Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Healthy Holiday Recipes

by

The holidays can be a challenging time. Do you find yourself bombarded by your distant cousins, stuffed into fancy holiday dresses, and surrounded by the season’s most indulgent favorites every year come December? We feel your pain. If you’re anything like us, you’ve left dinner more than a few times feeling like there’s a full-grown food baby in your belly just dying to get out. Lucky for you, there are some seriously fantastic alternatives to those high-cal treats you’re so used to enjoying on Christmas.  Get ready to party, because this season, you can have your cake…and fit into your favorite holiday dress, too. Dig in!

 

Savory Sides

Roasted Cauliflower
Recipe via myrecipes.com

You need:
12 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower in a large roasting or jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with oil; toss well to coat. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender or browned, stirring every 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, thyme, tarragon and garlic and bake 5 minutes. Combine cauliflower mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine.

Cranberry-Apricot Delicata Squash
Recipe via delish.com

You need:
1 pound delicata squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider
¼ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup chopped dried apricots
¼ cup dried cranberry
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
Directions:
Cut squash into quarters lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Very thinly slice crosswise. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Steam the squash until just tender, 5-7 minutes. Whisk oil, cider, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the squash, apricots, cranberries, and chives. Toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with almonds.

Main Attractions

Pork Chops with Apple Cider Sauce  
Recipe via integrativenutrition.com
(This recipe is for 2 pork chops, so double or triple recipe if necessary)

You need:
2 pork chops
Sea salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup apple cider
1 tablespoon kuzu root dissolved in ¼ cup water
Directions:
Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of pork chops. Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat and add chops. Brown for 2 minutes on each side and remove chops and place into baking dish. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Meanwhile, pour apple cider into skillet and use a spatula to loosen brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. When the juice and pan drippings are just about to boil, stir in the kuzu root mixture. Continue stirring for 1 minute until sauce thickens but is still pourable. Remove from heat and set aside. When chops are done, remove from oven and place on a serving platter, covering them with sauce.

Apricot Citrus Stuffed Ham
Recipe via dietsinreview.com

You need:
1-1.5 pound extra lean ham, roast cut
18 pieces dried apricot halves
1 tablespoons lemon zest
1 ½ tablespoons orange zest
¼ cup honey
4 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a paring knife to cut a hole though the center of ham and press 6 apricots and half of each zest into opening. Make criss-cross cuts in top of ham about 1/8 inch deep. Set ham in a baking pan and sprinkle remaining apricots around it.
For the glaze: Stir together honey, juices, brandy and remaining zests. Brush ham with glaze and pour around ham. Bake 40 minutes, basting top every 10 minutes. Slice, serve hot and drizzle with extra glaze.

Decadent Desserts

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies (only 126 calories per cookie!)
Recipe via health.com

You need:
1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg white
1 ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
For the icing:
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions:
Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugars together in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and add the egg white and vanilla and almond extracts; beat until just combined. Add flour mixture, and stir until mixed well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a work surface with flour and turn out chilled dough directly onto the surface. Roll dough out to a ¼ inch thickness and use cookie cutters to cut shapes into the dough. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, remove, and cool for 5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. For the icing, mix all the ingredients until completely smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag and design your cookies! Let icing harden before serving.