Our Favourite Eating Requirement Friendly Christmas Meals

anise-aroma-art-277253.jpg

When I think of Christmas I think of family and blessing others, hosting people in our homes and singing carols together. I also think of the festive spread that will be put on for Christmas Day and the many occasions leading up to it. Really, a lot of things we do revolve around food and eating, as the saying goes “Eat, drink & be merry”. We share food as a gesture of hospitality and of love, a way of bringing people together and for some, a creative outlet.

The amount of people who are now deciding to make changes to their diets is ever increasing, so too may your need to cater for those members of the family who have extensive dietary requirements. The ones you may be dreading to have to be cooking for! But don’t fret, there are sooooo... many great ideas out there now, only a google search away, so here are a few twists on some classics to keep everyone satisfied this Christmas, and the best part about it is the others won’t even know that it’s free of almost everything!

All of these recipes are free from any dairy, meat, gluten and soy so you can cover all your bases and be extra prepared for the unexpected or late notice guests. Happy cooking!

Triple Berry Bake:

This recipe is a delicious twist on good old oats, some serious comfort food. Find this recipe in Maddy Lymburner’s cookbook ‘What I Eat for Life”

(Make sure your oats are certified gluten free) 2 Tbsp. chia seeds

2 Cups Plant Milk (almond, coconut, rice etc) 1.5 Cups Instant Steel Cut Oats (or 2 cups rolled oats) 1 tsp Cinnamon Juice from 1/2 an Orange 1/2 tsp Orange Zest 2 Medjool Dates (fresh is best and you can pit them yourself) 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 1/4 Cup Walnuts 1/4 Cup Large Coconut Flakes 1 Chopped Apple 2 Cups Frozen Mixed Berries

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius

Mix 2 Tbsp of chia seeds with 1 cup of milk and set aside

In a large mixing bowl, add oats and cinnamon and mix together, then add the rest of the required ingredients.

Mix the chia seed milk into the dry ingredients.

Transfer mixture into a large baking dish and bake for 45-60 minutes. (cover with foil 1/2 way through so it doesn’t burn)

Let it cool for 5 minutes before serving and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and some store bought ice cream!

* My favourite is the “Weis Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Sorbet”

All the Veg Lasagna:

Lasagna is that classic dish that always satisfies, this one is great because it looks as good as it tastes. Don’t be fooled by the long list of vegetables included in this recipe, you'd be surprised at their beautiful flavours and colours.

400g Pumpkin (Whichever kind is your favourite) 400g Sweet Potato 2 Zucchini 1 1/3 Cups of Soaked Almonds (4-12 Hours) 1/4 Cups Lemon Juice 2 tsp Salt 1/2 Heaped Cup of Nutritional Yeast (Find this at the supermarket or a health food grocer) 2 Cups Water 1 Heaped Tbsp Miso Paste 7 Cups of Diced Tomatoes or fresh (Approximately 5 x 400g cans) 5 Medjool Dates (fresh is best and you can pit them yourself) tsp Oregano 2 tsp Garlic Powder 1 Brown Onion Minced 1/8 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes 3 Cups Baby Spinach

Preheat Oven to 200 degrees celsius

Bring a small pot of shallow water to the boil and steam 1/3 of the sweet potato until fully cooked, then drain

Cut Pumpkin, sweet potato and zucchini into thin strips (Similar shape to lasagna sheets) and place pumpkin and sweet

potato on a baking tray to bake for 20 minutes, until just soft

In a blender or food processor combine almonds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, water, 1 tsp of garlic powder and steamed

sweet potato

Process until completely smooth, about 4-6 minutes and then set aside

Combine and process miso paste, diced tomatoes, pitted dates, oregano, 1 tsp of garlic powder, onion and sun dried

tomatoes until smooth

Now for the fun part! Layer your lasagna starting with tomato sauce directly into a large baking dish

Now layer the cheese sauce, pumpkin & sweet potato, spinach, zucchini and repeat

Finish with the cheese sauce on top and bake for 45 minutes to an 1 hour depending, you will know its done when the

lasagna has set and can be served with its shape somewhat in tacked.

Spiced Chickpeas:

Many may think that legumes are plain and boring but the array of spices are most definitely not. This recipe is great because it shows that you can take something inexpensive and turn it into something delicious.

2 Cans of Chickpeas 1 tsp Cumin 1 tsp Turmeric 1/2 tsp Paprika 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes 2 tsp Salt 1 tsp Curry Powder 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder 1/2 Cup Diced Canned Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

In a bowl combine the spices and salt

Rinse and drain the chickpeas and add them to a fry pan with a drizzle of olive oil

Add spices to the pan along with the tomatoes and simmer for 4-6 minutes, until sauce is thick has coated the chickpeas and is reduced

Transfer to a lined baking tray and place in the oven for roughly 10 minutes until crisp and golden