The sun’s beating down, it’s 42 degrees Celsius, and the air is still. And, Christmas or no, the last thing you really feel like is roast turkey, gravy and a glass of warm eggnog.

Thankfully, we’re forging our own traditional Christmas cuisine here in Australia. There’s a raft of beautiful seasonal produce available at this time of year, so there’s no excuse not to use local seafood, fruit and vegetables.

We’ve put together a simple, fast and fresh alternative for your Christmas Dinner this year. 

Baked Snapper with Dukkah
Try fish this festive season for the ultimate fresh feast.

Baked Snapper with Dukkah – Serves 4

Some cooks find whole fish intimidating, but in truth, there couldn’t be a quicker dish to make. Simply ask your fishmonger to clean your fish, and the rest is easy. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Snapper
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil
  • Handfull Oregano
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1/3 Roasted Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper

Steps:

  1. Combine cashews, almonds, coriander seeds, cumin, salt and pepper
  2. Dry-fry over medium frying pan for two minutes or until lightly browned
  3. Pulse in blender until roughly chopped, then set aside. 
  4. Rinse snapper under cold water and pat dry with paper towel
  5. Score flesh horizontally on both sides
  6. Rub exterior with salt and olive oil
  7. Stuff interior with thinly sliced lemons and roughly chopped oregano
  8. Lay in a tray and sprinkle with dukkah (nut mixture prepared earlier)
  9. Cook in pre-heated oven at 190 degrees. Check whether flesh is firm-ish and white at 25 minutes, if not cook for another ten minutes.
  10. Garnish with another sprinkling of dukkah and oregano leaves and serve whole. 

Nutrition information per serve: Energy: 1155kJ / Protein: 17.8g / Total Fat: 20.1g / Saturated Fat: 2.7g /Carbohydrate: 4.6g / Sugars: 2.5g / Fibre: 3.9g / Sodium: 210mg

Stuffed Green Tomatoes
These tangy tomatoes will tantalise your taste buds. 

Stuffed Green Tomatoes – Serves 4

December’s the perfect time of year to enjoy fresh, plump tomatoes straight from the vine. But, it’s not just the big reds that are worth seeking out; green tomatoes have a unique, tangy flavour all of their own.

Ingredients:

  • Four Large Green Tomatoes
  • 200g Jar White Anchovies
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • Half Cup Breadcrumbs
  • ½ bunch Fresh Basil

Steps:

  1. Slice tops off Green Tomatoes and cut out flesh. Reserve insides for filling.
  2. Mix remaining tomato flesh, anchovies, breadcrumbs, parmesan and torn basil. 
  3. Spoon filling into the hollow tomatoes until it’s slightly heaped
  4. Cook in 190 degree oven for 20 minutes. 
  5. Garnish with basil and serve warm

Nutrition information per serve: Energy: 905kJ / Protein: 19.6g / Total Fat: 7.6g / Saturated Fat: 2.6g / Carbohydrate: 15.0g / Sugars: 4.9g / Fibre: 3.6g / Sodium: 2965mg

Black Olive Turkish Bread
Tempt your guests with this terrific take on Turkish bread – it’s guaranteed to be a hit. 

Black Olive Turkish Bread – Serves 4

A hugely easy side we guarantee your guests will love (we’ve tried).

Ingredients:

  • Large Turkish Bread
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • ¼  cup Pitted Black Olives
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 small Spanish Onion
  • 1 tbsp Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper

Steps:

  1. Brush your Turkish bread with olive oil
  2. Scatter halved cherry tomatoes, thick slices of Spanish onion, and pitted black olives.
  3. Add sprigs of thyme and season to taste
  4. Place in hot oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. 
  5. Slice and serve

Nutrition information per serve: Energy: 1170kJ / Protein: 8.1g / Total Fat: 9.2g / Saturated Fat: 1.5g / Carbohydrate: 38.6g / Sugars: 3.9g / Fibre: 4.4g / Sodium: 615mg