Enjoy Christmas Dinner with Fewer Calories

Christmas is fast approaching the day is usually filled with high caloric food. According to article published in daily mail average Brit consumes 7000 calories on Christmas day. Some easily exceeds whooping 10,000 calories in a single day adding several lbs. to their waistline. You can save calories if you plan ahead for this intensely social and calorie laden day. Here are some ways to enjoy without putting on too much weight.

Some Steps to Cut Calories

1. Eat chicken instead of turkey if you have a small family. This saves time and effort to deal with leftover turkey as well. This single change can save hundreds of calories this holiday season.

2. Use less oil and butter in cooking

3. Sweeten foods with honey or maple syrup. These are better than nutrient less sugar.

4. Ditch alcoholic beverages. Instead serve an exciting drink made with health giving fruits and herbs.

5. Avoid usual Christmas pudding and eat refreshing, exciting and antioxidant rich pudding.

6. Watch out portion size.

Jobs you can do on Christmas Eve

1. Prepare Cranberry sauce

2. Remove the skin of chicken or turkey. Marinate it and keep it in refrigerator overnight.

3. Make pudding and freeze it.

Here are some recipes to tackle unnecessary weight gain

Oat cake with smoked salmon and water cress

Easy to make, no cooking needed

Things you need

Nairns Oatcakes- 6 no:
Finely shredded light cheddar cheese- 6 tsp
Smoked Salmon – 100gm cut into nice square pieces to fit on top of oatcakes
Water cress leaves – Few tips
Capers – 3 tsp

How to assemble

Place smoked salmon on top of oatcake.

Top it with shredded cheese, water cress and capers.

Roast Chicken with Citrus and Thyme

A delicious spicy and tangy roast chicken boosted with vitamin – C, vitamin – K and volatile oils.

You can use turkey instead of chicken if you have more than four people to celebrate Christmas with you.

Things you need

Chicken – 1600gm
Juice of one clementine
Chilli powder – 1tsp (optional)
Paprika – 1tsp
Lemon juice – 1tsp
Salt – 1tsp
One small handful of Thyme sprigs
Corn flour – 2tbsp
One Clementine – Remove the white pith and seeds from clementine and cut into wedges
One Lemon - Remove the white pith and seeds from lemon and cut into wedges

Method

Marinate chicken a day before and refrigerate it overnight. Mix clementine juice, chilli powder (optional), paprika powder, salt, lemon juice, corn flour and thyme sprigs together. Use thyme sprigs as a brush to marinate the chicken. Place half of thyme sprigs on top of the chicken and remaining half into the cavity of chicken. Do not tie the legs together. Keep the chicken covered in cling film. Make sure you pack it well or keep it in an air tight container and refrigerate overnight.

Take the chicken out from refrigerator half an hour before cooking to bring it down to room temperature.

Pre –heat oven to gas mark 6/ 200°C/400°F. Meanwhile place the lemon wedges in a 30x30cm grease proof paper and fold the edges and seal the bag. Place the parcel in an aluminium foil (40x40cm) and fold the edges to keep the double strong parcel tight. Repeat packing in the same way for clementine wedges as well.

Keep the chicken in a roasting tray. Cover it with a piece of greaseproof paper and the cover it again with a piece of aluminium foil. This will keep the chicken moist and juicy.

Place the roasting tray in the upper shelf of oven and keep the clementine and lemon parcels on the lower shelf. Roast for one hour twenty minutes. Take everything out of the oven.

Allow the chicken to rest for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and grease proof paper. Decorate the chicken with lemon and clementine wedges. Transfer the chicken on to a plate. Now is the time to make gravy.

Gravy

To make gravy, mix 1tbsp corn flour with 150 ml water. Place the roasting tray on top of hot hob. Bring the juices left in the tray to boil. Pour the corn flour mixed water into it. Stir it continuously until the gravy thickens. Turn off the heat. Decorate with thyme sprig.

Roasted Vegetables

Colourful, tasty and carotenoid rich

Things you need

Pumpkin, peel, remove seeds and slice thinly - 1½ cups
Sprout, quartered – 150gm
Beetroot, peel and cut into wedges – 80gm
Red onion, peel and cut into wedges – 180gm
Carrot, remove ends and cut into diagonal chunks – 80gm
Large garlic cloves, peel and crush – 4
Thyme sprigs- 5 or 6
Composed olive oil – 5ml
Salt – 3/4tsp
Crushed black pepper – a pinch
Pomegranate, cut into wedges and then separate red jewels – 1tbsp for decoration

Method

Pre – heat oven to gas mark 6/ 200°C/400°F. Put all the vegetables into a large roasting tray. Season it with salt and crushed pepper. Throw in crushed garlic and thyme sprigs. Drizzle olive oil and mix everything together. Make sure vegetables are covered evenly in salt, pepper and oil. Roast the vegetables in hot oven until it is cooked through. Do not overcook.

Take the roasting tray out from the oven. Decorate it with pomegranate jewels. Serve it with roasted chicken.

Cranberry Sauce

A delicious sauce to serve with your roast.

Things you need

Cranberry – 300gm
Maple syrup – 3tbsp
Water – 25ml
Mixed tropical fruit juice – 50ml
Cinnamon stick – 2cm piece
Nutmeg powder – a pinch
Orange zest – 1tsp

Method

Boil water in a sauce pan. Add cranberries to it. Simmer gently and let the water evaporate and add fruit juice to it. Bring to boil again. Add cinnamon stick and nutmeg powder to it. Add maple syrup and stir well. Allow the sauce to thicken and turn off the heat. Throw in orange zest. Leave it to cool.

Strawberry Sorbet Ice Cream

This unusual refreshing Christmas pudding can cut down calories and is very nutritious.

Things you need

Strawberries, chopped – 150gm
Red blush pear, seeds removed and chopped – 1
Honey – 1 heaped tbsp.
Coconut milk – 150ml
Water – 100ml
Pomegranate jewels – 1tbsp to decorate

Method

Bring water to boil in a sauce pan. Add chopped pear. Cook it gently on simmer and add strawberries to it. Let the water evaporate and mash the fruits a bit. Now it is the time to add honey and coconut milk. Combine well and turn off the heat. Cool down. Pour into a freezer safe container. Freeze for 2 hours. Rake it with a fork to make large ice crystals. Keep it back in freezer. Take it out 20 minutes before serving. Scoop it out into a serving bowl with a warm scoop. Decorate with pomegranate jewels.

Tropical Fruit and Mint Fizz

Refreshing after meal drink to aid digestion

Things you need

Lemon and ginger tea bags – 2
Pure mixed tropical juice, refrigerated – 500ml
Boiling water – 250ml
Sparkling water – 250ml
Mint sprigs – one small bunch

Method

Make a cup of lemon and ginger tea and take the bags out. Leave it to cool. Then refrigerate it. Pour it into a mixing jug. Add fruit juice and sparking water to it. Crush mint sprigs a bit and add it to the juice mix. Give it a gentle stir. Serve after dinner.

AllDishes

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Nutritionist Reading, Berkshire
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