Nutri Natters

Rita’s blog for lovers of real food

Make the most of Seasonal Vegetables at Christmas

22nd December 2010

The traditional Christmas dinner doesn’t skimp on vegetables.  We pile on Brussels, carrots and turnip, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, leeks, parsnips and potatoes- all good seasonal fare. Here are some simple ideas on how to transform some of these festive favourites.

Leek and Celeriac Soup (makes at least 8 servings)
This velevety soup makes a delicious starter.

1 dessertspoon of coconut oil or olive oil
2 or 3 leeks
1 head of celeraic
1 tablespoon of freshly grated root ginger
a handful of chopped parsley or a few sprigs of rosemary
1 litre of vegetable stock (depending on the size of the leeks and celeriac, you may need more)
2 cloves of garlic, freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
optional: single cream or plain yoghurt

Split and wash the leeks, peel the celeriac. Chop both vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Gently heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the vegetables on a medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the root ginger, parlsey and stock. Put a lid on the pan and simmer soup for about 30 miuntes until vegetable are tender. When the soup is cool, add the garlic and liquidise until smooth; you may need to add more stock if the soup is too thick. Add seasoning to taste. Reheat and swirl some cream or yoghurt into each bowl, if liked.
In the unlikely event that there is any left, the soup keeps well in the fridge for up to three days.

Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts
Sprouts and chestnuts are a perfect combination of flavours and textures. You’ll need some pre-cooked chestnuts (they are available in vacuum packs or you can cook and peel fresh chestnuts) and a knob of butter or drizzle of olive oil. Once your sprouts are cooked, mix in some chopped chestnuts. As a rough guide, use one chestnut to every 5 sprouts; big chestnut fans may wish to add more. You haven’t invited me to dinner, so I don’t really mind. Top with melted butter or a drizzle of oil.

Roast Parsnips
I can’t understand why French cooks are sniffy about parsnips, seeing them as fit only for animal fodder. Here’s how to pep-up your Christmas day parsnips:
 Peel and cut the parsnips into big chunks and roast them with your potatoes.  When the parsnips are cooked, sprinkle them with some roasted cumin seeds (heat seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes) and the juice of half an orange before serving.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas!


Rita Carmichaelregistered nutritional therapist and metabolic balance® coach, Nottingham, England