The Perfect Christmas Menu for Your Entire Family
It’s no question that this holiday season will look vastly different than others before it. Christmas parties may be smaller, and kisses under the mistletoe will likely be few and far between, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and make the most of the holidays.
In fact, scientific studies have revealed that putting your heart and soul into the season may make you happier! Psychologists use the term ‘savouring’ to describe the practice of fully absorbing life’s special moments—especially those which evoke nostalgic memories—and celebrating Christmas wholeheartedly can do just that.
After a rough year like 2020, we need all the joy you can get. So, although Christmas may look different this year, let’s eat, drink, be merry, and end this catastrophic year on a celebratory note.
If you’re looking to make the best possible Christmas feast this year, read on to discover some delicious BBQ recipe ideas that each member of your family will love. Cheers!
Tempeh & Pineapple Kabobs for The Family’s Animal-Lover
Photo & recipe courtesy of Olive
Avoid discussions on the ethics of vegetarian vs. vegan vs. carnivorous diets by making sure that there are some veggie-friendly options on the table this Christmas.
If you can’t remember whether or not your niece is vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or any of the other trendy vegetable-centred diets, opt for this 100% vegan BBQ kebab recipe which is completely free of any animal products. And if you thought vegetarian recipes were boring, you will also be thoroughly impressed by the marinated tempeh (which tastes suspiciously like chicken)!
Start by blending the marinade ingredients (including soy sauce, black vinegar, and sesame oil) in a food processor. Then, cut up a tempeh block into cubes and combine with the marinade mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, slice up a pineapple into chunks and soak some bamboo skewers.
To assemble the kebabs, alternate between pineapple chunks and tempeh squares on the skewer, using a brush to baste the tempeh with any left-over marinade.
Grill on medium, rotating every few minutes, until the kebabs begin to develop a nice, caramelized colour.
Red Wine Chicken for The One Who Always Wants Another Drink
Photo & recipe courtesy of Weber
We all have a family member that drinks a little too much during family get togethers. Save yourself the headaches by preparing this boozy BBQ chicken to satisfy his or her craving for another drink. The best part is that, although you can taste the red wine flavour, you can eat as much as you want without worrying about a Boxing Day hangover!
Start by preparing the marinade by combining onion, garlic, parsley, oil rosemary, anchovies, and salt and pepper into a food processor. Next, whisk in some red wine.
Prepare the chicken and divide into two bags, along with the marinade. Seal tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When ready to cook, prepare your grill for indirect heat and set the chicken halves on top of the grates. Cook for 40-50 minutes with the lid closed. During the last 5-10 minutes, move the thicken to directly atop the flame to develop that coveted char. Serve with a glass of wine (or two).
Grilled Sweet Potatoes for the Ones with the Sweet Tooth
Photo & recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes
It’s not Christmas without someone (usually someone at the kids table) asking when it’s time for dessert.
Now, there’s a time and a place for everything—including this scrumptious grilled pumpkin pie dish). But good things come to those who wait.
To appease the younger members of your family with an insatiable sweet tooth, try offering them some delicious grilled sweet potatoes.
Start prepping the sweet potatoes by peeling then and slicing them diagonally into quarter-inch pieces. Toss the wedges with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Set the sweet potatoes on the BBQ. Close the lid and cook for 3-6 minutes. Flip, and cook for the same amount of time.
When the sweet potato wedges are cooking, combine ingredients for the cilantro lime dressing (cilantro, lime zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt) in a bowl.
Remove the wedges and serve with the delicious dipping sauce.
Grilled Vegetable Salad for The One Always on a Diet
Photo & recipe courtesy of Seasons and Summers
Everyone has that family member who skips out on the gravy during Christmas dinner and takes the thinnest possible slice of pie.
It’s no secret that the traditional Christmas dinner dishes aren’t exactly the best for one’s waistline—but hey, it’s also the kind of food that you only eat once a year! However, if you want to make sure there are some health-conscious options at your table, this grilled vegetable salad with feta cheese is a great side dish.
Start by preparing and chopping up some bell peppers, zucchinis, and onions. Heat your BBQ to medium heat and brush some oil atop the grill grates. Grill the veggies until they start softening and flip. Cooking time varies based on the type of vegetable, as well as the size of the piece, so make sure to keep an eye on that grill.
When your vegetables are grilled to perfection, and you’ve left them to cool, chop them into bite sized pieces and place into a bowl. Add crumbled feta cheese and balsamic vinegar dressing on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin for Your Redneck Uncle
Photo & recipe courtesy of Cooking for Two
If you’ve ever heard one of your family members ask “where’s the bacon” during a family dinner or complain about the number of greens on the table, consider this recipe for your next gathering.
Start by preheating your grill to medium-high. Then prepare your pork tenderloin by trimming it of any excess fat or membranes. Next, lay out four strips of bacon and set the pork tenderloin on top. Roll the bacon around the pork—you may need to smash the meat or remove the ends of the tenderloin to properly wrap up the pork. To keep everything together, use a toothpick to pin the bacon. Sprinkle your favourite spices on top.
Set your creation on the grill over direct heat and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145-150° F. Flip every 5 minutes for 20 minutes. Make sure to let the dish cool before serving.
The Perfect Christmas Turkey for Your Entire Family
Photo & recipe courtesy of How Sweet Eats
While your family may have different preferences when it comes to Christmas dinner, it’s hard to disagree with a perfectly golden grilled turkey.
On Christmas Eve, prepare the turkey by removing any giblets and patting it to dry. Leave it in the fridge overnight uncovered for crispy turkey skin the next day!
An hour before grilling, remove the turkey from the fridge and preheat your BBQ to medium-high. Set the turkey, breast-side up, in a roasting pan and stuff it with onion, lemon, garlic, and your favourite herbs. Pour a couple of cups of chicken stock into the roasting pan, along with some lemon wedges and onions.
Next, douse the turkey with butter, herbs and salt and pepper. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together.
Set the roasting pan on the grill and turn down the middle burner to medium-low and close the lid. Cook the turkey for 2.5 - 3 hours, checking on it every half hour to baste with the liquids in the pan.
At the 1.5-hour mark, rotate the roasting pan and add more liquid to the dish if you need. When the temperature in the turkey thigh is 180° F, voila, your delicious bird is complete—but make sure to let the turkey rest for 1-2 hours before serving!
- Taylor Mitchell