MY COMPLETE XMAS DINNER

When you read this I’m on my way to the Netherlands. I’m going by car/ferry this year, so I can take my dog Nola. Tomorrow I will celebrate Xmas with my family, as that is the only day we can all make it. After the presents we will enjoy our Xmas dinner. This year I’m making the whole Xmas dinner by myself. Years back we always all made one dish each, last year my brother and sister in law made dessert, but it looks like this year it’s just me. I do like to make everything by myself, but I also think it’s a shame, because I always enjoyed the dishes of others too. And just the idea you made it together is nice. But because I’m making everything by myself, it does mean that I can share a complete Xmas dinner with you (8 dishes in total). I will give you all the recipes I made for the dinner itself and I will give you dessert separately (so 9 recipes if you include dessert). You can find the ‘Xmas Stars‘ dessert here. I chose to make it into a buffet style, so I can make lots of separate dishes and everybody can eat what they like best. If you want to, you can choose one of them (the chicory for example) as a starter. It’s up to you. This Xmas dinner is enough for 4-6 people. I hope you will enjoy the recipes.

VEGAN WELLINGTON

2 pastry sheets
600 gr mushrooms (chopped)
2 steakcs (I used Vivera) (chopped)
2 onions (chopped)
2 small cloves of garlic (minced)
handful of parsley (chopped)
salt/pepper (to taste)
1/2 tbs butter

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Fry the onions and the garlic in a frying pan for about 3 minutes.
-Add the mushrooms and fry them until they start to get smaller (about 3-4 minutes).
-Add the steakc, the parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.
-Grease a baking tin with butter and put the pastry sheet inside.
-Make sure that all the water from the filling is gone before you put it in the baking tin.
-Cut out a big rectangle (as big as the baking tin) and cover the top. Make some cuts in the top and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.


FRIED RICE

100 gr of rice
100 gr firm tofu
1 onion (chopped)
1/2 courgette (chopped)
1 carrot (grated)
1 bell pepper (chopped)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
2 pak choi (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1-2 tbs sesame seeds
3 tbs peanuts (chopped)
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Cook the rice as described on the package.
-Fry the onion for about 4 min in some olive oil.
-Scramble the tofu: crumble it up and add the garlic and the turmeric. Mix it all together for about 3 min with salt to taste on a high fire.
-Add the courgette and fry again for about 3-4 min.
-Add the carrot, bell pepper, tomatoes and pak choi and keep mixing it for about 3-4 min.
-Then you can add the rice, the soy sauce (use more if you like), the chilli flakes, the sesame seeds and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix again until everything is mixed up well.
-Sprinkle the peanuts on top.


AUBERGINE

1 aubergine (sliced)
3 tbs olive oil
300 gr cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1 shallot (chopped)
1 small clove of garlic (minced)
handful of fresh  basil
salt to taste

-Cut the aubergines in big slices (about 1 cm thick).
-Brush the on both sides with some olives oil.
-Put them on the grill until you can see black lines (about 3 min each side).
-In the meantime fry the shallot and the garlic in a frying pan. Add the tomatoes after about 2 minutes and fry them until they become a little soft (about 2-3 min).
-Add the basil and salt to taste.


CHICORY

2 chicory
4 slices of ham (I used the vegan Quorn)
handful of cheese (grated) (I used daiya)
3 tbs corn

-Preheat the oven at 200C
-Cut the chicory in half (in length) and cut out the hard bit in the middle.
-Put them in an oven dish and put a slice of ham on each half.
-Divide the corn on top and then sprinkle the cheese on top.
-Put it in the oven for about 20-25 min.


CAULIFLOWER

1/2 cauliflower
2 tbs nutritional yeast
splash of oat milk
salt to taste
1 tbs of olive oil

-Chop up the cauliflower very finely. You could also use a kitchen machine and pulse a few times.
-Fry the cauliflower with the olive oil and a bit of salt in a frying pan until it becomes a little soft (about 5 min).
-Add the nutritional yeast, mix it up and then add a splash of oat milk. Mix well until the nutritional yeast and the oat milk form a sauce.


BRUSSELS SPROUTS

250 gr brussels sprouts
4 cloves of garlic (cut in half)
1 tbs olive oil
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Preheat the oven at 220C.
-Put the brussels sprouts and the garlic in an oven dish and add the olive oil + salt/pepper to taste. Mix well.
-Put them in the oven for about 20-25 min.


MASH

300 gr potatoes (peeled and chopped)
200 gr carrots (peeled and chopped)
splash of oat milk
1-2 tbs butter
1 tbs whole grain mustard
2 tbs nutritional yeast
salt to taste

-Cook the potatoes and the carrots for about 20 min.
-Mash them up together with the oat milk and the butter.
-Add the mustard, nutritional yeast and some salt to taste. Mix well.


