Green Living Blog: A Waste-Free Christmas Meal

Green Living Blog: A Waste-Free Christmas Meal

This year, for the first time, Kris and I will be hosting Christmas dinner. Which means that for the first time I will be setting the menu.  As someone who has been working on avoiding food waste, I’m pretty keen to make a meal that is delicious without being excessive and creates little to no waste. So here’s my first crack at a menu – and a look at why I picked each item, and what I plan to do with it after.
Buns—maybe? Honestly I find they are just filler. However, they are handy for bun-wiches the next day, so I’ll have a few. If I get really inspired I’ll even make them myself. 

Chopped vegetable salad, and chopped broccoli/cheese salad – Let’s be honest, nobody comes to Christmas dinner and goes heavy on the salad. I’ll have a bit so that people get a little fiber, but I’m sticking with a chopped version that can be refrigerated afterwards and not go soggy. I’m not going to make a lot and I still expect leftovers. 

Steamed Vegetables – peas, carrots and corn. Any leftovers are destined for a chicken Sheppard’s pie I will freeze for later. 

Bread stuffing – I’m making loads of it, as I know it’s a favorite, and any leftovers will not last long! 

Chicken – yes, and not turkey. A) I don’t have a big enough roasting pan, and B) its more meat than we are going to need by a long shot. If we were feeding 30 people, then yes, for sure. However, we are only feeding 7-10, so one of the big 10lb roasting chickens I already have in the freezer will work perfectly.

We’ll serve the sliced meat at dinner, and all the little bits pulled off the bones later will go in the Sheppard’s pie. Afterwards, I will cook the bones with water and a little vinegar in our slow cooker for broth. Then the bones will be composted in our Bokashi bucket.
Potatoes – We’ll be using local potatoes and cooking lots. The leftovers will go on top of the Sheppard’s pie.
Gravy – we always make our own, and any leftover will also go into the pie. 

Cranberry Sauce – here’s my tip – make your own. Rarely will you go through a whole can of the commercial stuff and leftovers tend to be forgotten in the fridge. Home made has 100% more flavor and is ridiculously easy to make. If you can cook oatmeal, you can make cranberry sauce. Try this simple recipe with local honey.

Dessert – pie, all the way
Cherry pie, because my daughter loves it
Apple pie, because my husband loves it
Pumpkin pie, because I love it. 
If there is leftover pie, I’ll be surprised, and I doubt it will last through the end of the following day!

As a side note, I’m also not going to serve loads of appetisers. I wind up so full from grazing on them by the time supper comes around, that I can’t finish my dinner plate that I obligingly filled; and I want room for pie darn it. 

I plan to put out some small oranges and cut vegetables – if anyone is hungry, there will be something to snack on, but nothing to ruin the main meal. Hopefully this will result in fewer food scraps leftover to deal with from people’s plates.

What about you? Is there anything that you could change about your Christmas dinner to make it less wasteful? Let go of the Jello salad that nobody likes? Comment below and share your thoughts.