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A green Christmas dinner – sustainable tips from 44 Foods partner James Strawbridge

Christmas dinner. Thanks to online farm shop 44 Foods, Christmas dinner – whether it’s for two people or a family of 10 – can be delivered in one box with everything you need to impress. 

Cornish chef and sustainability expert James Strawbridge has partnered with 44 Foods to share his top tips for a Christmas dinner that not only tastes amazing, but is better for the environment, too.

James’ top tips: 

1) Deck the Halls

Try making an edible wreath with branches from a bay tree, slices of oven-dried oranges and sprigs of other herbs like rosemary and thyme. These look beautiful hung in the kitchen and can be great to use when cooking over the holidays.

2) Talking Turkey 

I’ve always been a huge fan of traditionally rearing my own turkeys. They mature more slowly and are given time to develop more flavour but for me it’s also about making the ethical choice to buy higher welfare meat and poultry rather than factory farmed birds. Try Bronze turkeys or Norfolk black for a turkey to remember this Christmas.

3) Tis the season! 

Seasonal veg – as sold by 44 Foods – tastes better, has less food miles and supports British farmers. Buy plenty of root vegetables, cabbage and kales plus the obligatory sprouts to add an authentic seasonal vibe to your cooking. Avoid out of season strawberries and exotic vegetables for a proudly British Christmas dinner.

4) Beyond Bubble & Squeak 

Leftovers can be great fun to cook with and reduce food waste. Be creative and try making your own curries from scratch, classics like bubble and squeak or a cajun style turkey hash for brunch. If in doubt go online and search for ideas to use your festive leftovers for another Boxing Day feast.

5) Beef Wellington 

If you want to try a vegetarian showstopper this year, have a go at making a beetroot wellington with truffled mushroom duxelle. It’s a great dish to celebrate and full of umami depth of flavour. Also add more life to your roasted vegetables by using sea salt, aromatic herbs and a range of different root vegetables.

6) Making a list, and checking it twice 

Plan your meals over the festive period to cover off everyone’s family favourites. By being organised and shopping online at 44 Foods you can avoid unnecessary extra trips out to the shops and reduce food waste. If you know what you are cooking it really helps with not buying too much food and struggling to find space for it all. Just make sure you leave space in your meal plan for second breakfasts and extra cheese and wine meals after dinner!

7) Stockings – not that kind! 

Make vegetable stock with all your peelings and scraps to enrich your gravy with nutrients and reduce waste. A good stock can really boost the flavour in your sauces and be the making of a superb roast Christmas lunch. Boil the bones of your meat and poultry to release the calcium and again pull out all that wonderful flavour.

8) Jack Frost…

Use your freezer effectively and make sure that you’ve got organised and cleared space for your leftovers before the Christmas holidays start. It really pays off to have spent some time sorting through and making space for a busy season in the kitchen.

James recommends 44 Foods Christmas food bundles 

Launched in January 2021, the firm is a collective of farmers and food producers who are passionate about ethically produced, fairly priced, sustainable food. Together, they supply fruit and veg, meat and dairy and larder essentials direct from their farms to your door – offering customers a fairer way to shop, and promising to pay producers and farmers a fair price.

James is the driving force behind Strawbridge Kitchen. He lives on the South Cornish coast with his wife Holly and their three young children. When he’s not developing new recipes or directing photoshoots, James can be found foraging for wild food with his family, out at sea gig-rowing for his local club or painting the Cornish countryside.

If you’re keen to hear more of his tips, head over to the 44 Foods podcast, Green Grass and High Tides, where James explores some of Britain’s best foods.