It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! So much so, we were a little quick off the mark, and may have already trialed and tested our nourishing menu for the big day. We love a good ol’ family feast, but this year, we wanted to shake things up a little and put a modern spin on the traditional Christmas menu and decor.
The setting? We took the Christmas colours to new heights this year, ditching the red/green combo and opting for a fun & festive hue of pink & blue, with silver & gold accents. To pull this look off you don’t have to hit the shops and spend a wad of moolah (quite the contrary actually). We created our napkins from fabric off-cuts, and scoured thrift stores for mismatched plates and glasses.
To top off this festive setting, we put to practice our DIY’ing skills from Chapter 5 of The MNB Girl’s Guide to the Festive Season eBook to jazz up our recycled jars. Use them to serve icy drinks or as the centrepiece to display your fresh blooms.
Christmas can be a smorgasbord of ham and turkey options, making it a little bit tough on our vegetarian friends. So, we have created a no-meat loaf. A super easy dish to put together, and one that the whole family will enjoy when paired with a fresh tomato sauce. Serve it up with the ultimate companion dish – the refreshing curried quinoa salad (loaded with the nutrients your body needs this silly season). Adding a fresh, seasonal and simple salad to the table is a great way to keep things summery and clean.
To top it off, nothing screams Christmas more than a classic fruit mince pie. It contains all the quintessential Christmas ingredients we know and love. The nuts, spices, and fruit – not to mention creamy custard – make for the ultimate sweet treat. But staying true to our modern twist on the age-old Christmas menu, we’ve taken the nourishing up a notch. The sweet and spicy flavours of the nutmeg and fruity delights of the dates, sultanas and goji berries create the perfect balance of good fats and sweet factor. This deconstructed delicacy is an MNB girl’s dessert heaven! We feel right at home creating this dish for Christmas Day, as it reminds us of the breakfast fruit parfaits we whip up each summer morning. Plus the ooh’s and ahh’s of your guests will be well worth it.
Curried Quinoa Salad
Makes 6 serves, prep time 20 mins
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 2 tbsp. raisins or currants
- 2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
- 1 red apple, diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- Mix all salad ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a glass jar and shake vigorously.
- Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately.
Makes 4 serves, prep time 20 mins, cook time 40 mins
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups mung beans, cooked
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. tamari
- ½ tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- ½ tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 lemon zest, and juice
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large carrot, grated
- Preheat oven to 170°C.
- Add all ingredients, except the spinach and grated carrot, together into a food processor.
- Pulse it a few times to combine.
- Fold through the spinach and grated carrot.
- Taste to see if there is enough seasoning, add more if needed.
- Press firmly into a lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for approx. 40 minutes.
- Sit aside to cool before slicing.
- Serve with a fresh tomato-based sauce, like our sugar-free tomato sauce (find the recipe here!)
Deconstructed Fruit Mince Pie
Makes 6 serves, prep time 1 hour (plus 12 hours soak time for the filling), cook time 40 mins
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 dried coconut (we used Banaban Coconut Crunch)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. all spice
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until it forms a crumbly dough.
- Crumble over a linked baking tray and bake in a 150°C oven for 10 mins.
- Press firmly into the bottom of 6 small ramekins or glasses.
- 2 apples, core removed and diced
- 1 cup oil-free sultanas
- ½ cup dates, chopped
- ½ cup goji berries
- 2 tbsp. pepitas
- 2 oranges, zest and juice
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
- ½ cup water
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and soak overnight.
- In a pot on low heat, simmer, stirring regularly, for around 15 minutes, or until softened.
- Divide the fruit mix evenly between the 6 ramekins/glasses that you previously pressed the base into.
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 6g gelatine (approx. 1 sachet of powdered gelatine)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean extract
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
- 2 cups milk of choice
- Place the boiling water in a small cup or bowl, and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over the top. Stir vigorously with a fork until most of the gelatine has dissolved. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes before using.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and honey in a bowl.
- Meanwhile in a small pot, heat the milk (just make sure it doesn’t boil).
- While whisking, slowly add all of the heated milk to the yolk mix. If you add the milk to fast at this point, it will shock the eggs and they will scramble.
- Pour this mix back into the pot that had the milk in it, and put it over a hot plate on medium heat. Using a spatula, stir continuously, ensuring that you also get around the edges of the pot.
- After a few minutes, the custard should start to thicken. Continue until the custard is your desired consistency – it should be thick enough to at least coat the back of a spoon.
- Then, pour the dissolved gelatine into the custard.
- Set the custard in the fridge for a minimum of fours.
- Top the fruit in the ramekins with the custard, and your deconstructed fruit mince pie is ready!
We hope you love our healthy Christmas ideas, make sure you #mnbxmas to show us all of your nourishing creations.