During the festive season, you’ll be flooded with endless ads for yummy food. But alas, it’s the same thing year after year. Turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts. Well, what if you’re ready to mix it up? Or want to prepare an all-vegan feast, or have other wintertime traditions that warrant a less cliché menu? We’re here to give you some fun ideas, ranging from refined to sweet and simple. Whatever your taste buds might be in the mood for, you’ll be sure to have a satisfying meal idea.
Catering to various diets
These days, people have a lot of different requirements when it comes to dining. Whether it’s trying to be more ethical or eco-friendly, medicinal reasons or simply trying to get into healthier habits; eating away from home can be quite challenging. Especially when most of the usual suspects for festive party food tend to be quick and easy greasy options. With rarely vegan or vegetarian options.
The simplest thing to do is just commit to a limited menu – but we don’t mean boring or bland. Only a few people can eat meat and dairy. But EVERYONE can eat vegan and non-dairy alternatives. By automatically catering to just vegan and vegetarian-friendly guests, you can be sure that no one will wind up going hungry. You can cut down on shopping and not make your guests wonder what they can and can’t eat. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from!
If you do want to throw in a few meaty options, get yourself some labels for your serving dishes – to avoid any confusion!
Having lots of guests and just one oven means that there will be a wait for the hot food. It’s good to give your guests some nibbles while they wait. You can get eco-friendly bamboo sticks online and stack them with cherry tomato, avocado, cucumber and green olive cut into ish 2cm pieces. Make them festive by adding cranberries or even Brussel sprouts!
Once you’ve made a bunch of these skewers and placed them onto a service plate – drizzle some olive oil over them and add a pinch of salt. It’s healthy, yummy, filling and quick to make! You can also make a vegetarian option! Replace the olive with a cube of feta! It crumbles so make sure it’s the last thing you add and just gently poke it with the tip of the skewer.
You can also make fruit skewers! Stack whatever you fancy, strawberries, banana, grapes, etc. Or maybe try something a bit more exotic such as figs, dragon fruit or papaya.
Outdoor festive pizza ideas
The trusty BBQ dominates outdoor cooking, but it’s almost synonymous with meat dishes. Why not shake things up a bit! DIY pizzas are not only fun and universally liked, but by making your own, everyone can customise the toppings to their individual liking! And you don’t need a whopping wood-burning oven to make your own homemade delicious pizzas. Small outdoor gas pizza ovens, such as the Ooni range, have become quite popular.
The only tricky bit is making and rolling the dough – but if you’re not in the mood for that, you can order pre-made dough as well. There are lots of fantastic Christmas Themed Pizza Recipes to try. You can top your pizza with traditional stuff like ham or peppers, but since you’re making something special why not try something new. Sautée some more unusual mushrooms, such as King Oyster and Shiitake in a little bit of butter (or plant-based spread) with a bit of salt, then pop them onto your pizza to crisp up. The base sauce can be very simple: reduce some cherry or plum tomatoes on a frying pan, add a glob of olive oil (keep it on low heat!), oregano and finely chopped fresh basil.
For a white sauce, you can use vegan cream or yoghurt and parmesan, with a pinch of pepper and maybe a dash of chives or spring onion. Another delicious topping is to bake some peppers, carrots or artichokes in honey or agave-balsamic glaze. If you do have a BBQ standing around, why not char some broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus – they’ll get that lovely smokey taste running through them, and you could even sprinkle some smoked paprika to really give them a kick!
Another troublesome part of Christmas is that we always overdo it and have way too much leftover food. So why not make Boxing Day an outdoor pizza extravaganza, and encourage everyone to bring their leftovers in Tupperware and use that as their pizza topping! They’ll definitely be bringing what they like, and nothing will need to get thrown away!