If you have decided to adopt a healthier diet this Christmas and to be more careful with what you eat (and with your waistline at the same time), then you should know that healthy foods are at least as delicious as the not-so-healthy ones. Here you will find a list of the healthiest dishes you can prepare for the Christmas dinner, along with useful tips that will help you make the best of their health benefits!
1. Bold Winter Greens Salad
You can never go wrong with a greens salad, regardless of the season or occasion. Fast and effortless, the bold winter greens salad is one of the healthiest dishes you can have on your Christmas table. For this dish, you will need two to three cloves of minced garlic, a pinch of kosher salt, a touch of freshly ground pepper, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, one tablespoon of sherry vinegar, three or four rinsed and chopped anchovy fillets that will make the bold winter greens salad even more filling, a quarter of a cup extra virgin olive oil, three hard boiled eggs as well as 12 cups of chopped mixed salad greens, including escarole, chicory, radicchio and such. The result will undoubtedly take you by surprise and you will be left asking for more!
2. Roasted Green Beans
Another great healthy Christmas dish idea is the roasted green beans. A simple yet very filling dish, the roasted green beans include some tarragon, a touch of balsamic vinegar and a few drops of olive oil for that distinctive olives taste that we all adore. One serving of roasted green beans has no more than 50 calories along with four grams of fiber which will keep you full throughout the entire evening! Besides this, the roasted green beans go very well with glazed ham, although they can also be the main dish for your vegetarian friends who do not fancy meat.
3. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
One of the benefits of cooking mashed potatoes is that the recipe can be easily adapted for just about any occasion: you can serve them on your birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on. For the creamy version of the mashed potatoes, you will need two pounds of cubed red potatoes, three cloves of peeled and chopped garlic, half a cup of low fat milk, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper as well as two tablespoons of butter of your choice. What you have to do now is to place the garlic and the potatoes n a large saucepan and bring them to a boil at high heat. Slowly reduce the heat, drain them and then return the pot over low heat. Gradually add the butter, the milk, the salt and the pepper and then mash the potatoes to the desired consistency.
4. Apple And leek Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Although this may sound as a rather complex dish for the Christmas dinner, the truth is that it can be prepared in an hour and it is incredibly healthy at the same time. For this recipe, you will need two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, one cup of chopped leek, one sweet apple that is chopped and peeled, one teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme, a teaspoon of salt, two cups of apple cider, two teaspoons of mustard (preferably Dijon), two teaspoons of cornstarch, two cloves of peeled garlic, one and a half pounds of trimmed pork tenderloin, half a cup apple brandy and a touch of freshly ground pepper, to your taste.
5. Glazed Ham With Blackberry Sauce
If you are a fan of ham but you want to add a healthy twist to this year’s Christmas main dish, then you can always try the glazed ham with blackberry sauce. For this recipe, you will need one smoked and trimmed ham shank, one teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, one tablespoon of brown sugar, half a cup seedless blackberry jam, one cup of apple cider for the sauce, half a cup dry white wine, one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, one tablespoon of Dijon sauce (in addition to the one for the ham) and one cup of seedless blackberry jam, also for the sauce.
6. Salmon With Red Pepper Sauce And Mushrooms
Salmon is widely known for its health properties, and for a good reason. However, if you want to take the health benefits to the next level, then you can always combine it with mushrooms and red pepper sauce, for a Christmas dinner dish you will not forget too soon – and neither will your guests.
7. Leek, Apple And Butternut Squash Gratin
Bursting with both Vitamin C that improves your immune system (which is particularly important during the cold season) and beta-carotene that is great for your eyes, the leek, apple and butternut squash gratin is one of the healthiest Christmas dishes you can possibly serve. Besides this, the good news is that you can prepare this meal 24 to 48 hours in advance, and then refrigerate it.
8. Acorn Squash With Cranberry Apple Stuffing
Everybody loves the sour taste of the cranberry apple stuffing – a stuffing that is also known for its health benefits. For the acorn squash and cranberry apple stuffing, you will need two portions of acorn squash, two peeled and chopped applies, half a cup of dried cranberries, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, along with two tablespoons of coconut oil.
9. Rack of Lamb With Lentil Salad And Warm Apple
Lamb is great not only for your Easter dinner, but for your Christmas dinner as well. For this delicious dish, you will need two tablespoons of coarse dry breadcrumbs, one and a half teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, three teaspoons of Dijon mustard, one and a half pounds of trimmed rack of lamb, a pinch of freshly ground pepper, a pinch of Kosher salt, a teaspoon of freshly chopped rosemary, two teaspoons of cider vinegar, two stalks of celery with leaves, one finely chopped apple, lentils, two finely chopped shallots.
10. Apricot Citrus Stuffed Ham
Another great and healthy idea for the ham fans is the apricot citrus stuffed ham, for which you will need one and a half pounds of extra lean and roast cut ham, 18 dried apricot halves, two tablespoons of brandy, half a cup fresh lemon juice, two teaspoons of honey, one and a half teaspoons of orange zest, one tablespoon of lemon zest and four tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate.