WASTE-FREE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING LISTS

Gary Maclean's Waste Free Christmas
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Every year in Scotland, a shocking 60 million meals will go to waste in December.

In our fight against festive food waste, we’ve teamed up with Scotland’s National Chef and Masterchef: The Professionals winner, Gary Maclean.

The father of five has done all the hard work for you this year by offering the perfect waste-free shopping list for a traditional Christmas dinner that includes just the right quantities for your number of guests.

Gary’s top tips, tricks and stress-free shopping list mean we can all do our bit to tackle unnecessary food waste while enjoying time with our friends and family over the festive season.

Alongside the shopping list, Gary has provided practical advice on managing food waste, including:

  • Buy a turkey that’s smaller than you think you’ll need and cook it upside down to avoid the meat drying out and going to waste.
  • Serve larger parties ‘buffet-style’ in the middle of the table allowing fussy eaters and those with a smaller appetite to choose what they please.
  • Use zipper sandwich bags, containers or a home vacuum-packer to store leftovers in your freezer to enjoy at a later date.
  • Make the most of delicious leftover recipes available on the Love Food Hate Waste website including turkey and cranberry spring rolls and chocolate fondant that uses up excess Christmas pudding.

View our handy shopping lists below to ensure you buy just the right amount of food for a traditional three-course Christmas dinner for two, four or eight guests plus a vegan-friendly version.

 

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR 2

Smoked salmon starter

Perfect as a light starter before a rich Christmas dinner, smoked salmon is readily available in small packets meaning you can ensure you don’t buy more than you need.

Ingredients:

  • 100g smoked salmon
  • Small pot of cream cheese
  • Small loaf of soda bread
  • 1 lemon
  • 60g side salad leaves

Method:

  • Toast a slice of sourdough bread for each person.
  • Top with a generous serving of cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon.
  • Season with a squeeze of lemon and black pepper.
  • Serve with salad leaves.

Top tips:

  • If you do have any leftover smoked salmon, use it up by making an indulgent smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast on Boxing Day.
  • Whizz up leftover bread into breadcrumbs and use to make the stuffing for your main course.
  • Any remaining salad leaves will make a fantastic addition to a turkey sandwich after Christmas day.

Traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings

The following list includes ingredients to make roast turkey with honey roast potatoes and root vegetables, brussels sprouts, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and gravy for two people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg turkey crown
  • 75g x unsalted butter (to baste the turkey and dress the vegetables)
  • 250g potatoes
  • 1 x onion
  • 2 x carrots
  • 1 x parsnip
  • 160g brussels sprouts
  • 4 chipolatas 
  • 2 slices of smoked pancetta

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C. Chop up one carrot and one onion to line the bottom of the turkey roasting tray.
  • Cook for 45 minutes per kilogram, or per instructions.
  • In order to ensure it’s cooked, use a temperature probe to check it is over 75°C or lift up the bird and check that the juices are running clear.
  • Chop up your potatoes, parboil and shake in a roasting tray to make them fluffy. Add a generous splash of olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • Chop carrots and parsnips into thick batons and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until coloured. Add a drizzle of honey for the last 5 minutes of cooking. The roast vegetables can be made the day before and reheated if you’re short of oven space on the day.
  • Wrap each chipolata in half a strip of bacon and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
  • Cook the stuffing according to packet instructions.
  • Blanche the brussels sprouts in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes until cooked al dente.
  • Serve all elements of the Christmas dinner buffet-style to allow your guests to serve themselves and take as much as them need.
  • If you have any leftovers, check out our handy recipes to use them up!

Top tips:

  • Cooking on too high a temperature can dry out the meat so ‘turn down for turkey’ this Christmas and cook the bird slowly.
  • Pick up vegetables like carrots and parsnips individually to avoid buying more than you need.
  • Save the turkey carcass, any leftover vegetables and gravy to whip up a rich Boxing Day broth.

