Healthy Christmas Recipes

It’s the holiday season and among all of the hustle and bustle there’s one chore that you just can’t afford to put on the back burner until the very last minute. And that’s planning your holiday menu. Planning a healthy holiday menu is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay on track during the holidays with your healthy eating. The best part is that thanks to this list of delicious christmas recipes, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from without having to worry about skimping on flavor.

Healthy Christmas Appetizers

Santa Veggie Tray

There is enough to worry about when it comes to Christmas dinner, without also trying to figure out what appetizers and snacks you’re going to put out for your family to munch on while they wait for the main event. That’s why this santa veggie tray is the perfect healthy appetizer option. No cooking required and it’s chock full of Christmas spirit!

Ingredients:

  • Red bell peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli

Directions:

  1. Arrange your red veggies on the top of your veggie tray in an arc that will eventually become Santa’s hat.
  2. Below the red veggies place a line of either cauliflower or broccoli to make up the fur of Santa’s hat.
  3. Next comes your carrots, which will be Santa’s face.
  4. Once Santa has a face it’s time to cover it with cucumbers to make up his jolly beard.
  5. Finish off your Santa veggie tray with radish or cherry tomato eyes and a nose, then place a strip of red pepper in his beard to represent his mouth.
  6. Enjoy your Santa veggie tray with your friends and family.

Christmas Tree Pita & Guacamole

Christmas tree pita appetizers are fun to make and even more fun to eat. They’re a simple and creamy treat that the whole family can enjoy. A mixture of creamy and crunchy combine to make a Christmas themed appetizer that will have everybody coming back for more, so be sure to make enough. This recipe will make 32 servings, but don’t be surprised if you need more.

Ingredients:

  • 4 plain or flavored pita folds (6 inch diameter)
  • 16 thin pretzel sticks (cut in half)
  • ½ cup fat-free sour cream
  • ½ cup guacamole
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped finely)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic and pepper blend
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper (chopped finely)

Directions:

  1. Cut each of your 4 pita folds into 8 wedges. These will become your trees.
  2. Stick one pretzel stick into the bottom of each wedge to create a tree trunk.
  3. Mix sour cream, guacamole, chopped parsley and your garlic pepper blend in a small bowl.
  4. Spread about 1 teaspoon of this mixture onto each pita wedge to make your trees green.
  5. Top your green pita trees with your chopped bell peppers as decorations.
  6. Serve and enjoy immediately or store in the freezer for up to 8 hours before serving.

Pine Cone Cheese Ball

For the cheese and nut lovers in the family this pine cone cheese ball will be sure to delight. Cheese balls may be traditionally served as christmas party appetizers with crackers, but these almond topped cheese balls will make you wonder why you’ve never tried this combination instead. As an added bonus the look of these delicious cheese balls is festive enough all on their own. Easy to make, and easy to eat, don’t be surprised when this tasty treat goes quickly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cream cheese, 8oz (softened)
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • 5 strips bacon (cooked crispy and crumbled)
  • 1 tablespoon green onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill weed (chopped)
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup whole almonds (toasted)
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden (stir occasionally).
  3. Let cool.
  4. Combine softened cream cheese, and mayonnaise in a food processor or blender.
  5. Stir in the cooked bacon, onion, fresh dill weed and pepper.
  6. Cover cheese blend and chill in refrigerator overnight.
  7. Shape your cheese into two pine cones and place on serving plate.
  8. Start at the narrow end and place almonds into the cheese (thick side down) at an angle and in rows.
  9. Garnish the dish with your rosemary sprigs.
  10. Serve with additional almonds or crackers.

Healthy Christmas Entrees

Roasted Turkey Breast

Thinking that Thanksgiving holds the market on turkey for dinner, is the best way to eliminate one of the most delicious white meat options on Christmas. This juicy entree option is sure to be a big hit at the Christmas dinner table. And the best part of it all is that the turkey breast is one of the healthiest cuts of white meat available so you don’t have to worry about feeling guilty for filling up on this delicious meat.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 turkey breast halves (boneless or bone in and skin on)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Put a roasting rack within a roasting pan and spray the rack with your olive oil spray
  3. Combine salt, garlic powder, dry mustard, paprika, dried sage, dried thyme and pepper together to create a seasoning mix.
  4. Brush olive oil onto the turkey breast halves and rub with your seasoning mix.
  5. Put your turkey on the roasting rack with the skin side facing up.
  6. Roast for about 45-60 minutes or until the skin is brown and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced. Target interior temperature is 165 degrees F, but the turkey can be removed at 160 degrees F as it will continue to heat as it rests.
  7. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil while the turkey rests for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Carve, serve and enjoy your juicy and healthy turkey breast Christmas dinner.

