My parents are coming to stay this Christmas, and I’ve been planning our festive menu. I’ve been thinking about what they’d enjoy while they are with us.
I realise how much my ‘simple living’ approach has spilled over into what I cook and serve in the festive season.
As I wrote here before, my culinary tastes have turned towards plant-based whole foods.
Eat more vegetables
I eat a much wider variety of vegetables whilst consuming flavours and textures inspired by the cuisine of myriad cultures. This food is easy to prepare, visually appealing and delicious. In addition, it’s usually cost-effective, as I have more than enough to keep me going at lunch time, too.
Today’s lunch, for example, was Nigella’s sweet potato, black bean and avocado burrito. I had made enough for dinner last night, plus leftovers, resulting in a cost-effective and healthy way to refuel during the day.
Simple kitchen, simple cleaning
The other thing I notice about my simple kitchen is that it’s easier to keep clean.
Last weekend, my husband made – for himself and our daughter – a traditional English cooked breakfast. They enjoyed it, but he vowed afterwards that they’d go out to eat this in the future; the preparation and clearing away took up half the morning.
My ‘Happy Pear‘ inspired porridge has no such downside. Quick to cook, with a variety of toppings to add texture, taste and extra nutrients, the pan goes straight in the dishwasher and away we go!
Healthy mind in a healthy body
The other benefit is that of health and wellbeing. I have noticed that I am able to avoid the common cold when it does the rounds at work. I feel better than ever, maintain a steady weight, and don’t crave the type of foods that wouldn’t constitute a healthy diet. I have even become that woman who enjoys a couple of squares of very dark chocolate in the evening!
So, back to Mater and Pater. Dad is a meat and two veg’ Yorkshireman. My vegetarian burrito is not for him!
Having said that, he is partial to real Italian pizza. He claims that it is, after all, just fancy cheese on toast. But what to feed the family when I have vegetarian leanings, my husband eats Paleo and our guests have more traditional food preferences?
Keep Christmas cooking simple
I’m going to prepare (in advance) some plant-based sweet treats for me, but will also make some simple meals to keep everyone happy without stressing the Head of Catering (me).
- A baked ham for Boxing Day, with fresh salads and baby new potatoes, will appeal to everyone after the previous day’s traditional Christmas lunch
- Fresh clementines and medjool dates
- Luxury home-made ice-cream (yes!), will make light work of holiday desserts and keep my father happy
- Chocolate Florentines and Lily O’Briens chocolates will satisfy the sweet-toothed
So, because baking mince-pies or fretting over fancy menus isn’t for me, I choose the simpler route. After all, it’s about spending time with loved ones and enjoying the holidays that matters most.
How do you decide on your holiday catering?
Do you take a simple living approach or go the whole hog? I’d love to know! What’s your must-have holiday foodie treat?