is fully cooked and cooled properly will keep for up to six months in the freezer (check your freezer capabilities for ideal freezing times) – turkey curry in June, anyone?
Do you actually like sprouts? Or turkey? Cut down on unwanted leftovers by changing traditions you’re less keen on, whether that’s swapping turkey for rib of beef, sprouts for pak choi or carrots for kale.
Crispy veg peelings with curry salt
30 MINUTES | SERVES 4 AS A SNACK | EASY | GF
Scrub and wash any vegetables well before peeling – then you can keep any peelings, as well as any loose left-over veg, and use them to make crisps!
left-over peelings and vegetables 800g, peeled (potatoes, parsnips and carrots work well, including skins)
olive oil 3 tbsp
sea salt flakes ½ tsp
ground turmeric ¼ tsp
ground cumin ½ tsp
ground coriander ½ tsp
mild chilli powder ½ tsp
caster sugar ¼ tsp
• Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170/gas 5. Tip the peelings into a bowl and toss with a little seasoning and the olive oil. Divide between two large non-stick trays, then cook for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway, until really crisp.
• Mix together the ingredients for the curry salt.
• Put the peelings into a bowl and sprinkle over the curry salt to serve.
PER SERVING 221 KCALS | FAT 9.6G SATURATES 1.4G | CARBS 26.9G | SUGARS 8.4G FIBRE 7.3G | PROTEIN 3.2G | SALT 0.7G
For us at Olive many of the joys of Christmas come from the leftovers – turkey sarnies and bubble and squeak are almost better than the Christmas feast itself. Olivemagazine.com has got a huge collection of recipes that will inspire you to use every last morsel of left-over food, so go and check it out. As a general rule, any cooked food that has been cooled properly, packaged and chilled within two hours of cooking will then have a further shelf life of three days.
1 HOUR 30 MINUTES | SERVES 4 | EASY
This is nutritious and restorative after the excesses of Christmas, and makes the most of the turkey. Make the stock and freeze ahead or use 1.6 litres of ready-made stock, if you like.
ginger a thumb-sized piece, shredded
soy sauce 3 tbsp
shiitake mushrooms 150g, halved and quartered
long-stemmed broccoli 250g, cut into
ready-cooked egg noodles
2 x 275g packs
toasted sesame oil 1½ tbsp
cooked turkey meat 400g, shredded
garlic 2 cloves, thinly sliced
white miso 2 tbsp
spring onions 2, thinly sliced
dried chilli flakes a good pinch
soft-boiled eggs 2, halved (optional)
turkey carcass 1, broken into pieces
onion 1, quartered
carrot 1, roughly chopped
celery 1 stick, roughly chopped
woody herbs (bay leaf, thyme or rosemary)
• To make the turkey stock, put the carcass pieces into a large pan with the onion, carrot, celery and herbs. Pour in 2 litres of cold water and gently bring to the boil. Skim fat or scum from the surface then simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve. Once cool enough to handle, remove as much meat as possible from the carcass, disposing of the bones and vegetables. This can be done up to 3 days in advance or frozen with any left-over meat.
• Bring the stock to the boil and add the ginger, soy sauce and mushrooms, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes or until blanched.
• Meanwhile, put the egg noodles into a colander and pour over a kettle of just-boiled water. Divide between 4 shallow bowls. Ladle over the broccoli, mushrooms and stock.
• Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and add the sesame oil. Cook the turkey for 4-5 minutes or until starting to crisp, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the miso and cook for another minute. Divide between the 4 bowls.
• Finish each bowl with a scattering of spring onions, chilli flakes and1/2 a boiled egg, if you like.
PER SERVING 546 KCALS | FAT 15.6G SATURATES 3.2G | CARBS 44.9G | SUGARS 5.2G FIBRE 6.5G | PROTEIN 53.3G | SALT 4G
Whisky crumble mince pies
1 HOUR + CHILLING + COOLING | MAKES 12 | EASY
plain flour 275g, plus extra for dusting
ground almonds 50g
golden caster sugar 100g
unsalted butter 200g, cubed and chilled
whole milk 2 tbsp (optional)
stem ginger roughly chopped to make 2 tbsp
orange 1, zested
dried cranberries 50g
glacé morello cherries 50g, roughly chopped
whisky 3 tbsp
egg 1, beaten
icing sugar to dust
unsalted butter 25g, cubed and chilled
plain flour 25g
golden caster sugar 20g
pecans 50g, finely chopped
• Put all the ingredients for the pastry with a pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse until they come together as a dough, adding a little milk if it’s not clumping. Put the dough onto a floured worksurface and form into a sausage shape. Cut off1/3 for the lids, wrap and chill.
• Divide the remaining2/3 pastry into 12 equal pieces, roughly roll out each one and press them into the bottoms and sides of a 12-hole muffin tin. Chill.
• Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix together the mincemeat, stem ginger, orange zest, cranberries, cherries and whisky. Divide the mixture equally between the mince pie cases. Roll out the remaining pastry onto a lightly floured worksurface and cut out different-sized stars for the pastry lids. Chill these and the mince pies while you make the crumble.
• Put the butter, oats and flour in a bowl, and rub together with your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb-like texture. Add the sugar followed by the pecans and mix together until just combined. Lightly sprinkle the crumble over the tops of the mince pies. Put the stars on top, overlapping some of them. Brush the mince pies with a little beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is browned. Cool for 15 minutes before lifting out of the tin and dusting with icing sugar.
PER SERVING 494 KCALS | FAT 24.1G | SATURATES 10.6G | CARBS 59G SUGARS 37.5G | FIBRE 3G | PROTEIN 6.4G | SALT 1G ■