Consider Your Gluten-Free Christmas Menu Sorted With These Healthy Festive Recipes

All of the satisfaction, none of the guilt.


Amy Hopkins |

Want healthy festive recipes that will leave you with all the satisfaction and none of the guilt?! These are delicious, fresh and allergen-friendly! Therefore you have a Christmas menu that suits and can easily be tweaked for all dietary requirements. For instance, if you have a vegan guest, simple leave out the ricotta and replace the yoghurt with coconut yoghurt.

Not that we should attach negative words to food, but sometimes it’s harder to master this in real life than it is in theory. We want you to enjoy every moment of your festive season — including what you eat (aka no guilt). Below is a Christmas menu that’s perfect for our hot sunny, South African festive season: indulgent, but feel-good. If you’re doing a vegetarian feast, simply replace the fillet in the main meat dish with gorgeous grilled mushrooms and the salmon in the tartare for heirloom tomatoes (think different colours and sizes and textures).

Bonus: the recipes are also allergen-friendly, with notes on replacements. All recipes are gluten-free and where there is dairy, it can easily be removed or replaced.

We present your healthy Christmas menu:

Healthy festive starter

Trout Tartare

Ingredients:

  • 400g boneless, skinless trout (or salmon)
  • 1 shallot, sliced into super-thin rings
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 2 to 3 limes, one cut into six thin wedges
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • Fresh tarragon or flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnishing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1.  Slice the trout into one-centimetre pieces.
  2. Place the shallot, spring onions and chives in a glass bowl. Then add the zest from one lime and one tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, as well as the sesame oil, one tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of chilli flakes. Whisk to combine, then add the fish, tossing to combine. Next, taste to check the flavour and add more lime juice, if needed.
  3. Divide the tartare between six small plates or bowls and garnish each with a few tarragon or parsley leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a thin lime wedge.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

SERVES 6

READ MORE: Yes, You Can Totally Eat This Christmas Cake Loaf For Breakfast

Healthy Festive Main

Beef Tagliata with Roasted Rosa Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 800g fillet good-quality grass-fed beef
  • 600g baby tomatoes, roasted
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 handfuls rocket
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, dry-toasted

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • A few bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp each mustard and honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. To make the marinade, pound all the ingredients until roughly smashed. Massage into the meat and leave in the fridge, covered, overnight.
  2. Bring fillet to room temperature. Place the fillet over a high heat and grill for at least four minutes on one side before turning over. Once your fillet is cooked to your liking, set aside to rest before slicing. In order to get really thin slices, place the fillet into the freezer for 30 minutes. Because the cold stiffens the meat, you’ll be able to slice more precisely. Then allow the meat to come back to room temperature.
  3. Place the rocket on a serving platter and scatter the roasted tomatoes over the leaves. Layer the fillet.
  4. Mix all the dressing ingredients together. Drizzle over the steak before scattering over the toasted pine nuts. Season and serve.

SERVES 6

Healthy Festive Side Dish 1

Herby Cress Salad with A Crunch

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp each flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 handfuls watercress
  • 1 handful each coriander and basil
  • 50g ricotta or chevin (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch chilli flakes

Method:

  1. Toast the seeds in a large dry pan until you hear a popping noise and the sesame seeds and almond flakes turn slightly golden.
  2. Toss the leaves together in a large bowl. Next, add the seeds.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour into the bowl. Then toss the leaves to coat.
  4. Plate the dressed leaves and seeds on a large platter before dotting small pieces of cheese among the leaves. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

SERVES 6

Healthy Festive Side Dish 2

Whole Baked Baby Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients: 

  • 12 baby sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and patted dry
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp each smoked paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced into thin slices

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a large tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place the baby potatoes, about two tablespoons olive oil and the spices in a large mixing bowl. Massage the oil and spices into the
  3. skin of the potatoes before placing the potatoes on the baking tray. Bake for one hour or until the potatoes are cooked through and the skins are caramelised in areas. Don’t forget to turn the potatoes once about halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Sauté the garlic slices in a little olive oil until just turning golden, then remove immediately from the heat.
  5. Remove the potatoes from the oven and serve on a platter drizzled with the garlic slices and oil from the pan.

SERVES 6

READ MORE: Here’s How To Make A Lemon Meringue Pie Healthier

Healthy Festive Side Dish 3

Asparagus, Bean and Tenderstem Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 200g each asparagus (sliced into 3cm pieces); green beans (sliced into 3cm pieces); edamame beans;  tenderstem broccoli (sliced into 3cm pieces)
  • 50g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

For the dressing:

  • Shallot or small red onion, very finely sliced into rings
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Blanch the asparagus, beans and broccoli in hot water for a few minutes. When just cooked, transfer to ice-cold water before placing in a colander to drain.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then toss the blanched veggies and spinach together in a large bowl with the salad dressing and toasted sesame seeds.
  3. Plate on a large platter and serve.

SERVES 6

READ MORE: Your Favourite Festive Treat — The Mince Pie — Just Got A Healthier Vegan Makeover

Healthy Festive Dessert

Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 to 2 cups cashew nuts
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted
  • Pinch salt
  • Baking Spray
  • 1 cup double-thick Greek yoghurt/ dairy-free coconut yoghurt (get either at Woolworths or Spar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or pinch vanilla seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey/agave syrup
  • 200g raspberries
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Sprinkle of powdered sugar

Method:

  1. Place 1.5 cups of cashew nuts and the dates in a food processor. Blitz until well-combined (add more cashews if needed, so the mixture is sticky, but workable).
  2. Spray six mini tartlet trays (or one large tart tray) with a baking spray. Then press the date and nut mixture into the tray(s) and place in the freezer for one hour.
  3. Mix the yoghurt, vanilla and honey together.
  4. Remove the tart(s) from the freezer and spoon the yoghurt mixture inside. Top with the raspberries.
  5. Serve the tart(s) with a few sprigs of mint and a light sprinkle of powdered sugar.

SERVES 6

READ MORE ON: Food Health Healthy Eating Tips Recipes

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