Why not try something different this year when planning your festive meals? You don’t have to completely steer away from tradition, just try someone else’s! I have selected some really interesting, mostly straightforward, dishes and drinks from around the globe to add some extra sparkle to your Christmas dining experience. We steered away from the strange typical Japanese festive feast which, since the seventies, is KFC(!) and went for some more wholesome dishes passed down from generation to generation.
Traditional Christmas Fare
Sweden: Janssons Frestelse
The name of this dish translates to mean “Jansson’s temptation”, it seems to be unclear as to who Jansson was but it got the whole of Sweden, and now many more people, tempted too. The humble potato is bound to make plenty of appearances over the festive period, why not try this delightful Swedish version for something new to add to your repertoire? Finely cut potatoes and anchovies make this a really great alternative to the roast potato. Recipe here.
This is a creamy spiced baked carrot dish which is simply delicious and pretty easy to make. An interesting vegetable addition to the main meal on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Recipe here
Brazil: Caeia de Natal
Take turkey to a new level with the Brazilian version marinated in champagne and spices, served with fruits and a dressing made with the giblets and farina de mandioca: recipe here. For practicing Catholics this would usually be served after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
This is a starter dish, a creamy chicken soup with lemon, egg and rice or pasta. The key to this dish is the egg-lemon sauce which creates a whole new level of flavour and a really delicious alternative to your regular chicken soup.
This is a great desert or sweet snack for the table over the Christmas period. There’s nothing particularly healthy about it but they are absolutely delicious and relatively easy to make, plus they keep for up to two weeks. Recipe here.
France: Coquilles Saint Jaque
This is a traditional French recipe made on special occasions (Christmas especially), when you’re expecting company. It’s a really rich, sumptuous dish which is actually relatively simple to make. This would be an amazing start to your Christmas meal. Recipe here.
This fruit and spice-infused mulled wine is a tradition which has already gone global, featured in many a household, bar and restaurant all over the world over the festive season; mainly the colder countries serve this as a perfect winter warmer. Usually this is an alcoholic drink but you can find alternatives for the whole family. There are many regional variations on the ingredients, so make it to your own taste. Recipe here.
This is what Christmas Pudding is to the British, a classic, traditional desert to be eaten all through the festive period. Traditionally, it is plain or dried fruits are added, and now there are chocolate chip versions. Served warm with a spread of butter on – amazing! Or just grab it off the shelf, rip it up and share it as it is. Everybody’s favourite, recipe here.
Whatever traditional Christmas fare you decide to bake, fry, steam or boil this year, enjoy it and remember that it’s only two weeks; you have fifty others to be good! Everything in moderation, even moderation.
Become a qualified Nutritional Therapist
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer a wide selection of nutritional courses – all of which are qualified in 26 countries worldwide:
- Clinical Nutrition
- Advanced Nutrition
- Child & Adolescent Nutrition
- Ethical & Sustainable Eating
- Nutrition for aged 50 plus
- Sport and Exercise Nutrition
- Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition