5 Healthy Holiday Recipes For A Festive Dinner

Stay fit and lean even during the festivities by adding these delicious, healthy holiday recipes to your dinner menu.

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5 Delicious, Healthy Holiday Recipes for the Whole Family

1. Brussels Sprouts with Pickled Hazelnuts and Shallots

brussel sprouts with shallots | Healthy Holiday Recipes For A Festive Dinner | healthy holiday recipes | holiday foods ideas
Ditch the fatty, meat-based side dishes and opt for this delicious, healthy Brussels sprouts with pickled hazelnuts and shallots. Not only is it filling and flavorful, but it’s also loaded with strength-boosting nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 kg Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 sprigs thyme and 1 Tbsp leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 3 shallots (2 thinly sliced and 1 chopped), divided
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Boil the thyme sprigs, 1/4 cup of water, sugar, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes.
  2. Combine the thinly sliced shallots with three tablespoons of oil in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Pour the vinegar mixture from the saucepan over the shallots.
  4. Let the shallots absorb the vinegar mixture for two hours at room temperature. Then, drain the thyme sprigs out.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  6. In a roasting pan, combine the garlic, Brussels sprouts, chopped shallots, and the remaining oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Roast for 12-15 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts turn golden brown.
  8. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium to high heat. Cook the baked Brussels sprouts for another 1-2 minutes. Add the hazelnuts, then toss the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt.
  9. Serve on a plate along with the pickled hazelnuts and shallots you prepared earlier.

2. Roasted Squash Topped with Poached Cranberries and Goat Cheese

roasted squash with poached cranberries and goat cheese on a plate | Healthy Holiday Recipes For A Festive Dinner | healthy holiday recipes | holiday foods ideas
Having trouble finding tasty, healthy Christmas snacks? Then try this roasted squash treat!

It’s a salty, delicious snack that’s heavy on flavor and nutrients, but light on the stomach. You don’t have to worry about spoiling your guests with appetizers that are too filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, sliced into 6 rounds
  • 2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 log goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted pepitas
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the squash slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then toss together until each slice is coated.
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the squash slices turn golden brown.
  4. Combine the maple syrup, cranberries, orange juice, and rosemary in a medium-sized saucepan. Simmer over medium to high heat for 10-12 minutes or until the cranberries start popping. Set aside.
  5. Mix the heavy cream and goat cheese in a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Take out the squash and then top off each slice with cheese and cranberry mixtures.

3. Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

vegan cauliflower mac and cheese
Who says you can’t eat mac and cheese when you’re on a low-carb diet? This delicious vegan cauliflower mac and cheese recipe is ideal for health buffs who want to stick to a low-carb, dairy-free, and gluten-free diet this holiday season.

Ingredients:

  • Vegan parmesan cheese
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • Paprika
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red onion powder
  • 4 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta, then set aside.
  2. Boil a large pot of water, then throw in the carrots and cauliflower. Continue boiling for 10-15 minutes or until the veggies soften.
  3. Drain, then pulse in a food processor.
  4. Add water, lemon juice, red onion powder, oil, yeast, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pulse again until they form a smooth, rich mixture.
  5. Pour the cheese sauce and cauliflower mixture on the pasta, then combine.
  6. Top off with paprika and vegan parmesan cheese for added flavor.

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4. Hearty Waldorf Salad

waldorf salad with fresh apples and celery | Healthy Holiday Recipes For A Festive Dinner | healthy holiday recipes | holiday foods ideas
Upgrade your family’s Waldorf salad this holiday season! Instead of the usual ingredients, add extra veggies and spices to turn it into a complete, nutrient-packed super meal.

What makes this salad so great is it’s very easy to make. In fact, you can whip up 10 servings worth of Waldorf salad in under 30 minutes!

Tip: Store the leftovers in a clean food container. They’re the perfect lunch for busy adults who never have the time to cook their own meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure honey
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 package romaine hearts
  • 1/2 small head red leaf lettuce
  • 2 apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup seedless purple grapes, halved
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, vinegar, and honey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place lettuce on a plate and then combine with half of the dressing.
  3. Top off with the grapes, pomegranate seeds, celery, walnuts, and apples.
  4. Take the remainder of the dressing and drizzle on top of the salad.

5. Vegan Hot Fruit Bake

vegan hot fruit bake | Healthy Holiday Recipes For A Festive Dinner | healthy holiday recipes | healthy christmas dinner
No holiday dinner is complete without a delicious dessert to top everything off. Both you and your guests will definitely be craving for something sweet and decadent after a series of salty, flavorful meals.

But rather than the usual high-sugar, carb-filled treats that add inches to your waist opt for delicious healthy Christmas desserts such as a vegan hot fruit bake!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups apples, sliced
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, separate the juice
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups pear, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 stick vegan butter, melted
  • Extra cinnamon (for serving)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Toss the fruits and half tablespoon of lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine the honey, spices, and melted butter in another bowl. Scoop in a couple of tablespoons of the pineapple juice.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the fruit bowl and then combine.
  5. Evenly place the fruits on a baking dish.
  6. Then, drizzle the remaining oil on top.
  7. Bake for one hour or until the top turns golden brown.
  8. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon for added flavor and aroma.

Perhaps the best way to decide which of these healthy holiday recipes to use is to ask your friends and family. Keep in mind that you’re cooking for a room full of people, so you need to consider their preferences as well.

Make a list of the info you gather and then use them as a reference when searching for healthy Christmas recipes. Doing so will definitely make things easier for you as the chef/host of your parties this coming holiday season!

What are your go-to healthy holiday recipes? Share your cooking secrets with us in the comments section below!

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