Festive feasts for less

Meat is pricey at the best of times, even more so during the festive period.

Buy and freeze “the bird” or leg of lamb a month or two in advance, well before the Christmas price hike, and you’ll be glad you did.

Eat for less – if turkey rolls or chicken pieces will do, there’s no need to invest in a whole bird. You can also try cheaper cuts such as lamb or pork neck.

There is nothing like a tasty chicken roast to work up an appetite. Wow your guests with this simple, festive ginger chicken roast:

*One whole chicken
*200ml can of ginger beer
*Half a lemon sliced into rings
*Half an onion
*One teaspoon of dried herbs

Make a mixture out of the lemon, onion and dried herbs. Use this to stuff the inside of the chicken. Then pour a can of ginger beer over the bird, season to taste, cover with foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour at 180 degrees Celsius or until juices run clear. Remove foil in the last 10 minutes to allow the chicken to brown.

Salads are versatile, easy to prepare and bring instant festive colour to your table spread. Turn the average potato salad into a Christmas spectacle by mixing in some parsley and red cabbage. Add a festive twist to your green salad with some fresh summer fruit such as watermelons and mangos.

Add pasta, tinned beans and tuna to really make your salads stretch.

Hot summer days call for light, refreshing desserts. Whip up instant red and green jelly and add fresh berries and mint for a tasty treat that won’t leave your guests fat and lazy. Want to really impress them? Serve with homemade custard:

*Four egg yolks
*100ml sugar
*500ml milk

Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil before taking off the heat. Use a large bowl to mix together the sugar and egg yolks, while slowly pouring in the milk.

Return the custard mix to the saucepan, stir on low heat and allow to thicken. Sprinkle with cinnamon for an added taste of festive cheer.

Festive cooking on a budget
*Buy in bulk and freeze ingredients such as ginger, garlic and tomatoes to save in the long run.
*Scout for pantry specials and promotions to stretch your rand.
*Bulk up your spread with rice and couscous.
*Take advantage of coupons in in-store magazines.
*If you need extra equipment such as roasting trays, borrow from your neighbour or compare prices online.

Made with love and served with a smile, your festive meal will be a hit all round. Get it all on your RCS Card today.

To read more visit RCS.

Image – Supplied