Eggplant Parmesan

Whether you’re a vegetarian, you’re feeding vegetarians, or you simply want a meatless option to adorn your dinner table this healthy eggplant parmesan is the perfect option for any occasion. Just because this dish is derived from a hearty italian dish, doesn’t mean that it has to contain as many calories as you may think. This healthy version will definitely have you coming back for seconds, but you won’t have to feel guilty for it.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ pound eggplant cut into ¼” slices
  • ½ cup + 3 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 garlic cloves (sliced thinly)
  • 4 lb plum tomatoes (chopped)
  • 40 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cup freshly grated parmesan

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Oil 2 non-stick baking pans and put your eggplant slices on the pans and brush tops with ½ cup of olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt on top of the eggplant slices then bake for 30 minutes or until they are softened.
  4. Heat 3 teaspoons of oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat before adding the garlic and cooking for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  5. Add in the tomatoes, basil, pepper and 1 ½ teaspoon of salt then cook until the sauce is thickened and reduced to roughly 4 cups. This should take about 15 minutes.
  6. Season your sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Put your tomato sauce into a food processor and puree it until it is nearly smooth.
  8. Coat the bottom of an 8” x 8” baking pan with the sauce and add eggplant slices on top. Top with more sauce and add parmesan cheese.
  9. Repeat this process twice as if you are creating a lasagna.
  10. Bake your eggplant parmesan for an additional 30 minutes and then let it rest for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve and enjoy your healthy eggplant parmesan, vegetarian delight.

Rosemary Roast Beef

Roast beef is a traditional Christmas favorite and for good reason. This delectable entree is easily the center of attention when placed among other healthy Christmas favorites such as cranberry sauce, greek yogurt biscuits and of course mashed cauliflower. This flavorful dish will blow your mind and have your guests praising your cooking for years to come. Just don’t be surprised if everyone suddenly wants to come to your house for every holiday dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pound eye of round beef roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 stalks fresh rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Rub your roast with olive oil.
  2. Chop the leaves of the rosemary and combine it with garlic, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Rub this mixture around the outer layer of the roast to create a crust.
  4. Preheat you skillet or multicooker to 400 degrees and add roast.
  5. Sear on each side until it is lightly browned (about 4-6 minutes).
  6. Deglaze your pan with the balsamic vinegar and transfer everything over to your slow cooker.
  7. Cover and cook in the slow cooker for 8-9 hours on low heat.
  8. Remove from the slow cooker and allow to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Slice and serve up some of this juicy roast beef to your friends and family for a Christmas dinner they’ll never forget.

Healthy Christmas Side Dishes

Mashed Cauliflower

Everyone has mashed potatoes on their Christmas dinner table, but all of those white potato starches aren’t exactly great for your health or your waistline. Instead mix things up a little bit and try this mashed cauliflower. It’s so good that we bet most of your guests won’t even be able to tell the difference between these and grandma’s famous mashed potatoes. And the one’s who can will still never believe they’re eating healthy veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cauliflower (about 1 lb trimmed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash the cauliflower and towel dry it.
  2. Trim the outer leaves and cut your cauliflower into florets, or simply into chunks.
  3. Place florets or chunks into a microwave-safe bowl and add a tablespoon of water to the bottom of the bowl before placing a microwave safe plate on top of the bowl and microwaving on high for 10 minutes or until very tender.
  4. When the cauliflower is done in the microwave remove it and transfer it to the food processor.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor as well and mix until it is very smooth. It should take about a minute.
  6. Serve warm and immediately.

Greek Yogurt Biscuits

Who doesn’t love soft, flakey, and buttery biscuits on the side of their Christmas dinner plate? Unfortunately the added calories that these mouth watering biscuits bring to your diet aren’t always so welcome. That’s why we suggest forgoing the buttery biscuits and instead reaching for one of these creamy greek yogurt biscuits for a low fat, and low calorie option that’ll make you forget all about those other biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup reduced-fat milk (skim, soy, almond or cashew will also work)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy non-stick clean up.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl before adding the greek yogurt and ¼ cup of milk to the batch.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon until your dough begins to form and then transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter top.
  4. If there is any floury dough left in your bowl go ahead and add up to ¼ cup more of your milk until dough forms and then add it to your dough on the counter.
  5. Knead your counter dough a few times until it is smooth.
  6. Roll out the dough until it is 1 inch thick (do this quickly so that your baking powder will not lose its potency)
  7. Cut your rolled dough into 3 inch rounds and place about 1 inch apart on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and serve warm.

Fruit & Nuts Cranberry Sauce

Many people think of cranberry sauce as a filler on the Christmas dinner table, but if you make it properly it has the potential to be a healthy favorite amongst your friends and family. When the rest of the dinner table is filled with such savory and heavy foods, it’s nice to have something sweet and light to break up the flavors a bit. That’s where this homemade cranberry sauce comes into play.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange (juiced)
  • ½ cup pistachios (roasted and chopped)
  • 1 pear (cored and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons diced candied lemon peel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine cranberries, sugar and orange juice together in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. At this point the cranberries should have burst.
  2. Let cool.
  3. Once cool stir in the pistachios, pear, lemon peel and cumin and incorporate well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve on your Christmas dinner table and impress your friends and family with a cranberry sauce like they’re never had before.

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