Ready-To-Serve Options For Your Holiday Meal
Take stress off the menu with ready-to-serve or heat-and-eat options for every palate and occasion.
With food taking center stage at our holiday gatherings, this time of year marks the kickoff of an annual cooking marathon for many of us. But with the help of local grocers and a little planning, you can relax and enjoy food and fellowship minus the fuss.
If you don’t want to show up at a party empty handed, consider stopping for one of Whole Foods Market’s Grab & Gourmet options, ranging from pizza to sushi to quiche. Dishes are available in the store or can be purchased at Amazon.com for pick up at a designated time. Or busy families can purchase a pan of chicken Parmesan after a long day of shopping.
“The work at home typically involves microwaving for about one to three minutes before you have a complete meal, or popping it into the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the dish,” according to Alex Morgan, culinary executive leader of Whole Foods Market.
For the holiday, the grocery chain has rolled out a catering menu that can feed from four to 16 people. Vegan, keto and paleo options (suitable for gluten-free diners) are available, along with recommended wine pairings. The menu puts a gourmet spin on traditional appetizers, entrées and desserts.
“For catering, there is almost no work required at home,” Morgan says. “There might be a few garnishes to add on top of a dish, and perhaps some heating in the oven to warm things up, but the idea is to keep the work required at home to a minimum so the host or hostess can enjoy the party or event.”
According to Morgan, Whole Foods Market is committed to providing fresh, healthy foods that are free of “hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, along with more than 100 colors, preservatives, flavors and other ingredients.”
Appetizers range from lox and bagels to an antipasti platter to a spread of cheeses or paté and charcuterie. For entrées, diners may choose from a traditional turkey and ham dinner or prime rib, lamb, beef Wellington or a cremini mushroom roast, in addition to other menu items.
They may also opt for traditional Southern sides or a Hanukkah meal featuring brisket or salmon and matzo ball soup. Breads and rolls are also available, along with desserts such as Buche de Noel or pumpkin butter chai cake, fruit or cheese platters, and a variety of pies. Morgan recommends ordering “at least 48 hours before your intended pickup time,” if not sooner to ensure availability.
For holiday hosts who want a somewhat more DIY approach to dining, ALDI offers a selection of charcuterie ingredients to assemble with the help of “stop-motion videos, virtual demonstrations and an array of build-by-number templates” that even a novice can follow, according to corporate communications director Kate Kirkpatrick. Demonstrations will be available at ALDI.com, as well as on all the company’s social media channels.
Shoppers can identify items in the store using a “Charcuterie Board Must-Have” shopping guide and tags on an array of cured meats, cheeses and crackers, in addition to accoutrements such as nuts, olives, hummus and honey.
Plenty of grocery options are available to help you create the perfect holiday meal without having to spend all day in the kitchen.