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Christmas dinner set up

Christmas recipes from the store cupboard

Get into the Christmas spirit with these festive recipes from nutritionist Rob Hobson,  made from long-lasting, easy-to-buy ingredients.

Hummus topped with cranberries and pine nuts

Festive hummus topped with dried cranberries and pine nuts

Serves 4-6

180 calories per serving

This festive twist on a classic appetiser is a great option for Christmas buffets or drinks parties. A serving is also a good source of protein, fibre and minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium.

Ingredients

  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 5 tbsp light tahini paste (find one that is really runny)
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Handful of dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Method

  1. Place the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, cumin and salt into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  2. Add water to adjust the consistency of your hummus.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with chopped dried cranberries and pine nuts.
  4. Serve with toasted wholemeal pitta bread or sliced vegetables such as carrot, pepper and cucumber.
Kedgeree mackerel rice peas and eggs

Kedgeree

Serves 4

500 calories per serving

Kedgeree is a classic Christmas or Boxing day brunch that can taste just as good when using frozen and store cupboard ingredients. This highly nutritious dish is rich in protein and nutrients including iron, magnesium and B vitamins.

Ingredients

  • 500g frozen smoked haddock fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 300g basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 400ml milk (fresh or UHT dairy or plant-based alternative)
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g frozen peas

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the frozen smoked haddock fillets on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan then add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the rice to the pan and stir. Now add the curry powder, turmeric and dried chillies, stirring for another minute until the spices become fragrant.
  3. Add the milk and stock then stir well to combine. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the rice is tender.
  4. While the rice is cooking, place the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, then cook for 6 minutes. Run the eggs under cold water and peel them, then quarter and set aside.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, flake the fish and stir into the rice along with the peas and eggs, then continue to heat for another 2 minutes until warmed through. Serve in bowls.
Apple chutney

Spiced apple chutney

Makes 2 small jars

60 calories per serving (2 tbsp)

No festive cheese board or meat platter is complete without a good fruity chutney. In the spirit of store cupboard cooking, this recipe is not only quick to prepare but requires no cooking and only a short time to preserve.

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large apples (such as Braeburn), peeled, cored and diced into small pieces
  • 120g sultanas
  • 80ml red wine vinegar
  • 40g dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl then season with salt and pepper before stirring to combine.
  2. Transfer the chutney to 2 small (or 1 large) sterilised jars, then seal and place in the fridge. Leave the chutney in the fridge for 3 days before eating and shake the contents once a day. The chutney should keep for about 1 week.
Mulled wine with oranges in a red mug

Non-alcoholic mulled wine

Serves 4

140 calories per serving

Being a non-drinker can be limiting at Christmas parties, but this recipe will give you all the fruit and spice without the alcohol. The use of fruit juices also means this drink is packed with vitamin C.

Ingredients
  • 350ml red grape juice
  • 350ml pomegranate juice
  • 350ml cranberry juice
  • ½ orange, sliced
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Runny honey to taste
  • Extra cinnamon sticks to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients (except the honey) into a saucepan set over a medium heat.
  2. Gently heat the mulled wine for 5 minutes, but do not bring to the boil.
  3. Serve in glasses with strips of orange zest and cinnamon stick to garnish.

Rob Hobson MSc RNutr is a Registered Nutritionist who has worked with some of the UK’s largest food and health companies and performs training in the public health sector (including government agencies and the NHS). Rob contributes regularly to UK press publications and has a monthly column in Women's Health magazine.

Find out more at Rob Hobson's website, or read more about Healthspan's health experts.

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