Festive trifle

What better way to round off your Christmas dinner than with a traditional festive trifle? Berries are a great addition and can be used straight from the freezer, which avoids any fresh fruit going off.

Ingredients:

  • 100g frozen berries or fruit of your choice
  • 2 x 55g pots of custard
  • 100ml double or whipping cream
  • 4 trifle sponge fingers
  • 50ml sherry

Method:

  • Line a glass trifle bowl with the sponge fingers.
  • Top with your choice of fruit and berries.
  • Pour over a generous dash of sherry.
  • Make the jelly according to the pack instructions.
  • Pour over the berries and sponge fingers.
  • Leave to set in the fridge before topping with custard.
  • Whip cream and spread over the top of the custard.
  • Decorate with the leftover berries.

Top tips:

  • If there’s just two of you, don’t make a huge dessert. Making little desserts like trifles and cheesecakes in glasses avoids wastage of larger dishes.

 

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR 4

Smoked salmon starter

Perfect as a light starter before a rich Christmas dinner, smoked salmon is readily available in small packets meaning you can ensure you don’t buy more than you need.

Ingredients:

  • 200g smoked salmon
  • Small pot of cream cheese
  • Small loaf of soda bread
  • 1 lemon
  • 120g side salad leaves

Method:

  • Toast a slice of sourdough bread for each person.
  • Top with a generous serving of cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon.
  • Season with a squeeze of lemon and black pepper.
  • Serve with salad leaves.

Top tips:

  • If you do have any leftover smoked salmon, use it up by making an indulgent smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast on Boxing Day.
  • Whizz up leftover bread into breadcrumbs and use to make the stuffing for your main course.
  • Any remaining salad leaves will make a fantastic addition to a turkey sandwich after Christmas day.

Traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings

The following list includes ingredients to make roast turkey with honey roast potatoes and root vegetables, brussels sprouts, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and gravy for four people.

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 3.5kg whole turkey
  • 150g unsalted butter (to baste the turkey and dress the vegetables)
  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 x onions
  • 4 x carrots
  • 4 x parsnips
  • 320g brussels sprouts
  • 8 chipolatas
  • 6 slices of smoked pancetta
  • 1 packet of stuffing mix

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C. Chop up one carrot and one onion to line the bottom of the turkey roasting tray.
  • Place the turkey on top upside down. This will help to ensure the juices stay within the breast meat and prevent it from drying out.
  • Cook for 45 minutes per kilogram, before turning the turkey over for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • In order to ensure it’s cooked, use a temperature probe to check it is over 75°C or lift up the bird and check that the juices are running clear.
  • Chop up your potatoes, parboil and shake in a roasting tray to make them fluffy. Add a generous splash of olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • Chop carrots and parsnips into thick batons and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until coloured. Add a drizzle of honey for the last 5 minutes of cooking. The roast vegetables can be made the day before and reheated if you’re short of oven space on the day.
  • Wrap each chipolata in half a strip of bacon and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
  • Cook the stuffing according to packet instructions.
  • Blanche the brussels sprouts in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes until cooked al dente.
  • Serve all elements of the Christmas dinner buffet-style to allow your guests to serve themselves and take as much as them need.
  • If you have any leftovers, check out our handy recipes to use them up!

Top tips:

  • Cook your turkey upside down to stop the breast meat drying out and being unpalatable.
  • Cooking on too high a temperature can also dry out the meat so ‘turn down for turkey’ this Christmas and cook the bird slowly.
  • Pick up vegetables like carrots and parsnips individually to avoid buying more than you need.
  • Save the turkey carcass, any leftover vegetables and gravy to whip up a rich Boxing Day broth.

Festive trifle

What better way to round off your Christmas dinner than with a traditional festive trifle? Berries are a great addition and can be used straight from the freezer, which avoids any fresh fruit going off.

