How to make Christmas dinner sustainable and stress-free

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – as long as you’re not in charge of the Christmas Day menu! But if you are, we’ve got some advice on how to reduce stress on yourself and the environment this festive season.

 

Par-boil your vegetables the night before

 

Johnny Joseph, one of the talented chefs at The Huntsman in Bath, takes the stress out of Christmas Day by chopping and pre-cooking all of his vegetables the night before. That way, you only need to worry about the meat (and the tipples) come Christmas morning! He par-boils all of the vegetables, lets them cool to room temperature, and then leaves them in the fridge overnight.

Minimalist contemporary white kitchen with Samsung fridge freezer and large island with Oak worktop

 

Line your trays with recyclable aluminium foil

 

Who wants to spend their Boxing Day morning soaking and scrubbing trays? Chef Nick Deverell-Smith from The Churchill Arms in the Cotswolds always lines his roasting trays with aluminium foil to minimise his washing up effort. Be careful to give it a wipe before you put it in your recycling, though (find out why and get some more recycling tips here).

 

Shop consciously to cut food waste

 

Jon Lewin, author of The Locals Kitchen: Sri Lanka, always favours plant-based recipes – whatever the season. Root vegetables are a festive favourite: think parsnips, swedes, squashes, beetroots and turnips. When you’re in the shops, try to choose ingredients that don’t go overboard on the packaging. Loose items that have been locally-sourced are ideal.

 

 

Make your leftovers stretch further

 

Sprawled out on the sofa on Boxing Day? Take note of where you’ve over-catered, and peruse the BBC Good Food Christmas leftovers recipes. Hello, Brussels sprout curry!

You could also take a look at local food banks and soup kitchens – they’d appreciate hearing about what you could potentially donate. The Foodcycle website is a quick and easy way to locate your nearest donation centre.