Christmas lunch

Christmas Lunch

In South Africa we have many different Christmas dinner traditions. Some of us stick to the more traditional European fare of Turkey and Gammon with roast potatoes and lots of vegetable sides, some of us will throw some prawns on the braai and some will have a roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings. Whatever your Christmas meal traditions are, will you be throwing caution to the wind and making it as rich and decadent as you can, or will you moderate it a bit and enjoy a lighter Christmas meal?

I want to make it clear that I do not endorse "Dieting" on Christmas Day! But at the same time, I do think that it is a little silly to eat all you can, to the point that all you can do is sit on the couch for the rest of the day. I guess that is one of the reasons it is called the silly season.

2 weeks ago I was invited by Sharron Dingle, the lovely public relations officer at Hirsch's Fourways, to attend a South African Whirlpool Christmas cooking demonstration with Chef Lebo Mpuang (Brand chef of Whirlpool, a contestant on SABC3's Top Chef SA and private chef) and Margaret Hirsch (COO of Hirsch's). Being a bit of a foodie myself, I was very excited to see what the Whirlpool Jet Chef could do. And I wasn't disappointed!

Chef Lebo and Margaret Hirsch had a wonderful traditional Christmas meal to demonstrate to us. On the menu was:

  • Classic Turkey
  • Hasselback Butternut Squash with Browned Butter
  • Crispy Garlic Butter Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
  • Charred Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri
  • Malva Pudding Trifle

All of these recipes can be found on Margaret Hirsch's blog

The Whirlpool Jet Chef is an amazing machine and, with Chef Lebo's expertise, produced some very delicious Christmas food in very little time.


I guess the dietician in me wins out most of the time, though, and even when I do overindulge, I tend to engage a little moderation. I do not eat a lot of rich, fatty foods, so I found the food on this menu a little rich. I have to say, though that Chef Lebo's turkey with loads of butter under skin, was the most amazing turkey I have ever tasted! With that in mind, if I was cooking this meal, I would cook the turkey exactly as recommended, but I would alter the other recipes to use less oil and butter.

If you are smart with your flavours, you can cook your butternut, cauliflower and potatoes with very little fat and still have an amazingly satisfying Christmas meal. One you will want to eat too much of.

But the real highlight of the day for me was the Malva Pudding Trifle (probably not something I should be admitting to!) This will be on our Christmas dinner menu this year for sure!

So, whatever your preferred Christmas meal is, try and make it balanced.
  • Try not to have more than 2 different kinds of meat (even that is too much). And keep the portion to one quarter of your plate.
  • Enjoy the starch, but make this also only a quarter of your plate.
  • Fill up with tasty vegetable side dishes which give you nutritional benefits, even if they are cooked in fat. Fill half of your plate with veggies.

And the pudding… well… the secret is out! Enjoy it! After all, you only live once!

Happy Christmas dining!
Wendy Signature

blog comments powered by Disqus