Ingredients:

  • 200g frozen berries or fruit of your choice
  • 1 x 400g pot of custard
  • 200ml double or whipping cream
  • 8 trifle sponge fingers
  • 100ml sherry

Method:

  • Line a glass trifle bowl with the sponge fingers.
  • Top with your choice of fruit and berries.
  • Pour over a generous dash of sherry.
  • Make the jelly according to the pack instructions.
  • Pour over the berries and sponge fingers.
  • Leave to set in the fridge before topping with custard.
  • Whip cream and spread over the top of the custard.
  • Decorate with the leftover berries.

Top tips:

  • Serve your trifle in a large bowl on the table and let your guests serve themselves to avoid contaminating leftovers by serving it onto individual plates.

 

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR 8

Smoked salmon starter

Perfect as a light starter before a rich Christmas dinner, smoked salmon is readily available in small packets meaning you can ensure you don’t buy more than you need.

Ingredients:

  • 400g smoked salmon
  • Large pot of cream cheese
  • Large loaf of soda bread
  • 2 lemons
  • 200g side salad leaves

Method:

  • Toast a slice of sourdough bread for each person.
  • Top with a generous serving of cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon.
  • Season with a squeeze of lemon and black pepper.
  • Serve with salad leaves.

Top tips:

  • If you do have any leftover smoked salmon, use it up by making an indulgent smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast on Boxing Day.
  • Whizz up leftover bread into breadcrumbs and use to make the stuffing for your main course.
  • Any remaining salad leaves will make a fantastic addition to a turkey sandwich after Christmas day.

Traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings

The following list includes ingredients to make roast turkey with roast potatoes and root vegetables, brussels sprouts, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and gravy for eight people.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 to 4kg whole turkey
  • 200g unsalted butter (to baste the turkey and dress the vegetables)
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 4 x onions
  • 8 x carrots
  • 8 x parsnips
  • 600g brussels sprouts
  • 24 chipolatas
  • 12 slices of smoked pancetta
  • 2 packets of stuffing mix

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C. Chop up one carrot and one onion to line the bottom of the turkey roasting tray.
  • Place the turkey on top upside down. This will help to ensure the juices stay within the breast meat and prevent it from drying out.
  • Cook for 45 minutes per kilogram, before turning the turkey over for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • In order to ensure it’s cooked, use a temperature probe to check it is over 75°C or lift up the bird and check that the juices are running clear.
  • Chop up your potatoes, parboil and shake in a roasting tray to make them fluffy. Add a generous splash of olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • Chop carrots and parsnips into thick batons and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until coloured. Add a drizzle of honey for the last 5 minutes of cooking. The roast vegetables can be made the day before and reheated if you’re short of oven space on the day.
  • Wrap each chipolata in half a strip of bacon and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
  • Cook the stuffing according to packet instructions.
  • Blanche the brussels sprouts in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes until cooked al dente.
  • Serve all elements of the Christmas dinner buffet-style to allow your guests to serve themselves and take as much as them need.
  • If you have any leftovers, check out our handy recipes to use them up!

Top tips:

  • Cook your turkey upside down to stop the breast meat drying out and being unpalatable.
  • Cooking on too high a temperature can also dry out the meat so ‘turn down for turkey’ this Christmas and cook the bird slowly.
  • Pick up vegetables like carrots and parsnips individually to avoid buying more than you need.
  • Save the turkey carcass, any leftover vegetables and gravy to whip up a rich Boxing Day broth.

Festive trifle

What better way to round off your Christmas dinner than with a traditional festive trifle? Berries are a great addition and can be used straight from the freezer, which avoids any fresh fruit going off.

Ingredients:

  • 400g frozen berries or fruit of your choice
  • 2 x 400g pots of custard
  • 400ml double or whipping cream
  • 16 trifle sponge fingers
  • 200ml sherry

Method:

  • Line a glass trifle bowl with the sponge fingers.
  • Top with your choice of fruit and berries.
  • Pour over a generous dash of sherry.
  • Make the jelly according to the pack instructions.
  • Pour over the berries and sponge fingers.
  • Leave to set in the fridge before topping with custard.
  • Whip cream and spread over the top of the custard.
  • Decorate with the leftover berries.

