Festive Feasting Ideas for When You're Travelling

Posted by Megan Osborne on Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas is all about giving, and some people love nothing more than giving through food. While the traditional Christmas fare includes the glossy roasted turkey with all the trimmings, a thrice-cooked ham, and perhaps another eight courses before or after, that’s not necessarily a feasible plan; especially if you’re spending Christmas travelling in a new and exciting destination.

Travel times, unknown ovens, and having to pack a bazillion spices or spend a fortune at the supermarket? Forget about it.

Our friends over at Cooked.com.au have collections of the best festive recipes going around. We took a look and picked our favourites from the bunch, sure to quench your hunger for the spiced, the salty, and of course; the sweet. Let it snow—with food—and read on to get your Christmas cooking rolling. 

Here are three recipes that are decidedly festive, without causing an epic hassle to put together. Try cooking one or many of these Christmassy dishes for your festive feasting; and spend the rest of your time exploring your holiday destination!

Discover Cooked.com.au for more festive feast inspiration.

Christmas Pudding Slice

Christmas Pudding Slice

Dairy free, Gluten Free, Vegan

Makes 16 slices

100 g (3 ½  oz) raisins

50 ml (1¾ fl oz) sweet rum

200 g (7 oz) gluten-free, vegan arrowroot biscuits

40 g (1½ oz) unsweetened desiccated coconut

40 g (1 ½  oz/  1/3 cup) cacao powder

100 g (3 ½ oz) dried apricots, roughly chopped

100 g (3½ oz) dried cranberries

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

135 g (4 ¾ oz) almond butter

90 ml (3 fl oz) rice malt syrup

40 g (1½ oz) coconut oil

All the goodness of Christmas pudding, jam-packed into a hedgehog slice – rum included.

In a small bowl mix the raisins and rum to combine and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

Line the base and sides of a 17 cm  x 7 cm (6 ¾  in x 6 ¾  in) cake tin with baking paper, ensuring the paper hangs over the sides of the tin for easy removal.

In a food processor pulse the arrowroot biscuits until slightly crushed. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the coconut, cacao powder, apricots, cranberries, orange zest and soaked raisins. Mix to combine.

In a saucepan over a medium–low heat, mix the almond butter, rice malt syrup and coconut oil until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Press the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

Remove from the tin, slice into squares and serve.

Store the remaining slices in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

The Healthy Convert

This is an edited extract from The Healthy Convert by Nicole Maree published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $24.99 and is available in stores nationally.

Photographer: © Elisa Watson (food images) & Jeremy Butler (lifestyle shots)

Mussels and Calamari

Chilli & Lime Squid

Serves 2

MR Wilkinson: A favourite on the Pope Joan night-time Summer Camp Cookout sessions, this is a really simple and lovely dish.

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

2 tablespoons salt flakes

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 x 200–250 g (7–9 oz) squid tube, cleaned and cut in half

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large Lebanese (short) cucumber, halved, seeds removed and cut into four

30 g (1 oz/ 1/2 cup) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves only

30 g (1 oz/ 1/2 cup) dill, fronds torn

2 tablespoons sour cream

Put the lime zest, chilli flakes, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix together well.

Brush the squid halves with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with the lime salt, then transfer to a hot barbecue or chargrill pan and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side. Using tongs, remove the squid from the heat and cut into strips, then return to the barbecue or pan and cook for a further 3–4 minutes, until nicely charred all over.

Transfer the squid strips to a bowl and sprinkle again with the lime salt, then pour over the lime juice and mix well. Add the cucumber, herbs and another sprinkle of lime salt and mix again. To serve, spread the sour cream over a platter, then pile over the squid mixture.

How it is at Home

This is an edited extract from Mr & Mrs Wilkinson’s How It Is At Home by Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $49.99 and is available in stores nationally. 

Photography credit – Photography © by Patricia Niven



Here’s something for everyone to enjoy at Christmas. This gingerbread has enough warm spice to make a sophisticated treat for the grown-ups, but not enough to turn the kids off. The kids can get involved in making them, too; cutting out the shapes and icing them can be a lot of fun. The gingerbread will last up to five days in an airtight container, so it makes an excellent gift in the lead-up to Christmas.

Makes 24



585 g (1 lb 5 oz) plain (all-purpose)


pinch ground clove

⅓ nutmeg, freshly grated

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

½ teaspoon salt

215 g (7½ oz) unsalted butter, softened

225 g (8 oz) soft brown sugar

185 g (6½ oz) golden syrup (use honey] or maple syrup if unavailable)

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

Icing (frosting)

1 egg white

250 g (9 oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted

½ teaspoon lemon juice

To make the gingerbread, sift together the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and golden syrup until pale but not too aerated.

With the mixer still running, add the egg yolks one a time, beating between each addition until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently on a low speed, until just combined.

Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out into a disc roughly 2 cm (¾ in) thick. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, to rest.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll each disc out between two sheets of baking paper into a sheet 5 mm (¼ in) thick. Leave them between the sheets of baking paper and return them to the fridge for an hour, to set firm.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Remove the biscuit dough from the fridge and lay the sheets out on the bench. Line three trays with baking paper, and cut your shapes out of the dough with cookie cutters, laying them out evenly on the trays and leaving 2 cm (¾ in) between each biscuit to ensure an even bake. Bake for 6 minutes, then turn the trays around and bake for another 4–6 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Set aside to cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, place the egg white in a medium sized bowl and add the icing sugar one spoonful at a time, whisking lightly to fully incorporate the sugar between each addition. Whisk through the lemon juice, then transfer the icing to a piping (icing) bag fitted with a fine nozzle and decorate your biscuits as you like. The gingerbread is ready to eat once the icing has set.

The Tivoli Road Baker

This is an edited extract from The Tivoli Road Baker by Michael James with Pippa James published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $60 and is available in stores nationally.

Photographer: ©Bonnie Savage & Alan Benson