Once upon a time Father Christmas was green and lived in a forest, then along came a big, bad carbonated soft drinks company (you know who you are), that built a factory on the land, dressed the old man up in red and gave him a fair old sucrose paunch.
Evocco wants to bring back the chance of a white Christmas by giving you our top tips on how to have a more environmentally friendly dinner.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to nibble miserably on a nut roast but instead a couple of small changes could get you back on the North Pole’s nice list!
The best way to look after the world is to know where your food comes from. The amazing thing about farmers’ markets is that they function like supermarkets in that everything you need is probably there - and if it isn’t that means it's probably not in season!
It’s the ultimate lazy man’s way of eating green as most things will be local, seasonal and organic and every stall hosts an expert who can answer every question about provenance and ethics.
Pardon the Turkey
Does anyone even really like turkey?
Try and be more adventurous this year and go for a smaller bird like duck or goose. They tend to be produced on smaller scale farms, and wild duck is even a possibility.
However, if you’re committed to tradition or you’ve got the cousins over from the States, reconsider how big the turkey needs to be and resist the temptation for an overladen Christmas table. Generally 2.5kg (6lb) is more than enough for six people. Cooking at 180C for 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes is sufficient. This means you should be able to cook your turkey in around 2 ½ hours.
Which leads us onto our next tip….
Don’t Preheat the Oven Excessively
You don’t need to - it’s just mammy trying to have a bit of a breather…. For 5 hours.
Ban the Over Boiled Veggies
Because green eating doesn’t always have to be clean eating…
But if you’re boiling anything keep a lid on it! You’ll help to keep heat in and can put the hob on a lower setting. Then once you’re done, fish the veggies out and reuse the water for the gravy so you don’t have to boil fresh - saving you heat, water and vitamins. So actually, you’re back to eating green and clean!
Less pans, less water, less washing up. Particularly if you’re super sneaky and …
Have a One Pan Roast
Throw all the vegetables and the meat in together and you’re sorted.
Recipe alert: Chop carrots, parsnips, swede, leek, celery and red onions into equal sized pieces, drizzle with rapeseed oil, salt and pepper and throw in a sprig of rosemary and thyme. Roast in the oven for around 45 minutes, then remove and drizzle with a couple of spoons of honey to finish. Delicious!
Spruce up your sprouts
If you buy on the stalk rather than the bag they tend to last longer and be more local.
And try stir frying rather than boiling. Throw a bit of chorizo (Gubeen’s do Irish and outdoor/straw reared) into a frying pan with a drizzle of oil, add shredded sprouts and a twist of salt and pepper. Then stir fry for 2-3 minutes and serve.
Buy Bagged Wine
Bagged wine. No longer just the university ski trip binge drink of choice.
There’s been a quiet revolution going on thanks to sites like Vinnaturo, which recognises that whilst glass might make you feel fancy, transporting wine in boxes, bags and kegs instead, reduces C02 emissions by up to 80%.
So there you go, you’re one step closer to eschewing a commercial Christmas for dancing round a fire, naked, for the Winter solstice with your Granny.