Diet friendly holiday dishes are not a myth, my ladies, and there are even plenty of wonderful recipes to help you pull it off and prepare everything from sweets and side dishes to those traditional and super yummy main courses! Lots of flavors both new and well-known and no guilt – need more reasons to opt for a few healthy holiday treats this year? No? Well, here are a few diet friendly holiday dishes you’ll definitely want to try.
1. Weight Watchers Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Diet friendly holiday dishes just wouldn’t sit well without an equally fulfilling, comparatively figure friendly dessert! And this well-known Weight Watchers recipe seems like a perfect choice! So? What do you say? Let’s nail down the dessert first!
2 Tbsp salted butter, softened
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup(s) packed brown sugar, dark-variety
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp table salt
1 large egg white(s)
3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 oz chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup (Dark chocolate is the best choice)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add vanilla, salt and egg white; mix thoroughly to combine.
In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking soda; stir into batter. Add chocolate chips to batter; stir to distribute evenly throughout.
Drop 48 half-teaspoons of dough onto one or two large nonstick baking sheets, leaving a small amount of space between each cookie. Bake cookies until golden around edges, about 4 to 6 minutes; cool on a wire rack. Yields 1 cookie per serving.
2. Rachael Ray’s Golden Bloom Chicken
If you love Rachael’s show and often rely on her tasty recipes, you’ll definitely want to check out this next one and consider using it as a healthy holiday treat! Chicken breasts and veggies have never looked so fancy and tasted so great, that’s for sure! But here, if you’ve missed that particular show, don’t make the same mistake twice! Check out the recipe below and make it a part of your holiday menu:
4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
48 green beans or enough to fill your chicken bundles
2 large red bell peppers, cut into about 30 strips the size of the green beans
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup of chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup cream
For this recipe, arrange 4 cutlets pounded to 1/8 of an inch thick on work surface. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper on one side then lay about 6 or 7 green beans and 4 or 5 red pepper strips in the center, with the ends sticking out. Fold the bottom half of the chicken up around the bundle then roll the two ends around so it looks like a little package with green beans and red pepper sticking out. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and ground black pepper.
In a large, nonstick skillet with two turns of the pan of EVOO over medium-high heat, cook the stuffed cutlets seam side-down. Cook about 7-8 minutes, then turn to brown the other side. Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and reserve.
To the pan, add the saffron and ginger then pour in the chicken stock and bring up to a bubble. Stir in the cream and heat through.
Serve the chicken blooms topped with some of the cream sauce and Brown Rice Pilaf alongside.
3. Potato and Yoghurt Salad
Light, refreshing and totally guilt-free – this fragrant salad or a creamy side dish is a must try! It will complement your assortment of roasts and potatoes perfectly, leaving all of your guests totally impressed and begging for more!
1 lb waxy potato, peeled, cooked and cubed
1 chopped red onion
1/2 cucumber, washed, not peeled, cut into small cubes (remove the seeds if there are many)
1 finely chopped celery rib
1/2 bell pepper, any color, chopped
10 olives, halved (green or black)
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
2 minced anchovy fillets (or salt if you do not like anchovies)
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 tomatoes, cut in wedges
Mix together in a large bowl: potatoes, onion, cucumber, celery, bell pepper, olives, eggs, parsley and mint.
Mix the yoghurt with the mustard, cayenne, capers, anchovies (or salt), pepper and garlic, taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Gently mix the dressing with the salad, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the tomatoes (and more olives if you like).
4. Paula Deen’s Lime Shrimp and Lettuce Wraps
Nothing spells light more accurately than shrimps and some leafy greens! And if you thought seafood and veggie combos have all the deliciousness and aesthetic appeal of wet cardboard strips, you’re in for a big surprise! Give this yummy recipe a go and you’ll see exactly why it makes such a perfect choice as a diet friendly holiday dish!
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound medium to large fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add the shrimp and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, green onions, and water chestnuts, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and marinade, and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining soy sauce.
Divide the lettuce into leaves. Spoon about one-quarter cup of the mixture down the center of 1 lettuce leaf. Fold the bottom edge and sides up and over the filling. Repeat with the remaining lettuce leaves and shrimp filling.
5. Healthy Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Holiday dinner just wouldn’t be complete without something as mouthwatering and traditional as oven baked potatoes! Oh, but all that calories and all that oil! Would it be so wrong to simply refuse to think about it for the time being? Well…no! But you can do something even better! Try a healthier version of your favorite holiday side dish!
Vegetable oil for parchment
2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) skins on, scrubbed and cut into 4-inch sticks, each 1/2 inch thick
3 large egg whites (a scant 1/2 cup)
Spices or salt to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with racks in the upper and middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and rub with oil.
Put sweet potatoes in a microwave-safe container, cover, and microwave 2 minutes. Stir gently, cover, and microwave 1 to 2 minutes more until pieces are pliable. Let rest 5 minutes covered; pour onto a platter.
In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy, add spice mix, and whisk to blend. Working in batches, toss the sweet-potato pieces in the seasoned egg whites, letting the excess liquid drip back into the bowl. Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, then flip pieces over with a spatula. Rotate baking sheets from front to back and from one rack to the other. Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
6. Mustard and Honey Oven Baked Potatoes
Speaking about mouth-watering potato recipes that are all ”pleasure” with not even a trace of “guilty” – here’s one amazing recipe you must write down right now! Not sure whose is it but I’ve picked it up from my mother in law and, trust me, there’s a reason she never ever had to deal with leftovers!
10 Medium sized (or 5 large) potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes)
3-5 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh juice of 3 lemons
3-4 Heaping full tbsp mustard
3 Heaping full tbsp honey
2 Cups water (or enough to cover the potatoes)
4 Large garlic cloves (finely chopped)
Salt & pepper
Lay cubed potatoes into a big baking dish, add lemon juice, garlic mustard, honey and rub all together well. Pour in olive oil and water then salt and pepper to taste. Preheat the oven to 300°C (550°F) and place the potatoes inside, letting the water boil before you reduce the temperature to 200°C (375°F). Bake until the water evaporates (about 1,5 hours) and the potatoes get a nice golden color.
7. Gluten-Free Gingerbread Bars
Last but not the least – a healthy holiday treat you’re going to love! I’ve found this interesting recipe on Femme Fit Co, one of the blogs I like to stop by and see what’s new every once in a while and I must tell you – can’t wait to give it a go! No dairy, no artificial sweeteners and no flour – this is promising to be one fit-tastic Christmas!
1 cup gluten-free oat bran (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup coconut flour
2/3 cup Stevia (in the Raw)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons natural molasses
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure out 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free Oat Bran and pulse in a blender for 30 seconds. *I did this to make the bran into more of a flour.
Transfer the blended oat bran into a large mixing bowl and add coconut flour, stevia, ginger, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir lightly until blended.
Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Melted coconut oil, molasses and almond milk. Stir well until the dough is blended and no longer clumpy.
Lightly spray an 8X8 inch baking dish with a light cooking spray. Spread dough into pan evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let the bars cool before sampling so flavors develop.
There you have it ladies – 7 great, tasty and most importantly healthy holiday treats to help you enjoy holidays while staying within your meal plan! So? Which one are you going to try first?