Battle Christmas bulge with healthy eating options
THE roast turkey that was once a staple of the Christmas dinner has been replaced by simpler and healthier meals.
When the term Christmas goodies is bandied around, the phrase, "I have to watch my weight", doesn't have to follow.
Chef Jan Wood said the days of slaving away in a hot kitchen on a typically scorching Christmas Day are over - if you want them to be.
Cold platters easily assembled in 15 minutes are proving to be a popular option if tradition can be put to one side.
Ms Wood has more than 30 years experience in the catering business said Christmas meals could still be healthy and tasty without hours of preparation.
The Christmas meal has evolved throughout Ms Wood's time in the industry.
"It's almost gone from fine dining to a more relaxed kind of eating," she said.
"People think roast turkey, but it's too hot in these conditions, and if they can get away from that and do shared platters, you can prevent heating up the whole house."
The platters are better suited to the Australian climate, she said.
"It (hot food) takes hours to prepare as well as heating up the kitchen and you're not enjoying Christmas Day.
"This way you can sit down with your family and friends and enjoy the day yourself as well."
Other healthy options for a tasty lunch include king prawn skewers with a coat of apricot jam and slices of ginger.
Ms Woods said a roasted vegetable salad of parsnip, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, red onion and capsicum was tasty.
"The trick is to have easy, cost-effective share platters to create a feast-style luncheon.
"This involves people in the joy of sharing food and each other's company.
- Antipasto starter or share platters - rock melon quarters wrapped in prosciutto.
- Deconstructed trifle made from light raspberry jelly with sliced fruit and fruche.