Are you looking to do Christmas a little differently this year? Maybe you’ve decided you want to swap some of your calorie-packed foods for some healthier ones? Well, then this is the article for you! We will be exploring a multitude of healthy Christmas feast ideas for your family!
Zucchini and Polenta Slice with Broccoli Pesto
Is potato bake a traditional side dish at your family Christmas? Well maybe this year we can swap it for this delicious and nutritious zucchini and polenta slice!
- 2 2/3 cups (665ml) Massel Chicken Style Liquid Stock
- 2 2/3 cups (665ml) milk
- 1 1/2 cups (255g) instant polenta
- 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup (120g) fresh ricotta
- 20g unsalted butter
- 3 small zucchinis
- 1 white zucchini, very thinly sliced into rounds (we used a peeler)
- 1 yellow squash, very thinly sliced into rounds (we used a peeler)
- Micro herbs, to serve
- 150g broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/2 cup firmly packed basil leaves
- 1 small garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 cup (20g) finely grated parmesan
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm slice pan with baking paper, leaving 5cm overhanging long sides
- For the pesto, place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill until needed.
- Place stock and milk in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil then, stirring constantly, add polenta in a slow, steady stream. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes until thick. Stir in Parmesan, ricotta and butter. Season
- Using a julienne vegetable peeler or mandoline, slice 2 zucchini into long, thin spaghetti-like strips. Add to polenta mixture with half the pesto and stir to combine.
- Transfer to prepared pan, and with wet hands, spread out evenly. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan. Turn out onto a board and drizzle with remaining pesto.
- Thinly slice the remaining whole zucchini into rounds and scatter over slice with white zucchini, squash and micro herbs. Season and serve warm or cold.
Salad of the Seven Fishes
From Good House Keeping
If your Christmas is similar to mine, we have some fried fish and prawns covered in Thousand Islander Dressing. Instead we can opt for this delicious seafood salad.
- 1/2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons), plus wedges for serving
- 1 small clove garlic, pressed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 oz. small squid, steamed
- 8 oz. large cooked shrimp, tails removed
- 1 lb. mussels, steamed
- 12 littleneck clams, steamed
- 6 oz. cooked octopus tentacle (about 1 tentacle)
- 4 oz. bay scallops (or sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces), steamed
- 1 small bulb fennel, very thinly sliced
- ½ small red chile, very thinly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. pitted green olives, sliced
- 4 oz. cooked lump crabmeat, picked
- 1/2 c. flat-leaf parsley leaves
- In large bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, garlic, 1/2-teaspoon salt, and 1/4-teaspoon pepper. Whisk in oil.
- Thinly slice squid bodies. Cut each shrimp into 3 pieces. Shuck mussels and clams. Cut octopus tentacle into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer squid, shrimp, mussels, clams, octopus and scallops to bowl with lemon vinaigrette and toss to coat.
- Fold in fennel, chile, celery, olives, crabmeat, and parsley. Serve immediately with lemon wedges if desired.
Prosecco Kombucha Cocktail
From Eating Well
Although this one does have alcohol in it, which isn’t the healthiest… it is still Christmas people!
- 750milliliter bottle extra-dry Prosecco, chilled
- 2 bottles berry and citrus kombucha
- 3 fluid ounces gin, chilled
- 8 slices Lemon slices for garnish
1. Stir Prosecco, kombucha and gin together in a large pitcher. Serve in champagne flutes, garnished with lemon slices, if desired.
Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip
From Eating Well
In my family, we have a lot of snacks and platters before the actual main event but this year, this vegetable wreath and ranch dip might the most perfect new addition!
- 8 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 2 cups green beans
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- ½ bunch curly kale
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yoghurt
- ½ cup light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
- 4 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
1. To prepare crudité: Put a large pot of water on to boil. Set a large bowl of ice water by the stove. Blanch broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes in the boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath to chill. Drain well. Blanch Brussels sprouts, green beans and snap peas in the same way.
