A Festive Holiday Menu

Putting sustainability and health at the center of your winter celebrations just got a whole lot easier
Green pine with fairy lights

 

There’s nothing quite like the holidays to remind us of the important things in life: taking some time to relax, reunite with friends and family, and — most importantly — gather around a table to share and enjoy festive, delicious food.

This holiday dinner season, our gift to you is a specially selected menu of seasonal recipes fit for any celebration. We hope you enjoy!

The Seasonal Starter

Aimée Wimbush-Bourque's kale, pear, and roasted delicate squash salad.
Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s kale, pear, and roasted delicate squash salad.

Although there appears to be some international debate as to when in a meal one should serve salad (first or last?), we think this colourful kale, pear, and squash salad from zero-waste and zero-hunger advocate Aimée Wimbush-Bourque is the perfect way to start a festive meal all while celebrating the best produce the season has to offer.

Mouth-Watering Mains

We’ve got two main dishes to offer you in this menu. Depending on dietary preferences or the number of people that will be gathering around the table, you may be more inclined toward preparing one or the other (or both)!

Megha’s colorful curry

Megha Kohli's Mulligatawny curry.
Megha Kohli’s Mulligatawny curry.

While New Dehli-based chef Megha Kohli‘s recipe for Mulligatawny curry may not be traditionally associated with end-of-year festivities, we think its warming and earthy ingredients make it a perfect addition to any winter celebration.

Jamie’s free-range turkey

Jamie Oliver‘s simple recipe for a cranberry, bacon and thyme turkey is a classic during the winter holidays. Sustainably-sourced meat is best, of course — and don’t be afraid to get creative with the leftovers! With environmentally resource-heavy meals like this, there’s no room for waste.

The Sustainable Side

Aimee Wimbush-Bourque's whole roasted cauliflower.
Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s whole roasted cauliflower.

Former chef Aimée Wimbush-Bourque strikes again with this incredible whole roasted cauliflower recipe that puts plants first without compromising on flavour or appeal. Serve it as a side or as part of the main feast!

The Intercontinental Condiment

A bowl of roselles, from chef Radhika Khandelwal.
A bowl of roselles, from chef Radhika Khandelwal.

Radhika Kandelwhal knows that when it comes to adopting global recipes, there’s nothing more fun than adapting them to local ingredients! Her roselle chutney makes for an exciting and #planetaryhealth-y cranberry sauce alternative.

Roselle Chutney Recipe

Ingredients

  • 250g Roselle flowers (remove petals from the calyces, save the seeds and the calyces — the green bud)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 dried red chillies (I sometimes replace chillies with timur)
  • 2 tbsp channa dal/urad daal
  • 1 pinch of hing
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the petals of the roselle flowers thoroughly in running cold water.
  2. On medium heat, roast all the ingredients together except the roselle flowers.
  3. Once roasted, cool the ingredients and then grind to a paste consistency.
  4. Using the same pan, steam the roselle flowers until tender (2-3 mins). Roselle is very gelatinous and turns to paste super fast. Add the ground ingredients and powdered jaggery to the pan, salt to taste, cool and serve.
  5. The chutney should be tart, sweet, spicy. Serve as a side or use as a spread. The chutney stays good in the refrigerator for over 3 weeks.

Zero waste tip: 

Do not discard the calyces or seeds of the roselle flower. These too can make an amazing chutney. You can use gongura/roselle leaves and the seeds to make a pesto style dip.

The calyces of Roselle can be used for jellies (highly gelatinous) and sauces (Radhika does this for her Thanksgiving feast every year instead of cranberry).

Two Delightful Desserts

We just couldn’t resist sharing these two gorgeous recipes for dessert. Both remind us a bit of winter’s snow, and we think their simplicity makes them extra exquisite.

Max’s cocoa coconuts

Max La Manna's chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons.
Max La Manna’s chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons.

Simple yet rich, these no-waste chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons from climate activist Max La Manna are nothing short of delectable.

Rupy’s festive fruits

Ruby Aujla's roasted apricot dessert
Rupy Aujla’s roasted cinnamon apricots with vanilla and orange yoghurt.

Rupy Aujla’s recipe for roasted cinnamon apricots with vanilla and orange yoghurt is versatile in two ways: not only can you get creative with which fruit you choose to roast, but any leftovers can also be used towards making a tasty breakfast the next day!

 

We hope this menu of seasonal inspiration serves as a helpful guide for your festivities this winter. As always, we encourage you to play around with ingredients and adapt recipes to what is available, affordable, and attractive to you — all while keeping health and sustainability in mind.

 

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