Christmas is the time to indulge and relax - something a lot of people with psoriasis find hard to do. To try and make your Christmas full of flavour and feel like you are having just as luxurious a dinner as everyone else, I have put together a fairly healthy menu. Looking back at this year’s posts for inspiration I’ve been going for omega 3 rich foods, sugar substitutes and getting vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and veg. This Christmas meal also has the added bonus of being entirely gluten free.
To start – Seared tuna (omega 3) and pineapple (vitamin C, B-6 and magnesium) salsa.
This can be prepared the day before and served chilled or you can sear the Tuna on the day to serve warm.
For the tuna, pat the steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Make sure you let the tuna come to room temperature before cooking. Place in a hot pan for at least two minutes each side depending on thickness and how rare you like your tuna. At the end squeeze some fresh lime juice over and allow to rest.
For the salsa take one fresh pineapple, peel and core. Chop the flesh into small pieces and don’t worry about having nice neat cubes, just chop it up roughly and if you mash some it doesn’t matter. Try to do this on a board so you can keep hold of the juice. Place the pineapple and juice in a bowl. Add the juice of a freshly squeezed lime, add one chopped red chilli (de-seeded if you don’t like it too hot) and a finely chopped red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Chop a handful each of fresh coriander and mint and mix into the salsa.
To serve, place the seared tuna with a generous spoonful of the salsa alongside.
The main course – Roast turkey fillet (high protein, low fat) with mulled fruit (lots of vitamins and antioxidants) stuffing and all the trimmings.
I have been a bit vague with the vitamins in this dish as rather than think about what’s in it, I just want you to enjoy it!
For the stuffing take a mix of dried fruits, I used raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries, apricots, prunes and dates. For a large fillet I used about 750g of fruit. To mull the fruit I used a mulling spice tea bag and added a cinnamon stick and star anise. Instead of wine try purple grape juice, gently heat with the spices and then add the fruit and heat for about an hour. Leave to cool overnight.
Take your turkey crown and butterfly it. This means turning on its back and slicing down the middle, not so you cut it in half, then slice into the sides to spread it out. Drain your fruits and place them on the turkey then tie it up with cook’s string. This will keep the turkey really juicy too. You should find you can follow the instructions for your turkey. Just check the meat is cooked through before serving.
Now for the trimmings, starting with low fat roast potatoes. Prepare your potatoes as normal but don’t make them too small. Once par boiled, put 500 ml of hot vegetable stock in your roasting pan and add the potatoes. Brush the potatoes with a healthy oil such as rapeseed oil. Halfway through, brush the tops of the potatoes again with oil and you will see the stock has been soaked up. Make sure you season the potatoes before putting them in the oven. For the veg, I steamed brussel sprouts and carrots. For a bit of a show I used heritage carrots so we had orange, golden and purple carrots. I also served pickled red cabbage which is another dish you can make the day before and warm up on the day.
Take one red cabbage, discard the core and slice up. In a large pan heat about 200 ml of sherry vinegar, the same of water and add star anise, cinnamon and agave syrup (instead of sugar). Add the sliced cabbage and cook on a low heat for about two hours, stirring occasionally. If you do this the day before, leave it in the juices. The next day just re-heat and serve, but remember to take out the cinnamon stick and star anise before serving.
The pudding – Poached pears with low fat orange yoghurt.
I thought about doing a healthy Christmas pudding for this but there are so many recipes out there that if you want to make one I would just search the internet. Also as you need to make it a couple of months in advance it wasn’t exactly practical for this post. So for a lighter end to the meal I came up with this dessert.
Using one pear per person, peel the pears and keep whole. For the poaching liquor, gently heat enough orange juice to cover the pears with a cinnamon stick, star anise, half a teaspoon of all spice, one teaspoon of nutmeg and a fruit tea bag, The tea bag can be purely fruit or you could use a mix of earl grey or green tea with a fruit added. If you go citrus with the flavoured tea you can’t go wrong.
Poach the pears until they are just going soft, being careful not to let them turn to mush. I used conference pears as they are a bit firmer but you can use your preferred favourite if you like. These should be served warm so you can part poach them the day before so they only take a little heating on the day.
For the yoghurt, use a low fat Greek style yoghurt, add a little icing sugar or honey for sweetness and grate the zest of two oranges and mix. This again is something you can make the day before. Serve the pears in a bowl with a little of the poaching liquor and add the yoghurt.
That is my healthy-ish Christmas day dinner and I hope it gives you the inspiration to cook up something tasty without the family realising they’re being healthy.
This content is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
UK/IE MAT-05875. Date of preparation: November 2016