Merry Christmas everyone. This is the magical time of the year when all our friends and family get together. Between buying gifts, decorating the house, cleaning and preparing meals, you may find it difficult to actually spend quality time with your friends and family. You often find yourself spending more time preparing a feast for your family and guest and cleaning up, than spending time with your loved ones. We have compiled here some healthy Christmas recipes that will allow you to free up some of your time and enjoy a healthy meal with your family and friends. This year, enjoy your Christmas meal worry free.
Does a low calorie, healthy, delicious dinner sound good for Christmas? We are posting some tips and recipes for Christmas here that you might find useful.
Tips for a low calorie intake
It is very common among the general American population to gain weight during the holiday season. This time of the year, people get invited to parties more often, and so, they might be over eating. I’m sure that you are also planning to invite your friends over to parties and looking for great recipe ideas. To avoid consuming a high calorie high fat diet, In addition to all the wine and alcohol you might consume, here are some simple tricks that can lower your calorie intake during the holiday seasons.
You can sit back and enjoy a fun packed family meal prepared with chicken, turkey, beef and salads, and also indulge in delicious desserts. When you buy meat, make sure it’s lean and healthy. Peel the skin off your turkey, pork or chicken to cut back on fat. When you feel like you need to reach for a quick snack in between meals, instead of potato chips and fries for snacks, have healthy alternatives such as salad dressed with olive oil, fresh fruits, or nuts. Potato chips have higher calories, sodium and fat compared to nuts. A bowl of rice crackers with olives will also make an excellent low calorie snack. Fruits and yogurt are excellent to satisfy your craving for sweets. After all it’s Christmas, so eat all the traditional food prepared in a healthy and low fat way.
You are probably going to be invited to several parties in the week before Christmas. Never go to any party hungry. Try to eat something before you arrive so that you don’t over-eat. Eat some of fruit, vegetables and sweet potatoes mash with some cumin.
When it comes to drinks for the festival, we advise that you take it slow. Sip your champagne or white wine glass slowly and make it last. Indulging in too much alcohol will make you gain weight faster.
Healthy Christmas Meal Recipes
It’s not impossible to make your Christmas dinner healthy and delicious. The meal ideas given below will allow your whole family to sit down, relax and enjoy a highly nutritious and tasty meal without all the calories and fat.
The main dish of your Christmas dinner needs to be healthy, delicious and nutritious. It’s important that you use fresh and healthy ingredients to prepare your dinner. Below are a few ideas for the main dish.
Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Lean beef tenderloin is excellent for a Christmas dinner. It’s lean, healthy and easy to cook. Simply treat with horseradish-mustard and roast to get a crust full of flavor. This meal serves 8 people. It contains only 220 calories, and 11 g fat per serving. It also has zinc and selenium as a nutritious bonus.
- 2 tablespoons horseradish, prepared
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra-virgin
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 pounds center-cut trimmed beef tenderloin,
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- You need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees for cooking your meat.
- Take a bowl and combine horseradish, mustard and oil.
- Take your tenderloin and rub it with salt and pepper
- Coat tenderloin with horseradish mixture.
- Transfer to a roasting pan and roast for 35 – 40 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
(Recipe courtesy: Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Recipe | Eating Well)
Roast Chicken & Pomegranate Farro Salad
Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Farro Salad makes an excellent healthy and delicious dish. It is perfect for a simple supper or an added item to the main course of the dinner. You could add some green beans with your pomegranate seed studded salad and top it off with roasted chicken. This meal is very easily prepared, has only 433 calories; 20 g fat, and can easily feed 8 people. Salads are good for you, and so is lean chicken. Serving size 3 oz. chicken (skinless).
- 1 4-pound chicken cut into 8 portions, or 2 bone-in breasts (halved), 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups farro
- 1/3 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus 1/4 cup, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, divided
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (see Tip)
- 5 cups arugula, trimmed if necessary
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 3 medium stalks celery, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
- 2/3 cup sliced scallions
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Take a shallow roasting pan and put a coat of cooking spray on it. Place your boneless lean chicken pieces evenly on the pan.
- Bring water and farro to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat so that the water maintains a simmer. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the ferro is tender, but still a little chewy. When done, drain the water and set it aside.
- Take a small bowl and combine garlic, parsley, shallot, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Rub the mixture on your chicken pieces.
- Roast the chicken pieces for 30-35 minutes. Transfer it to a plate and cover it with a tin foil to keep it warm. Pour the oil and drippings from your pan into a measuring cup.
- Prepare your salad. Whisk pomegranate molasses, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Drizzle in 1/4 cup oil, whisking it well. Add celery arugula, romaine, scallions, almonds, pomegranate seeds, and then add the cooled faro. Toss gently to combine and coat the salad with dressing.
- Transfer salad on a large serving platter and place the chicken on top of it, then drizzle some of the dripping from your pan. Serve and enjoy.
(Recipe Courtesy: Roast Chicken & Pomegranate Farro Salad Recipe | Eating Well)
Low calorie dessert
You can have a variety of low calorie desserts to complement your dinner. Fruits are always a good way to end your dinner. It satisfies your cravings for sweets in a nutritious way. Having pumpkin pies are also great. Add chestnuts and orange syrup to your ice-cream and have delicious Chestnuts in Cointreau & orange syrup dessert.
Cooking a low calorie healthy feast for Christmas is still attainable. You just need to make a few adjustments. You will be able to lower the amount of calories and fat your meal contains and so, your meal will be healthier, while being just as tasty. Now you can enjoy a meal with your family without having to worry about packing on extra pounds.
Did you find these tips useful? Please let us know your thoughts on this article.
Do you love to cook? Got a recipe idea? Please share your cooking ideas with us.
Source: Balanced Life Team
Resources and related articles
- Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
- Healthy Christmas Recipes – Christmas.Food.com
- Main Dish Recipes : Food Network
- Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Recipe | Eating Well