A heart-healthy Christmas menu

After the success of last year’s festive menu, we’re back with another delicious spread of food. Whether you plan to use this menu for Christmas Day or for other gatherings with friends and family it’s full of colour, flavour and heart-healthy goodness.

Let’s face it this year has been hard for a lot of people, so we wanted to do what we could to take some of the stress out of the Christmas menu planning. Here we’ve put together a complete menu for a family Christmas lunch or dinner, feel free to add or subtract any dishes to make it your own.

The menu below will feed 8 adults and includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian options with a range of fresh and colourful salads, sides and a show-stopping dessert.

Starters

Warmed sourdough with olive oil, dukkah and crudites

Here we’re keeping it really simple, but ultimately delicious with bread, crudites, olive oil and dukkah which is a nut and spice blend that makes everything it touches taste great.

 

Tips for preparing the starters:

  • You can buy dukkah or make your own using our recipe. It stores well in a sealed container for several weeks so you can make this anytime in the lead up to Christmas
  • For the bread, use what you like or have available. We recommend a wholegrain sourdough for maximum flavour and goodness. For those of you who have been fine tuning your sourdough over the last couple of years you might even like to make your own... or maybe not
  • Any vegetables will work for the crudites, feel free to use a mixture of raw or cooked vegetables such as blanched broccoli or asparagus, carrot or cucumber sticks or even boiled potatoes. Dipped in olive oil and dukkah they will all taste great. These can all be prepared the day before.

Find the full recipe for Moroccan dukkah here.

For the main event

Fire up the BBQ for a super tasty BBQ chicken with parsley and lemon sauce. To go with the meat, we’ve got a vegetarian option and highly recommend our falafel recipe that uses fresh or frozen broad beans.

 

Tips for preparing the mains

Chicken:

  • Marinate the chicken the day before and keep covered in the refrigerator
  • Make the parsley sauce the day before as well and keep refrigerated
  • If you don’t have a BBQ or would rather just cook the chicken inside feel free to cook it in an oven. For this method the chicken doesn’t need to be butterflied but will take a bit longer to cook if it is whole. Otherwise just roast it butterflied on a large roasting tray
  • Aim to have the chicken off the BBQ or out of the oven about 30 minutes before serving. Cover it to keep it warm.

Get the full recipe here: BBQ chicken with parsley and lemon sauce

 

Broad bean falafel:

  • Soak the chickpeas 2 days prior
  • Make the falafel mixture the day before and keep refrigerated until ready to cook
  • Cook the falafel either in the oven, in a frying pan or on a hotplate on a BBQ
  • The falafel will only take a few minutes to cook and are best served freshly cooked.

Get the full recipe here: Broad bean falafel

For the salads and sides

We have three beautiful salads full of colourful vegetables and plenty of flavour to serve up on the side.

The courgette and corn salad is amazing with fresh corn if it’s ready in time for Christmas, otherwise frozen is wonderful as well.

While the BBQ is going for the chicken, throw on a few asparagus spears for the asparagus panzanella.

We all love the snap of fresh beans and our mixed beans with pine nuts delivers big-time.

On the side we also have Christmas potatoes with a herby olive oil dressing.

 

Tips for preparing the salads and sides

Courgette and corn salad:

  • Remember this recipe is for 2 portions, we recommend you double the quantities for this meal
  • If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the cobb the day before and keep refrigerated
  • Cut the courgettes and herbs the day before and keep refrigerated
  • This dish will take about 10 minutes to cook and is best warm or at room temperature, it’s best served within 30 minutes of cooking

Get the full recipe here: Warm courgette and corn salad

 

Asparagus panzanella:

  • Cut the asparagus and olives the day before and keep refrigerated
  • Cut the tomatoes a couple of hours before serving and soak with the bread, vinegar, oil and olives. Cover and let it sit until ready to assemble and serve
  • The asparagus can be cooked a few hours ahead of time, but is best when eaten within 30 minutes of cooking. Cook on the BBQ if you are also doing the chicken, otherwise they can be grilled or roasted in the oven.

Get the full recipe here: Asparagus panzanella salad

 

Mixed beans with pine nuts:

  • Although this recipe calls for green and yellow beans, you can certainly make do with just one variety, just ensure you have about 450-500g of beans in total
  • Trim the beans the day before and keep refrigerated
  • Prepare the dressing the day before and keep refrigerated
  • Toast the pine nuts the day before and keep in an airtight container
  • Steam or blanch the beans as close to serving time as possible and only cook briefly so they keep their crunch and colour

Get the full recipe here: Mixed beans with pine nuts

 

Herbed Christmas potatoes:

  • Wash potatoes and chop parsley the day before and keep refrigerated
  • Boil potatoes up to an hour before serving and keep warm
  • Mix with herbs, oil, salt and pepper just before serving

Get the full recipe here: Herbed Christmas potatoes

For the final course

We’ve taken a classic Kiwi summer pudding and tweaked every part to make a wonderfully light, delicious, sophisticated and very easy dessert.

 

Summer berry trifle:

  • Make the banana cake base layer and berry layer two days before and keep refrigerated
  • Make the custard the day before and refrigerate when cool
  • Assemble the layers up to the custard the day before, cover and refrigerate
  • Finish assembling the trifle on the day of serving. This can be done at any time and kept refrigerated until ready to serve

Get the full recipe here: Summer berry trifle


Want to make this menu for Christmas? We have pulled together a shopping list to make all the recipes on this menu.

Shopping list

Fruits and vegetables

  • 1 large packet fresh basil
  • 1 packet fresh oregano, thyme, or sage
  • 2 large packets fresh parsley
  • 1 packet fresh mint
  • 1 large packet fresh coriander
  • 1kg lemons
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 punnets fresh berries
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 new potatoes
  • 500g green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cobbs corn (2 cups frozen corn kernels if fresh is not available)
  • 4 courgettes
  • 500g fresh or frozen broad beans
  • 4 spring onions

 

Chilled goods

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 small packet parmesan cheese
  • 500ml milk
  • 250g Greek style yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500g frozen mixed berries

 

Dry goods

  • 2 cans quartered pears in juice
  • 1 small packet pine nuts
  • 1 small packet chia seeds
  • 100g chickpea flour
  • 1 small jar olives
  • 250g dry chickpeas
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 1 loaf wholegrain sourdough bread
  • 200g dukkah (or make our recipe Moroccan dukkah)

 

Pantry staples you will need but you might have at home already

  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Salt
  • Ground paprika
  • Ground coriander
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Honey
  • Baking soda
  • Ground pepper
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Custard powder
  • Sugar
    Read our healthy Christmas tips blog
    Asher Regan

    Asher Regan

    Food Service Advisor

    Hi, I'm right into good, healthy food; trained in nutrition and as a chef.