Top tips:

  • Serve your trifle in a large bowl on the table and let your guests serve themselves to avoid contaminating leftovers by serving it onto individual plates.

VEGAN CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR 4

This year has seen a further increase in the number of people in Scotland choosing a vegan diet. This delicious Christmas menu provides a vegan festive feast with no food waste.

Vegan cheese, pear and walnut on sourdough

This light dish is ideal as a starter before an indulgent Christmas dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 100g vegan cheese (goats cheese-style)
  • Large loaf of sour dough
  • 2 x pears
  • 40g walnuts

Method:

  • Toast a slice of sourdough bread for each person.
  • Top with a generous serving of vegan cream cheese and thinly sliced pear.
  • Season with black pepper.
  • Serve with salad leaves.

Top tips:

  • Save the leftover sourdough and whizz up to use as breadcrumbs to bulk out your nut roast for main course.

Nut Roast with all the trimmings

The following list includes ingredients to make a nut roast with roast potatoes and root vegetables, brussels sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy for four people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 small aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced into 1cm pieces
  • 1/2 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 60g blanched almonds, toasted
  • 60g shelled pistachios
  • 10g rosemary, leaves picked as well as a few sprigs to garnish
  • 10g thyme, leaves picked
  • 10g parsley, leaves picked
  • 30g breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 500g potatoes
  • 4 x carrots
  • 4 x parsnips
  • 320g brussels sprouts
  • 1 x small pot of vegan gravy granules

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Grease a tin with oil and line the base with greaseproof paper.  Add the diced sweet potato to a bowl with the garlic and 1tbsp oil. Pop them into a roasting tray and cook for 15-20 mins, or until soft, turning once halfway through cooking.
  • Meanwhile heat a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Add the aubergine and cook for 10-15 mins until softened and well browned, then transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add another 1tbsp oil to the frying pan along with the red onion and cook until softened, around 5 mins. Add the pepper and cook for a further 5 min then add to the bowl with the aubergine and set aside.
  • Remove the sweet potato from the oven and add into a food processor along with the garlic. Pulse the mixture until it is a chunky purée, then transfer to the bowl with the aubergine mixture.
  • Add the drained chickpeas, nuts and herbs to the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add to the bowl along with the breadcrumbs and lemon juice, season and mix everything together until combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten the top. Bake in the oven for 50-55 mins, or until the top is golden. Allow the roast to rest for 5 mins in the tin before loosening the edges with a knife and turning out on to a serving plate.
  • Garnish with cranberry sauce (if desired) and leftover rosemary sprigs.

Top tips:

  • Herbs freeze extremely well. Pop any leftover herbs in a zip-close bag in the freezer to use at a later date.

Vegan fruit pavlova

Pavlova is the ultimate, indulgent dessert for Christmas. This egg-free version uses berries straight from the freezer, which avoids any fresh fruit going off.

Ingredients:

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 liquid drained from a tin of chickpeas (use the remaining chickpeas in your nut roast)
  • 3 tins of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g berries

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 110 °C.
  • Whisk the chickpea liquid with an electric hand whisk to form a meringue mixture with soft peaks.
  • Add the sugar in increments, whisking in between each addition.
  • Spoon the mixture onto two tins lined with baking parchment and bake in the over for approximately 150 minutes.
  • Skim the cream from the top of the tins of coconut milk and whisk with the vanilla extract and a little of the clear liquid left in the tin until it resembles whipped cream.
  • Layer the meringue and coconut cream with the berries before decorating with the remaining berries to serve.

Top tips:

  • Serve the pavlova ‘buffet-style’ so guests only take how much they would like to eat, meaning you can save any leftovers for later.
  • Use up remaining chickpeas by whipping up a quick houmous to serve with crudités on Boxing Day.
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