2. To prepare dip: Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, shallot, dill, vinegar, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer to a serving bowl; set it in the centre of a large circular platter or decorative serving board.
3. Arrange kale around the bowl, with the frilly edges on the outside. Top with the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas and cauliflower. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.
Lemony Herb Roast Chicken
From Good House Keeping
Most of our proteins at Christmas are healthy anyway but we wanted to include this recipe because it is just so darn tasty!
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed with press
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- 4 tbsp. softened butter or olive oil
- 1 whole chicken (4 to 5 lbs.), patted dry
- Roasted Onion and Radishes
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1-bunch radishes, trimmed, quartered
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In bowl, mash zest, garlic, thyme, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper until combined. With fingers, gently separate skin from breast and thighs of chicken. Place butter mixture under skin; spread evenly. Tie drumsticks together and tuck wings behind breast.
- Place chicken on rack fitted into medium roasting pan. Arrange onion and radishes around chicken. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; brush all over chicken, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup water into bottom of roasting pan.
- Roast chicken 50 minutes. Reset oven temperature to 425°F; roast, checking to make sure water has not completely evaporated (add another 1/4 cup if necessary), 15 to 20 minutes or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F.
- Let chicken rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, use Roasted Onion & Radishes and any pan juices to prepare Panzanella.
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
From Eating Well
Another delicious and healthy side options for your Christmas feast!
- 1 Cooking spray
- 1 ½ pounds medium-size fresh button mushrooms (about 30 mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs), divided
- 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup), divided
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove stems from mushrooms and reserve. Lightly brush any dirt from mushroom caps and stems. Arrange mushroom caps, stemmed sides up, on prepared baking sheet. Chop stems.
- Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high. Add chopped mushroom stems, garlic, salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, until mushrooms soften and turn golden brown and moisture has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the panko; cook, stirring often, until panko is light golden, about 1 minute. Add cream cheese, parsley, thyme and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan; remove from heat, and stir until combined
- Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon mushroom mixture into each mushroom cap. Stir together remaining 3 tablespoons panko and 2 tablespoons Parmesan in a small bowl. Working with 1 at a time, gently dip the stuffed tip of each mushroom cap in panko-Parmesan mixture to lightly coat; return to baking sheet. Lightly coat tops of stuffed mushrooms with cooking spray.
- Bake in preheated oven until tops of mushrooms are golden brown and mushrooms are soft, 20 to 22 minutes.
Roast Turkey Breast
From Good House Keeping
- 1 lemon
- 6 tbsp. butter, at room temp
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed with press
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 (2-lb.) turkey-breast halves, deboned
- 1 lb. medium shallots, halved lengthwise (left in their skins)
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. small purple potatoes (about 8), scrubbed and halved lengthwise
- 12 oz. small parsnips (about 4), trimmed, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
- 1 lb. small thin carrots (about 12), trimmed and scrubbed.
- Heat oven to 425°F. With vegetable peeler, remove 6 strips lemon zest, avoiding white pith; thinly slice crosswise. In small bowl, combine butter, garlic, mustard, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
- Remove skin from turkey-breast halves and set aside. Rub butter mixture all over turkey breasts. Place one breast half on top of the other, arranging so 1 thick side and 1 thin side are sandwiched together. Wrap breasts in skin and tie with butcher’s twine to form log shape.
- On large rimmed baking sheet, toss shallots with oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange them in centre of sheet and place turkey on top. Roast 60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and transfer turkey to cutting board. Add potatoes, carrots and parsnips to baking sheet and toss with shallots and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; arrange in even layer. Place turkey on top of vegetables and roast until turkey registers 160°F on instant-read thermometer and vegetables are golden brown and tender, 35 to 45 minutes more (remove vegetables that are done before turkey).
- Transfer turkey to clean cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan juices and vegetables.
Don’t forget to check out our Sugar Free Christmas Treats.