Recent statistics show that the traditional Sunday lunch is on the decline. According to the research completed, the treasured Sunday lunch is becoming less and less popular as families opt for easier, quicker and more convenient meals instead. A 4% decline in those choosing to enjoy the traditional Sunday dinner is a worrying trend, especially for those of us who still love to enjoy the weekly Sunday get together with family. And that is the point, isn't it? Through the chaos of the week, with everyone on iPads and laptops, phones and computer games, eating whenever there is time, it remains even more important to have at least one meal a week where everybody gathers round the table and tucks into the food, maybe whilst even chatting to each other and with phones away (you can hope?!).
So, if you have fallen out of love with the traditional Sunday lunch, or maybe you just want some ideas on how to keep it exciting and fresh, these alternative Sunday lunch ideas, based around the idea of a family meal together, should get you super inspired and excited about the upcoming weekend:
A potluck is where everybody attending the event or meal, brings at least one dish for the table for everybody to share. If you regularly have a lot of family over for Sunday lunch, this could be a fantastic idea for getting everybody involved. It could be a 'buffet Sunday lunch' and you could let everybody know to bring something along. The taking part, the fun and the sheer variety of dishes should be enough to get everybody excited about sharing Sunday lunch together again.
Pick A Course
To get the entire family involved, you could arrange so you split into three teams, and each team has to do a course. Depending on the ages of the children, they will love picking out a dish to create. It doesn't have to be complicated, it could be anything from fruit salad - chicken and chips - chocolate cake all the way to more complex courses like a full Sunday roast or homemade ice cream, it is entirely up to you.
Come Dine With Me
If you have a large enough family or circle of friends, you could do a 'Come Dine With Me' Sunday lunch where you take it in turns to go to each other's houses for food. This spreads the cost, time and effort and adds a fun element. You could keep it to a traditional Sunday lunch, or you could mix it up and do any menu you like!
Perhaps you simply need a change of setting to make your Sunday lunch exciting again. Why not have a Sunday lunch picnic this Sunday if the weather is nice? Make beef and horseradish sandwiches, and take mini puddings, maybe even a bit of fizz! Be inspired by new surroundings and it might make you feel re-inspired for next Sunday.
There are now over half a million vegans in the UK according to a study completed last year, and the meat-free revolution is only just beginning. If you want to do your bit for the animals, the environment and for your health, why not enjoy a meat-free Sunday instead of a meat-free Monday? There are so many incredible meat alternatives to try like stuffed vegan turkey, vegan beef joints, vegan sausages and even vegan haggis. Then there's lots to try away from fake meats such as nut roasts, or even the trendy whole roasted cauliflower, made famous via Jamie Oliver's recipe. Just look in the fridge section in health shops on the high street, or in the free from or vegetarian section of the supermarket - there really is a ton of choice.
It may just be that you need to make a few tweaks to your current Sunday lunch to make it more affordable, more interesting, or easier to make. Here are some tweak suggestions for each 'section' of a traditional Sunday lunch:
Vegetables - The vegetables are probably the easiest part of the meal to play around with because there are so many vegetables out there to enjoy. Why not try different vegetables every week, such as kalettes one week and carrots another. What about switching up the flavor of the vegetables? Curried roasted vegetables could be a spicy addition to your meal, or how about caramelized veggies, or lemon and dill tossed steamed veg?
Carbs - Potatoes are fabulous, whether you have them steamed, roasted or mashed, but they might be getting a little boring. Why not switch them for a similar root vegetable like celeriac? Or have cauliflower mash instead of potato mash? Why not try sweet potato one week, or purple potatoes? You might even want to have your potatoes another way, like dauphinoise or jacket.
Meat - The meat is the centerpiece of the meal, so it needs to be right. If it is costing you too much to get a beef joint every week, then mix up the meat for cheaper alternatives. Pork chops are down in price at the moment and can be cooked in a number of ways. Or how about stuffed pork belly which is even cheaper and is being served in many up market gastro pubs as a Sunday lunch alternative. Buying the whole chicken on offer and using the entire bird costs less than buying single parts, or you could enjoy cheaper cuts like the legs or thighs and enjoy it in a stew. You might also want to buy cheap cuts of meat like liver and make them into a delicious pie. Alternatively, you could always try meat-free for a week with some cheap veggie sausages, or meat alternatives.
Trimmings - Gravy, stuffing and any other trimmings you have can be what make the meal. Why not have a go at making your own gravy one week? Or why not make a different stuffing, like a fruit stuffing with apricots? You could add in a whole roasted onion, or herby meat and stuffing balls. Have some fun with it!
Hopefully, these suggestions have you all fired up for your Sunday lunch this weekend. Maybe you're going veggie, maybe you're giving a new stuffing a go, perhaps you're changing the setting and going al fresco. As long as you're there enjoy a meal with your family you really can't go wrong. Bon appetit!