Food is an essential - and for many the central - part of Christmas with 3 out of 4 UK families enjoying roast turkey with all the trimmings. On average, we will spend about £135 on Christmas day food…but of that, we’ll end up throwing about £30 worth away.
No-one wants to be a kill-joy at Christmas, but how can we have our feast and eat (rather than waste) it. It’s all down to planning….
Plan the Meal
A little bit of planning can go a long way. Many hosts admit to cooking too much, worrying their guests will not have enough to eat. In fact, it would take the average family four days to eat all the food that is bought for Christmas day. A good measure is 3 x 75g of total vegetables per person.
Plan the Shop
There’s plenty of advertising around food at Christmas and it’s easy to be lulled into thinking we need to buy it all, so much so, that one in five of us admit to buying Christmas food that we don’t even like! Plan the meal, make a list and then resist the advertisers telling you what you should buy.
Plan the Leftovers
We all know we will have leftovers so plan what to do with it beforehand to avoid it going to waste. Keep leftover turkey in the fridge for up to two days, or remove the meat from the bones and freeze it (up to 3 months). There are loads of recipes and ideas out there for using up leftover turkey from pies and curries to casseroles, turkey noodles or even turkey mac and cheese!
But what about all the leftover cooked vegetables? Welcome to Boxing Day soup! The beauty of Boxing Day Soup is you can’t go wrong. There is no fixed recipe, it frees up loads of room in the fridge and sorts out lunch for the next day.
Before you sit down to your Christmas dinner, get out a large pan and fry an onion in a little oil. As all the dishes are cleared from the table, add all the leftovers straight to the pan. Carrots, potatoes, parsnips, sprouts even the gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce if you like. Mix up a hot chicken or vegetable stock and pour over enough to cover the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes then leave to cool. When it’s cooled, put it through a food processor or mash the vegetables as much as you can. Each soup will taste different. If one flavour is particularly dominant and you want to spice it up a little, add some curry powder, one teaspoon at a time. Store it in the fridge for 2 – 3 days or freeze it. It tastes fantastic, is packed with goodness and saves you money. It could just be your best Christmas bargain!
For more recipes & ideas visit www.therealmealdeal.com