It’s that time of year again where we are busy cooking up all the holiday treats. But you don’t have to sacrifice your health for a few days of indulgence! We’ve put together 5 healthy recipes to enjoy during the holidays without feeling guilty or getting sick. Try these ideas out this year, and make it a healthier holiday season!
#1 Healthy Recipe – Lentil Pasta with Pesto & Tomatoes
You are going to LOVE this one …. because it has just 3 main ingredients! It’s packed with fiber and plant-based protein, and is meal-prep friendly (just double or triple it). If you haven’t tried bean-based pasta, now is the time! They’re more filling than regular pasta and help keep you feeling fuller longer.
NOTE: Chickpea-based pasta will work, too.
Lentil Pasta with Pesto & Tomatoes (serves 2)
● 4 oz (115 g) dry lentil pasta
● 1 Tbsp olive oil
● 2 cups (350 grams) cherry tomatoes
● Salt & pepper to taste
● 3 Tbsp your favorite prepared pesto
● Optional: Feta or goat cheese for topping
Cook the pasta in boiling water according to package directions. While it cooks, heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, and cook until soft, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the pasta is done, add it and the pesto to the skillet and toss until well coated. Top with optional cheese and serve. So DELICIOUS. Try it and let me know what you think!
#2 Healthy Recipe – Muhammara Dip
Have you ever had Muhammara dip (aka red pepper & walnut dip)? It’s a middle-eastern appetizer that’s sweet, spicy, and satisfying.
Try serving this simplified version at your holiday parties with veggie sticks for a light and healthy option. Its red color makes it festive – but its taste is what will make it a winner! TIP: It also makes a great sauce for veggies and is a delicious sandwich spread.
Muhammara – Red Pepper & Walnut Dip (makes 8 servings)
● ¾ cup (175 ml) pomegranate juice
● ½ cup (110 g) walnuts
● 3 Tbsp rolled oats OR gluten-free bread crumbs
● 1 Tbsp lemon juice
● 1 16 oz (450 g) jar roasted red peppers, drained
● ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
● ½ tsp ground cumin, plus more for garnish
● 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
● Sea salt
● Crudites and pita chips for dipping
Place the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and let simmer for about 5 minutes, until it reduces to about 2 Tbsp. Remove from heat and set aside to thicken and cool.
Toast the walnuts in a nonstick skillet for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Set aside to cool.
When cool, place the nuts and oats in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Add the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, drained red peppers, cayenne pepper, and cumin, and process until it’s smooth.
Keeping the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil so it emulsifies. Add salt to taste. Scrape into a serving bowl. Can be served immediately but it’s even better after a few hours when the flavors have had a chance to develop.
#3 Healthy Recipe – Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps
You are in for a TREAT! This is a GREAT (& healthy) version of classic Asian lettuce wraps – light, tasty, and super easy to throw together.
Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps (serves 4)
● 2 Tbsp sesame oil
● 4 cups (350 g) sliced mushrooms
● 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
● 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (optional)
● 1 lb. (450 g) 93% lean ground turkey
● 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
● Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
● 16 (or so) big butter lettuce leaves
Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, until soft, stirring occasionally. Then, add the optional garlic and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring frequently, until browned through (about 6 minutes). Stir in the coconut aminos. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place 4 lettuce leaves on 4 separate plates. Divide the turkey mixture between each of the leaves, wrap ‘em up, and enjoy! YUM.
#4 Healthy Recipe – Eggnog Overnight Oats
Here’s a holiday-worthy oatmeal recipe that requires no cooking – just put the ingredients in a mason jar and shake it up.
TIP: You might notice seasonal “nog” drinks in your grocery’s dairy case. You can sub one of those for the oat milk in this recipe … But be sure to read the label to make sure it’s not loaded with extra sugar or additives.
Eggnog Overnight Oats (serves 1)
● ½ cup (40 g) old-fashioned oats (gluten-free)
● 1 tsp chia seeds
● ½ cup (115 g) low-fat plain Greek yogurt
● ½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened extra creamy oat milk
● Dash of vanilla extract
● ⅛ tsp nutmeg
● ⅛ tsp cinnamon
● Optional: 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup, or to taste
● Optional topping: Pecans or walnuts
In a mason jar or other container with a tight cover, combine all of the ingredients except the nuts. Cover tightly and shake well to combine. Place in the refrigerator overnight. When it’s time to eat, stir well and add optional nuts as a topping. Enjoy!
#5 Healthy Recipe – SHEET PAN FAJITAS
Sheet pan recipes are the BEST when it comes to quick & easy dinners. This fajita recipe is a crowd-pleaser – guaranteed new favorite that you’ll want to add to the rotation.
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas (serves 4 portions)
● 2-3 large bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow), cut into strips
● 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
● 2 Tbsp avocado oil
● 2 Tbsp fajita seasoning mix
● 1½ lbs (680 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast
● 2 limes: 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges for serving
● 8 corn tortillas, warmed
● For serving: Guacamole, hot sauce, salsa, and goat cheese
Preheat your broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
Place the peppers and onions in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 Tbsp each of the oil and fajita seasoning. Pour the vegetables onto the baking sheet and broil until they soften and begin to char, about 5-8 minutes.
While they are broiling, cut the chicken into thin slices (¼ inch/½ cm) and place in the bowl, tossing with the remaining 1 Tbsp each of oil and fajita mixture.
Place the chicken on top of the slightly charred peppers and onions and continue to broil until the chicken is cooked through (about 5 mins). Remove from the oven and drizzle with the lime juice. Serve the fajita mixture with tortillas and your favorite toppings (guacamole, hot sauce, salsa, goat cheese, etc.).
The last word on healthy recipes to stay healthy while enjoying the holiday season.
We hope you enjoyed these 5 healthy holiday recipes to help keep the extra pounds at bay this season. We’ve provided lots of options for everyone on your family and friends list! If you have questions about what ingredients can be swapped out or which recipe is best for certain dietary restrictions, let us know below in the comments section. What has been your experience with these? Let us know where it went well and where things didn’t go so well! Do you have any favorite recipes that are healthier for this time of year? We’d love to hear about them! Just leave a comment below, and we will check it out! Also, check out our keto cloud bread and keto bread recipes. Have a great day!