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Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Meals that Taste Great and Won't Add to Your Waistline: Healthy Eating: Guest Post

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family dinner

When the holidays roll around, we often allow ourselves to cheat a bit and stray away from our diets. By the time the new year comes, we find that our clothes are a little more snug than they usually are. A way to prevent this is to change up your holiday foods a little bit and go for some non-traditional choices that are healthy and will not add to your waistline. 

Appetizers
Many people have vegetable plates, deviled eggs and party mixes and while these are not that unhealthy, there are more interesting choices that are both healthy and are sure to have your guests talking. One option is artichokes alla romana. To ensure this is fully healthy, make sure that the bread crumbs are whole wheat, the oil is olive oil and if you choose to use chicken stock that it is a low sodium type. 

Spinach and kale turnovers also make a healthy treat. These involve feta cheese, kale, spinach and nutmeg. What is really nice about these is that you can make them in advance "" as much as two months in advance "" and then freeze them. When your holiday dinner comes along, simply pull them out of the freezer and heat them. 

Side Dishes
Peas and carrots are the most popular vegetable on holiday tables, but this can get boring. You can still use carrots, but with a twist so that they are interesting, healthy and very tasty. You will need baby carrots, fresh squeezed apple juice, chopped fresh mint leaves, cornstarch and cinnamon. You want to steam the carrots and then mix the rest together in a saucepan to cook. Once both are done, simply combine.

Salads are often served before the meal, but there is no rule saying that you cannot have one as a side dish. An apple, fig and almond salad is a good choice. This requires red apples, dried figs, fat-free lemon yogurt, carrots, slivered almonds and your choice of greens. Romaine lettuce is a good choice, as it fresh spinach. Simply chop, dice and mix this all together.

Main Dish
Turkey, duck, ham and roast beef are the most commonly chosen holiday meats. These are a good choice, as they are filling and are generally healthy, but for an even healthier choice that is not traditional, try shrimp. A shrimp scampi is something few people will probably eat this holiday, but it is filling and can easily be made in large amounts. You can use your favorite recipe, just be sure to use whole wheat pasta, olive oil and a butter that is free of trans fats. 

Eat a type of fish. This can be any fish that you prefer. Salmon is generally liked by many people because its taste is not too strong. Tilapia is another good choice. You will want to broil or bake this and not fry it. Seasoning fish is quite easy and a little black pepper, garlic and lemon juice will do the trick. You can choose vegetable side dishes only, or for a little substance, have baked sweet potatoes with a little brown sugar and a small pat of butter. 

Dessert
Dessert does not have to be overly fancy. Dark chocolate is rich in nutrients and is relatively healthy in small amounts. You can offer this with coffee or red wine. 

Another option is fat-free Greek yogurt that is plain. Then, add a mix of fresh fruits to this. This can be eaten alone or topped onto small circles of sugar-free angel food cake. 

About The Author: Emily Joseph is a writer for QualSight Lasik Providers.  When she is not busy writing or working, she likes to spend her free time golfing and riding her mountain bike.

Emily Joseph
Author: Emily Joseph


Weekly Menu Plan: 


Sunday: Chicken Apple and Cream a la Normande with Lemon Spinach and Mashed Potatoes

Meatless Monday: Kabocha Squash with Butter Beans and Green Beans

Tuesday: Mulligatawy Soup with Naan Bread

Wednesday: Taco Pie with a Tomato Greens Salad

Thursday: Potato Leek Soup and my husband's Sour Dough Bread


Saturday: Black Eyed Peas with Millet and Carrots

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