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Ahh, Christmas day. It’s the one day of the year when families come together to connect, celebrate and eat good food. It is also a day when inter-generational familial rivalry emerges during the good old game of backyard cricket and when (in our family at least) we get to freely unleash our comedic aspirations in a safe and supported environment where everyone just ‘gets’ you. We laugh….a LOT, at ourselves and at each other; it’s a gene thing. I feel sympathy for new additions to our large and rowdy family as it usually takes about two Christmases for them to relax their deer-in-the-headlights expression. But we all agree, it’s a good test and if they make it to the second Christmas gathering, they’re officially in…they’re one of us.
Also for us, preparing Christmas lunch is just as much about bonding and catchups as it is about preparing food. Let’s face it, this is Australia and because of that Christmas Day usually means temperatures in excess of 30 degrees, so Australia, I’m giving you permission…it’s safe to turn off the oven as this year we are moving on from the last vestige of our colonial hangover and embracing healthy and wholesome Christmas food. In celebration I found a couple of, to-die-for Facebook food posts by our lovely friend and amazing whole food chef, Chef Cynthia Louise. She proves that Christmas lunch can be healthy, wholesome AND delicious.
ROCKET, MANGO, CHILLI & CURRANT SALAD
1 mango, cut into thin slices
1 bunch rocket, left in its whole form, washing the roots and leaves well
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup activated walnuts
1 long red chilli, cut into thin rounds
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/3 cup currants
1 cup grapes, cut in half
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Arrange all your salad nicely on a plate. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together, then add to the salad along with salt and pepper … enjoy. Makes 6 servings.
This is a simple dish that has no recipe, but here ht I used baby potatoes and made sure my dinner guests had at least 6-8 spuds each. You can use any type of potato. I left the skins on and washed them well. If you can’t find baby new potatoes, don’t worry. Dutch creams are a great variety to use, leaving the skins on and cutting them into quarters, following the guide above.
In a steamer (either bamboo or steel) add your potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle a little olive oil on them. Steam until they are tender, testing with a skewer to make sure they are cooked. Place them in a bowl and toss with some olive oil, mixed olives, and chopped spring onion. Season well with salt and pepper. Just delightful and wonderful on a dinner table, adding to your meal.
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