If you’re whipping up a holiday dinner this year, keep things healthy with some of my favorite natural skinny holiday dishes. These are really simple, aren’t too “out there” for your guests to enjoy and they’re also especially comforting and nourishing. I love to make simple healthy dishes each year that aren’t hard for anyone at home to create, and are all easy to prepare last minute. This makes sharing my recipes fun, and you’d be surprised how healthy you can eat whether on a budget or a nutrition plan during the holidays. Check out my favorite ways to make skinny holiday dishes that taste healthy. It’s so simple, delicious and nutritious that you won’t miss the high calorie varieties usually served.
1. Using Herbs
One of my favorite tricks for making skinny holiday dishes is to use herbs when I roast the turkey, or cook roasted veggies. Use fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano, parsley and sage. Place these on top and inside of your turkey, or mince them and sprinkle onto roasted veggies. They add the most incredible flavor, without the need for tons of fat, salt and sugar. I also like dried herb varieties by Simply Organics brand, and am especially fond of the Herbs de Provence blend, as well as the Italian Seasoning blend.
2. Use Coconut Oil, Not Butter
Instead of putting butter all over everything, try using coconut oil. It stimulates the metabolism and offers that same rich flavor as butter. It also contains no cholesterol and can be used anywhere butter is used. I use just a bit to coat my pans with when roasting veggies or roasting my turkey, and I also use it in about 1 tbsp. amounts on roasted veggies and cooked green beans.
3. Use Salt-free Broth
When cooking your turkey or your vegetables, try cooking them in a low sodium or salt-free broth. This is much lower in refined salt than higher sodium varieties. Then, you can go back and add high quality salts like Himalayan sea salt, which is less processed and contains all the vital minerals that are naturally found in salt, which actually stimulate your metabolism. I also like to use these broths to marinate veggies, baste the turkey with or cook vegetables in the slow cooker with them.
4. Roasted Squash
One of my favorite side dishes to make is simple roasted butternut squash halves. These are absolutely excellent for your waistline, and they taste delicious! Just cut small butternut squashes in half, remove the seeds and turn them face down on a pan coated with foil. Then roast for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees and when they’re done season with savory or sweet spices. I like to drizzle ¼ tsp. coconut oil on each half, and sprinkle with Garam Masala, a spice that has both sweet and savory flavorings and is excellent on squash. You can chop butternut squash and roast it that ways as well. The halves just make fun serving displays.
5. Lean Green Beans
Green beans are one of the healthiest, skinniest dishes you can eat. They’re extremely high in protein, fiber and vitamins, while being low in starchy carbs. They are also easy to flavor with a little high quality salt as mentioned above, just a teaspoon of coconut oil to cook them with or olive oil, and season them with fresh herbs and black pepper or dried herbs. I also sometimes cook them with half a lemon, which adds a zesty flavor to them that’s also delicious.
6. Skinless Turkey
When serving turkey, it’s best to remove the skin to avoid excess saturated animal fats. Skinless turkey breast is one of the leanest forms of protein you can eat, and is excellent for muscle growth, repair and metabolism, so long as you keep it lean! If you can get your hands on a turkey without added hormones, all the better!
7. Healthy Pumpkin Pie
When making the traditional pie each year, don’t load it up with sugar and fattening dairy milk. Instead, just make it healthy. Use almond milk or coconut milk in place of regular milk, and instead of sugar use stevia. I also recommend using coconut oil instead of butter if you’re making a homemade crust and try making the crust from a mix of dates and almonds instead of refined flours.
You truly can have a healthy holiday this year, so long as you avoid excess sugar, refined foods and too much animal saturated fat. After that, be sure to enjoy your holiday season and if you’re cooking, keep it skinny with these skinny holiday dishes! What’s your favorite way to make a healthy holiday dish?