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Healthy Christmas

Who doesn't love a festive feast...? We certainly do here at GMV HQ and with a few simple tweaks and most importantly, not sacrificing any of the flavour, you can give your Christmas Dinner a healthy boost with our recipes.

 

Festive Roast Turkey with Sage

Turkey is a source of something called 'tryptophan', which is an amino acid and building block of protein. Tryptophan can help to promote healthy sleep and a good mood, so as well as being low in fat, high in protein and rich in B vits, there's no need to switch up a tried and tested recipe, here's ours:

Ingredients:
  • 12-14lb/5kg turkey
  • 4 small onions, quartered
  • 8 sprigs fresh sage + fresh leaves for serving
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 150ml low-sodium chicken stock, if needed
Method
  • Heat oven to 190C/gas 5. Prep the turkey by removing giblets and neck from cavities and put to one side. Using paper towels, pat turkey dry. Stuff half of onions and 6 sprigs sage into main cavity
  • Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck wing tips underneath body. Rub turkey with oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Place turkey neck, carrots, celery, bay leaves and remaining onions and sage in large roasting tin with rack, then put turkey on top.
  • Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 75C/165 or for 2.5 - 3 hours.
  • If the bird browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil and if the vegetables begin to scorch, add stock.
  • When cooked, carefully tilt turkey to empty juices from cavity into pan, transfer to carving board, covered loosely with foil and rest for at least 25 minutes.
  • Reserve pan and its contents for gravy.
  • Carve turkey and serve with a sprinkle of fresh sage.
  • Healthy Veggie Stuffing Balls

    Even for meat eaters, Christmas can be animal overload, so why not switch up traditional pork stuffing for a veggie version? Made with wholemeal bread to up your fibre intake.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 2 sticks celery, stringed and finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 15g dried apricots, roughly chopped
    • 75g peeled chestnuts
    • 75g almonds
    • 100g wholemeal bread, crusts removed and roughly torn (about 6 slices)
    • large bunch parsley, chopped
    • large pinch dried sage
    • 1 egg
    Method
    • Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Gently heat the oil in a shallow saucepan then add the onion, celery and garlic. Keep everything sizzling on a medium heat for 15 mins until soft. Tip into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients, except the egg, plus a small pinch of salt, if you like. Pulse until everything is chopped, then add the egg and pulse until combined. Use wet hands to roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls, then place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
    • Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until golden and hot through. Will freeze for up to three months; defrost fully before reheating.

    Chilli Brussel Sprouts

    Liven up your sprout game with a sprinkling of chilli which can have a 'thermogenic effect' (basically helping your body to burn more kcals) and you have the perfect excuse for another helping of pud...

     

    Ingredients:
    • 600g Brussel sprouts, trimmed
    • 60ml olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
    • 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
    • 1 lemon, zest and juice
    Method
    • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 4-5 mins until just tender, then drain and leave to cool a little before slicing in half vertically.
    • Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and cook until golden but not burnt, around 4 mins. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and discard. Add the chilli flakes and a big pinch of salt to the oil, then put the sprouts cut-side down in the pan, and leave them to cook for around 10 mins. Don't be tempted to move them – this ensures that they get some colour. Add the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice, then cook for a few mins more.
    • Tip onto a large serving platter, top with lemon zest and season. These will hold in a low oven for 20 mins while you get everything else ready.

    Carrots with toasted hazelnuts

    Carrots are packed with beta-carotene which is converted into the active vitamin A in the body, important for eye health and of course helping you to see in the dark ;)

    Ingredients:
    • 50g whole blanched hazelnuts
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp dry sherry
    • 50ml vegetable oil
    • 500g carrots , thinly sliced
    Method
    • Toast the hazelnuts in a dry, non-stick pan until golden. Leave to cool a little, then roughly chop or crush using a pestle and mortar. Whisk the mustard with the vinegar and sherry, then slowly pour in the oil, whisking all the time. Season and set aside.
    • Boil the carrots for 3-4 mins or until just tender, drain and tip back into the pan. Pour over the dressing, stir to coat, cook over a low heat for 1-2 mins, then tip into a serving dish. Scatter over the hazelnuts and serve.

    Roasted Garlic Potato and Cauliflower Mash

    Add cauliflower to regular potato mash and inject a healthy helping of fibre, vitamin C and vitamin B6, plus cruciferous veg (along with Brussel sprouts) can help to balance hormonal health as well – bonus!

    Ingredients:
    • 1 head garlic
    • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1kg white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into large florets
    • 150ml low fat cream
    • Knob of butter
    • Chives, finely chopped for garnish
    Method
    • Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5. Cut off the top third of a head of garlic, then place on silver foil and drizzle with oil, wrap tightly and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until a deep golden-brown colour and very soft. Remove from oven; cool completely.
    • While the garlic cools, add the potatoes to a large saucepan of boiling water, simmer for 10 minutes, then add the cauliflower and simmer for another 20 mins or until cauliflower and potatoes are tender and ready to mash. Drain well.
    • Meanwhile, combine butter and cream in microwave-safe bowl and zap for 30 seconds until butter has melted, then squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from skins into mixture.
    • Pour into the drained potatoes and cauliflower, mash and season, then garnish with chives. Serve immediately.

    Orange Chocolate Avocado Mousse

    This crowd-pleasing pud is made of avocados, which contain omega 9 fats, vitamins C and A, plenty of immune boosting antioxidants and magnesium.

    Ingredients:
    • 1-2 large and ripe avocados (to serve 4)
    • 3-4 tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
    • 1 large orange – juice and zest
    • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
    Method
    • Grate the zest from the orange and set to one side
    • Extract as much of that lovely juice as possible
    • Peel and chop the avocados then add to a food processor or blender
    • Chuck in the orange juice and zest (saving a bit for a garnish), then add the cocoa powder and honey or maple syrup.
    • Whiz up until smooth and creamy then decant into suitably fancy dessert glasses and dress with the grated zest.
    • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours then serve, we dare you to ask people to guess what it's made of.
    • Tip - You might find that one orange isn't quite zingy enough so feel free to use another, it's an experiment! Also if you don't like orange add coconut milk instead and garnish with desiccated coconut