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FoodCycle Christmas Recipes

In a recent Opinium poll for the Observer it was found that twice the number of people as normal are expecting to spend Christmas alone this year as a result of the pandemic. The issue is particularly acute among those aged 65 and over with as many as 1.7 million people saying they expected to be alone on Christmas Day.

Many of our FoodCycle projects will be serving up tasty and nutritious three-course meals all the way up to the festive period, ensuring that vulnerable people have access to free hot food this December. Our Check-in and Chat volunteers will continue to reach out to lonely people across the country for friendly chats, ensuring they have someone to wish them Merry Christmas this year.

To spread a little joy and culinary inspiration, we asked our incredible FoodCycle volunteers to share their favourite festive recipes.

Mincemeat Cake Recipe from FoodCycle Bath’s David Rose

Ingredients:

170g butter or equivalent

60g caster sugar

3 eggs

250g self-raising flour

1 jar of mincemeat

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 170C
  • Line an 8″ (deep) or 9″ (shallow) cake tin with greaseproof paper
  • In a big bowl, blend the butter and sugar together with a fork
  • Beat the eggs and mix them in
  • Add the flour & stir (it will get very stiff, like biscuit dough
  • Tip in the mincemeat in and stir everything together
  • Bake for 1 hour at 170 then reduce the temperature to 150 and cover with a circle of paper or foil and bake for another 45 minutes
  • Leave to cool in the tin

Notes:

  • Use a skewer to check that it’s cooked
  • Leave to cool in the tin
  • Make a gluten-free version by substituting gluten-free self-raising flour, a teaspoon of Xanthan gum and half a teaspoon of baking powder

Spiced Chickpeas with Roasted Sweet Potato and Red Onion Cous Cous & Sultanas from the FoodCycle Liverpool team

Ingredients:

400g tinned chickpeas

200g tinned sweetcorn

200g tinned pineapple cut into small chunks

2 large sweet potatoes

50g sultanas

400g chopped tinned tomatoes

600g red onions

100g cous cous

Cooking oil

1tsp paprika

1tsp cumin

1tsp coriander

1tsp turmeric

4 bulbs garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190C
  • Wash and peel half the red onions and place on a baking tray
  • Wash and chop sweet potato into wedges and add to the same tray (leave the skins on for more flavour and nutrients!)
  • Add seasoning and cooking oil to both and roast for 30 minutes (or until soft in the middle and crisp on the outside)
  • Wash, peel and finely shop half the red onions and garlic.
  • Add to a pan with cooking oil on a medium heat until they are soft and starting to lightly brown
  • Turn the heat to medium, and add pineapple, sweetcorn and chickpeas. Add paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper and stir
  • Once all combined and softening, add chopped tomatoes, leave to simmer on a low heat
  • In a mixing bowl, add the couscous and sultanas and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes until all the water is absorbed (TIP – give the couscous a stir with a fork so it becomes nice and fluffy
  • When everything is cooked, plate up and enjoy!

Mince Pies from FoodCycle Hackney Team

Ingredients:

1.5k flora or similar vegetable oil based spread

3.5 cups plain flour

1 cup self raising flour in each batch

500ml water

1 x large jar mincemeat

Method:

  • For the pastry combine fat and flour and rub together until it resembles course breadcrumbs
  • Add water and knead to form a dough
  • Cover dough in cling film and leave in fridge for 10-15 minutes
  • Roll out dough to 3mm thickness on a floured surface
  • Cut tops and bottoms for cases using a glass
  • Fill with a generous spoonful of mincemeat, seal the top with water around the edges and crimp with a fork
  • Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes

Pea and Garlic Soup from the FoodCycle Liverpool team

Ingredients:

1 garlic bulb

60ml vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 litre vegetable stock

500g frozen peas

1 tbsp cider vinegar 

Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Roast the garlic in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or until soft.
  • In a pan add onion and oil and fry until golden brown.
  • Add the peas and stir until combined and defrosted.
  • Start adding the stock slowly and continued to stir, and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Take off the heat, add the roasted garlic, and blend with a hand blender.
  • Add salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Alex at FoodCycle Bristol suggests doing what they did at a recent Cook & Collect project from donated food. Transforming ready-made rolled shortcrust pastry and a jar of ready-made mincemeat into tasty mince pies!

Elena Kassis from FoodCycle Walker shared some snaps of their Christmas biscuits fresh from the oven at Monkchester Community Centre – ready to delight the FoodCycle guests in Newcastle upon Tyne. The team followed this recipe but opted to serve without icing and swapped out the mixed spice for vanilla extract.

Wishing you all a food-filled Christmas from FoodCycle!

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