Make this Christmas the most delicious yet by making vegetables the star of the show with less and better meat and dairy as a treat.
The festive period is a time for celebration, and there is no better way than with delicious food. Give your festive food a makeover with Eating Better's tips for enjoying a more sustainable celebration.
Party season is a marathon not a sprint
Eating less and better meat and dairy in the run up to Christmas and beyond will help to balance out meat and dairy-rich celebrations. There are many approaches to doing this successfully, it's all about what works for you. Many people find that having one or several meat-free days per week or enjoying meat-free lunches in the longer term.
Make the most of those tempting winter veggies
For our festive table, it's worth remembering that, due to the large amounts of water, land, and feed required to produce it, the meat in the meal will account for most of the environmental impacts of the entire meal. The key to a more sustainable celebratory feast is to serve smaller portions of meat and really ramp up the delicious dishes that we serve alongside it.
Steve Groves, Masterchef the professionals winner and Roux at Parliament Square head chef has said ‘We’re not talking about making meat disappear entirely – that would be a disaster. Meat is delicious and farming it has been at the heart of the British culture and economy for generations. What we’re talking about is eating less and eating better.’
Less and better meat and dairy as a treat
The term ‘meat as a treat’ is an old one but a good one, and celebratory occasions provide the perfect setting for this tradition. When we eat meat, it is crucial to choose better. 90% of the UK’s 10 million turkeys are now intensively farmed. Make sure if eating meat you have a ‘better’ bird on your table.
Serving smaller portions allows us to trade up to a higher quality piece of meat, making flavour the winner. 'Better' meat offers more value than its intensively produced counterparts. Look out for labels such as Organic, Pasture For Life, Free Range and RSPCA Assured, find out more in ‘Principles for eating meat and dairy more sustainably: the ‘less and better’ approach.’
Christmas dinner is one of the most exciting and looked forward to meals of the year. But it it’s over in a flash and with eyes sometimes bigger than our stomachs, it’s important to have a couple of tricks up our sleeves so we don’t waste any of the tasty treats.
Why not chuck all the delicious leftover roast potatoes, sprouts and anything else into a delicious bubble and squeak, like the chaps at BOSH TV.
Pair leftover turkey with some delicious seasonal veg in a celeriac and fennel coleslaw and you have another tasty meal.
Plant based centrepieces and a tasty side
Borlotti and shiitake haggis from Graham Campbell for Great British Chefs. This could make a delicious hearty alternative or accompaniment to Turkey at the centre of your table.
Roasted butternut stuffed with wild mushroom lentils by Farmdrop. This makes a great vegan centrepiece at any festive feast. The earthy flavour of the mushrooms works wonders with the sweetness of the squash, and the added dash of truffle oil makes it extra special.
Root vegetable gratin using earthy seasonal vegetables with British garden herbs from Made In Hackney - the UK's only enterprising eco-community kitchen and cookery school improving lives of Londoners.
Roasted aubergine with sicilian dressing, flaked almonds & mint from One Planet Plate - by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Aubergine’s are an incredibly versatile ingredient to use – we love how easy it is to create delicious dishes from something so simple.
Have a delicious Christmas!