The holidays, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas, is the best time to feast on delectable food. But good food does not necessarily mean that it should be loaded with calories. You can actually prepare dishes that are nutritious and delicious at the same time.
You have the power to make your holiday celebration healthy by following these simple ideas in the preparation of your dinner meals. Try making delicious alternatives to some of your old-time favorite recipes.
Healthy Holiday Dishes Alternatives
Holidays, like Christmas, are all about tradition. And it is but once a year that your family gets to enjoy certain meals that are best served during this season. Eggnog, fruitcakes, ham and roasted turkey are just some of the dinner mainstays on the table. While some dishes are too hard to let go, there are some that can be substituted by healthier alternatives.
Take mashed white potatoes for example. Typically, you mix this with cream, butter and sometimes full-fat sour cream. You can actually try making mashed sweet potatoes instead. Sweet potatoes are loaded with potassium, folic acid, vitamin C and beta-carotene. A medium size of this contains 160 calories and three grams of fiber. This can be a fantastic side dish that is nutritious as it is delicious. You can also add healthy toppings like mushrooms and capers for a different twist.
Use easy ingredient substitutions that will give your dish a healthy boost.
Make simple substitutions to some of the loaded ingredients that you use in creating your dishes. Get a little creative as you do not have to sacrifice taste just to get on the “lighter” side. Check your pantry as you may have healthy ingredients that are available without realizing it. If there are none, make a shopping list so that you would not forget the next time you hit the grocery.
Your Salad Dressing
One good example for this is the traditional salad with loads of sinful dressing. It is supposed to be healthy because of the vegetables and fruits but did you know that salad dressing adds too many calories and extra fat, not to mention sugar? You may think you are safe with fat-free dressing but many of these are loaded with sugar and have zero nutrition. They also block the body’s ability to take in the carotenoid antioxidants in tomatoes and leafy greens.
A better option is to give up the salad dressing and squeeze some fresh lemon juice instead and drizzle your salad with Argan oil to add some zing to the dish. While lemon is loaded with Vitamin C, Argan oil is rich in antioxidants particularly Vitamin E and some essential fatty acids. It will also add a light nutty taste to create a refreshing play of flavors.
Plan your menu ahead of time.
It is very helpful to create your Christmas menu a little early. Aside from avoiding the long queues in the grocery, you will be able to balance the dishes that you are planning to serve. If you are serving the family’s favorite chowder as a starter, drizzle it with a few drops of Argan oil to add a healthy twist.
If you are roasting that delectable turkey, you can order ahead of time so you can select a lean one. Or you may opt for turkey breasts without the skin to save on a few grams of saturated fat. By having your menu at hand, you can also shop for healthy ingredients and incorporate them to your other dishes.