SALAD

1 cucumber (chopped)
3 tomatoes (chopped)
1 big avocado (chopped)
handful of basil (chopped)
handful of parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup black olives (sliced)
2 tbs Caesar salad dressing (I used ‘Follow Your Heart’)
salt/pepper to taste

-Mix everything together in a big bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

What are you having for Xmas? And will you make everything by yourself or do you have help? Will you copy my Xmas dinner or make some of my recipes? Please let me know or show me on IG by tagging me or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

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New Beginnings

Is it a little pathetic that I’m super excited about the fact that the first of January is on a Monday? Because I totally am! I’m a big sucker for New Year’s Resolutions and I always make a list of a few things. Every year (like basically all people) you can find ‘eat healthy and exercise more’ on this list. You might think, why would you put it on the list every year? It’s not there because I feel like I failed last year, but I think it’s an important thing to put on the list and I think that is why it’s such a popular one. Every year again you have to look after your body. It’s always better to put it on the list and give it some attention. Going into the new year with the idea to be better for your body is the first step to a good year. I always make small lists with quite general things. When I was a teenager I used to make a huge list and those never worked. It didn’t work because I used to always write down every little detail and felt like a failure whenever I couldn’t or didn’t do something. It was just too long and I was too obsessive to do everything from the whole list perfectly. It’s a classic mistake and I won’t be surprised if this sounds familiar. Nowadays I write down a few things I want to improve or pay more attention to. I write them down on the top of my daily to do list, so I’m reminded every time I look at that list (which is a lot). I also write down why I want to do it better and why it’s important to me, together with a little suggestion-routine. I used to make tight schedules, but that of course also didn’t work. Now I try my best, I motivate myself by reading why and I just try to make better decisions every day. It’s also important that you reflect a few times a year. You can do that every month (like me), but if that sounds a like a little too much, you could also do it every time a new season starts for example.

Here are the things that are important to me personally, what and why I want to improve and how I will do it. Maybe it will inspire you.

Eat Healthy.
Everybody always thinks I eat super healthy. But I do have my weaknesses and I do not always eat healthy. There are actually 2 things I have to pay more attention to. The most important one is to eat on normal times. This has always been a thing for me. Where other people eat breakfast lunch and dinner on set times, I eat all over the place. On the days I work, breakfast and lunch are mostly ok. It’s on the days I’m off and basically all dinner times where it goes wrong. I sometimes eat ridiculously early. This is most of the time not a proper meal and it also makes me hungry later in the evening (what ends in snacking). Sometimes I eat very late (and then I eat way too much, because I’m so hungry + it’s never good to sleep with a very full stomach) and sometimes I skip it all together. The best way for me to be better at this, is to be well prepared. Cooking different dishes in advance and prep meals in a way that I only have to heat it up or mix it together. This doesn’t only help for eating on set times, but I also tend to eat a lot healthier this way. It just saves so much time.
The second thing is to stop eating too much chocolate. I love chocolate! And after meal times I often crave some. Chocolate is actually the only thing I eat that contains sugar. I do think it’s fine to eat a bit now and then, but I just find it almost impossible to only eat a little piece. This takes a lot of willpower and discipline. That is a shame, because that is exactly what you need to solve this big problem. Haha!

Exercise More.
Ok, I have to admit that last year I wasn’t very good with exercising regularly. I hardly did any yoga, because I like to do that in the morning, but my ex and I had different work times and it wasn’t possible living in a studio. There were some weeks I was doing very well, doing at least something. I did little work outs before lunch for example and that felt very good, but it never lasted. This was because of my relationship, holidays and also later this year because I moved and rescued Lucky Oliver (a piglet). This shouldn’t be excuses, but I find it difficult to fit it all in one day with a lot going on. I do have to let go and just do it though and doing some is better than none. So I will focus more on that.

Read more. 
I actually only read when I’m on the train or aeroplane by myself, what is almost never. I love reading. It’s relaxing, educational and it inspires me so much. I always say I don’t have time, but actually it’s because I do not make it a priority. I could easily spend a little less time on social media and spend that time reading instead. So that is what I’m going to do. At the moment I’m still reading ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo. I love this book. Even though I already did a lot of the things she talks about, based on my own experience. I love reading it, mostly because I recognise myself and her journey to tidy up. I love learning new tricks and it gives me a good perspective of how we treat everything around us. I have a long list of books I still want to read and I’m determined to do so this year. Reading is so important and it’s definitely something I want to increase even more once I’m traveling around Europe with my van one day.

More mindfulness.
I’m a very mindful person, but the last few months I wasn’t sure where I was in my own story, if you know what I mean. With the move, ‘new’ work and rescuing Lucky Oliver I lived in the past and the future a lot more than I wanted. Weeks flew by, time went so fast, I forgot things, mixed things up didn’t know what day it was and I was living in my head, rather than in the moment. Now I had a break from it all and rested a lot over the Xmas break, I think I’m more likely to live more in the now again. I will train myself to be more conscious and to create more space and peace in my head this way.

Are these things you also find important? Or does your list look very different? I would love to hear the things that are important to you and how you try to actually stick to it. Do you have a certain tactic or do you have something to say or add to this? Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you! X