Christmas is a time of joy and celebration with family and friends. It’s an ideal opportunity to gather around your table, enjoy some fine grub, and get into the festive spirit.
However, planning and preparing a delicious meal to serve your family and guests can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and stressful. From considering dietary requirements to deciding on the amount that will feed everyone, it’s enough to make your head spin.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of preparing a feast for your family and friends this year, we’re sharing the easiest ways to simplify your Christmas meal without sacrificing flavour and health.
1. Back to basics
Before getting into the menu, take a step back and remember that Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair. With a few simple dishes and some careful planning, you can still enjoy a delicious meal without too much fuss.
To make your Christmas meal easier to manage, start with easy-to-prepare options such as roasted chicken, turkey, or beef with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can try making a festive casserole or one-pot wonder—anything that’s slow-cooked or can be prepped in advance.
2. Buy pre-made
If you’re pushed for time but still want to create a delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen, pick up some store-bought items like pre-made pies, ready-to-cook roasts, pastas, and other festive dishes. This can save you a lot of time in the kitchen, and it’ll still taste awesome!
Don’t be afraid to purchase pre-made items like bread, cookies, cakes, or even pre-cooked mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. These can all be heated up and served with your meal, making it easier to put together a delicious feast in no time.
3. Keep it light
Instead of making a big, heavy meal, opt for lighter dishes that are packed with flavour. Salads and sides, like roasted vegetables or quinoa, can be made ahead of time and served alongside the main course.
For a healthy twist on traditional Christmas desserts, try making raw fruit tarts or yogurt-based cakes instead of sugary pies. If you still want to indulge in a sweet treat, consider making or buying mini-desserts like cupcakes and truffles.
4. Use the freezer
If you’ve been cooking up a storm in preparation for the big day, freeze some of your dishes ahead of time. This way, you can have delicious homemade meals on hand when unexpected guests arrive or if you simply don’t feel like cooking.
Freezing food is a great way to save time and effort in the kitchen while still serving up a tasty meal. Soups, stews, casseroles and curries all freeze well, so you can have them ready to cook in just a few minutes.
5. Make it a potluck
Rather than taking on all the work yourself, ask your guests if they can bring some food with them as well—it’s always nice to share ideas and recipes! This way, you don’t have to worry about cooking for everyone and it will also give your guests an opportunity to show off their culinary skills.
Whether you’re planning ahead or looking for something easy to make on the day, simplifying your Christmas meal doesn’t mean you have to miss out on flavour or nutrition.
With the simple tips above and some careful planning, you can have a delicious, nutritious, and stress-free holiday feast that your family and friends will love.
At Calgary Integrative Medicine, we believe that good nutrition plays a key role in sustaining overall health and wellbeing. If you’d like to learn more about how to celebrate the holidays stress free, reach out to us today!