During Christmas holidays you will probably eat as much food as you can, and you’re most likely not even going to try to stop yourself! Well, it’s okay, because you can make some healthier side dishes so that you don’t feel too horrible about it! So here are 10 healthy side dishes that you can make for Christmas:
1. Roasted brussels sprouts with squash and cranberries
This easy Christmas side dish is not only delicious and bursting with winter flavors (maple syrup and cinnamon), but it is also vegetarian, healthy, gluten-free and rich in fiber. Even if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you will definitely love them here.
– 3 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, yellow leaves removed, ends trimmed
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– Salt, to taste
– 1 ½ pound butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cubed
– 2 cups pecan halves
– 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 380 F. Use 1 tbsp of olive oil and lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine sprouts, squash, olive oil, salt to taste and toss gently to combine. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20-30 minutes. When finished, add pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine. Enjoy.
2. Vegan stuffed mushrooms
This healthy canapé is one both non-vegans and vegans can enjoy together in holiday harmony. The tasty mushroom filling would also be a fantastic alongside some crackers and raw veggies.
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 25 button mushrooms
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– 1 tbsp vegan butter
– Ground pepper
– 1 cup vegan sour cream
– 1 box frozen spinach
Remove and chop stems from mushrooms and save the caps. Add butter, stems, and onion to a pan. Stir well, and season with salt and pepper. Bake on medium heat for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the vegan cream with the spinach and add to stems, onion and butter mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each mushroom cap. Place filled caps on two baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes on 190 C. Remove from oven, and enjoy your meal.
3. Pomegranate fennel quinoa salad
This salad is great because it actually keeps for days (except the mint leaves which will become brown in the fridge). So you could make this delicious meal ahead for any holiday or gathering, just and add the mint just prior to serving.
– 1 cup dried quinoa
– 1 fennel bulb, cubed
– 2 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped
– 2 stalks celery, cubed
– ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
– Seeds from 1 pomegranate
– 1 bunch radishes, cubed
Apple cider vinaigrette dressing:
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
– ½ tsp Dijon
– Pepper and salt
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. While cooking quinoa, prepare your ingredients for the salad. Shake the dressing and toss over salad and serve! This salad keeps well for a couple of days, but the mint will become brown, so the advice is to add the mint just before serving.
4. Cucumber cups with spicy tapenade
This is a simple remedy to curb sodium and it can easily serve as an elegant side meal. Calorie-conscious dieters will be happy: 5 of these spicy cucumber cups weigh in at less than 90 calories per serving!
– 2 cucumbers
– 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
– 1 1/4 cup olives, pitted
– 3 tbsp diced red onion
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 red jalapeño, minced
– 1 tbsp lemon zest
– 1 tbsp chopped oregano
– 1 1/2 tbsp chopped tarragon
– 1 tbsp olive oil
Slice cucumbers into 1/2-inch-thin rounds. To make the cup, scoop out half the seedbed of each round with a small teaspoon. Make sure don’t cut all the way through. Set aside and mince the olives and capers, and mix with lemon zest, tarragon, onion, garlic, oregano, jalapeño and oil in a small bowl. When finished, fill each cup with a tablespoon of mixture. Bon appetite.
5. Colorful bean frittata
Made with black beans, cubes of mozzarella cheese, sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, this meal is bursting with savory flavor. With only 200 calories per serving, it makes ideal Christmas side dish.
– 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
– 1 cup black beans
– 8 eggs
– 1 tbsp. fresh basil leaves
– Salt and pepper
– 2 1/2 oz.cubed mozzarella cheese
Place the tomatoes and beans in a small pan and pour the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, basil and a little pepper and salt. Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the tomatoes and beans. Add the cheese and stir it a few times. Cook for 20 minutes until the frittata is cooked on top. Place the frittata on a plate and serve warm.
6. Clementine avocado salad
This is one healthy and beautiful side dish for Christmas. Each ingredient in this elegant salad provides health benefits as well as nice flavor and texture. The vibrant colors in this salad make it even more appealing.
– 4 clementine oranges, peeled
– 2 avocados, cut into chunks or sliced
– 4 tbsp walnuts, toasted
– 4 tbsp dried figs, chopped
– 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
– 5 cups mixed baby greens
– 1 tbsp avocado oil
– 1/3 cup fresh clementine orange juice
– 1 minced shallot
– Salt and pepper, to taste
Use clementines and slice them crosswise. Mix all dressing ingredients together. Take a handful of baby greens on salad plates to serve. Arrange clementine slices, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, avocado and dried figs on top. Pour the dressing right before serving. Bon appétit.
7. Chopped apple salad with toasted walnuts, blue cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette
This recipe for chopped apple salad is just perfect for the holidays. The exotic mix of all ingredients is not only very tasty, but it looks even more than beautiful.
Chopped Apple Salad:
– 4 apples, cored and cut into ½ inch dice
– 2 ounces baby spinach
– 2 large heads of endive, sliced crosswise
– 1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
– 2 cups blue cheese such, crumbled
– Kosher salt and pepper
– 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
– 2 tbsp wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp honey
– Salt to taste
In a large bowl place the apples, endive, spinach, blue cheese, and walnuts. Make pomegranate vinaigrette by whisking together honey, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, and salt. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.
8. Roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes
Roasting veggies brings out their sweetness, even in stronger tasting vegetables such as broccoli. Herbes de Provence complements the tomatoes nicely. You can add your favorite herb mix (Fines Herbes, Italian herbs or Greek seasoning would all taste good).
– 6 cups broccoli florets
– 1-pint cherry tomatoes
– 2 shallots, chopped
– 6 smashed garlic cloves
– 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
– Pepper and salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 190 °C. In a large bowl, add Herbes de Provence, garlic, shallots, broccoli, tomatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place all vegetables in a single layer onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes toss vegetables around, and roast for 10 more minutes, until just tender, but also with some crunch. Serve while still warm.
9. Creamy garlic mashed cauliflower and potatoes
Besides being a wonderful Christmas side dish, this is a great way to introduce cauliflower in the best way to a non-cauliflower eater.
– 1 trimmed cauliflower
– 5 peeled potatoes cut into pieces
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
– Pepper and salt
– Virgin olive oil
Add enough water to a large pot just to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes and place steamer basket over potatoes. Place cauliflower on top and steam for 10 minutes and remove when done. Cover pot and continue to cook potatoes for another 10 minutes. Put cauliflower in food processor and mix until smooth. When potatoes become tender, drain and place in a mixing bowl. Add garlic and mix until smooth. Add processed cauliflower, yogurt and mix until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil and serve.
10. Warm artichoke with hearts of palm
This delicious side dish is best to be served with fresh vegetables. It is also good as an egg-free alternative to sandwiches or mayonnaise.
– One 12-ounce bag frozen artichoke hearts,
– One 14-ounce can heart of palm, rinsed, drained
– 5 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 sprigs fresh thyme
– 2 ¼ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– Freshly ground pepper
Preheat to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss together 2 tablespoons olive oil, artichoke hearts, garlic, hearts of palm and thyme. Place on a parchment paper-lined and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until garlic is cooked through. Remove vegetables from oven and using your fingers strip thyme leaves from branches mixing the leaves in with the vegetables. Discard the branches and place vegetables in a food processor and mix until mixture is almost smooth, adding olive oil through a feeding tube. Season to taste with pepper and serve.