Holiday parties usually include high-calorie foods. Going to many parties can lead to weight gain during the holiday season.
You can bring or serve lower-calorie, more nutritious foods. They can taste good while giving you something healthy to eat at the party.
These are healthy ideas for avocado deviled eggs, curried butternut squash dip, roasted brussels sprouts, beet lentil dip, and stuffed mushrooms. Choosing these instead of other party fare may help you stay on your healthy eating plan.
Lark has more tips for making good choices during the holidays and beyond.
The holiday season can bring challenges to anyone who is health-conscious. It is one thing to let down your guard on the holidays themselves, say, on Christmas and New Year's Eve. But regularly going overboard at work parties and gatherings with friends and families can get in the way of weight loss and health goals.
It can be tough to eat healthy at holiday parties. They nearly always have high amounts of high-calorie foods. But you can protect yourself by making sure there is something nutritious and lower in calories to eat. Just make or bring enough to share! Following are five ideas for healthy dishes that are festive and delicious enough to take to any holiday party.
1. Avocado Deviled Eggs
Regular deviled eggs are laden with fat and calories from mayo and egg yolks. This recipe skips the mayo, uses fewer egg yolks, and gets creaminess from avocado.
Make hard-boiled eggs, cut them in half lengthwise, remove the yolks, and throw away half of the yolks. In a bowl, mash the remaining yolks with ripe avocado, lime or lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic power, and ground paprika or fresh dill or cilantro. Then stuff the egg white halves.
2. Curried Butternut Squash
This can be a side dish instead of a higher-calorie sweet potato or squash dish. Or you can add less broth and use the dish as a dip and serve it with vegetables or toasted whole wheat pita wedges. You can serve it warm or cold.
Cut a butternut squash and two onions in half lengthwise, drizzle the halves with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil (total), and bake them, face down, with 8 cloves of garlic until everything is soft, about 30 to 40 minutes, at 400 degrees. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and squeeze out the garlic pulp. Puree the onion, garlic pulp, and squash with 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, peeled and minced. Mix in 2 to 4 tablespoons of low-sodium broth. a shake of curry powder, a squeeze of lime juice, and a few pepitas or pumpkin seeds.
3. Roasted Citrus Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds
Brussels sprouts are healthy. But they are a little less healthy when they also have bacon, breadcrumbs, sweetened dried cranberries, and butter. Here is a recipe that keeps the holiday spirit alive but uses healthier ingredients.
Toss 1 to 2 pounds of trimmed, halved or quartered brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and black pepper to taste. Roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of orange zest, half of a grated apple, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts or pecans, and 2 tablespoons of diced red onion. Toss with the brussels sprouts and serve warm or cold.
4. Beet Lentil Dip
Creamy dips can add empty calories and excess fat, but every party needs a good dip! This recipe is high in fiber, antioxidants, and more nutrients. It is beautiful, especially when served with colorful raw vegetables.
Peel raw beets and cut them into chunks. Toss them with water, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, peeled and crushed garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme. Roast the beets at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until softened. Puree the beet mixture, with the juices used in cooking, with cooked lentils. Serve with bell pepper strips or other raw vegetables.
5. Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed appetizers are beautiful, but they can be high in calories, fat, and refined carbs due to ingredients such as sausage, bacon, breadcrumbs, and cream cheese. These stuffed mushrooms are meatless. They have whole-grain breadcrumbs. If you want, you can mix in 2 ounces of feta or parmesan cheese to the filling.
Remove stems from mushrooms, cook the mushroom caps, and set them aside. In 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cook the stems, diced onion and chopped parsley or thyme. Remove from the heat. Stir in whole-grain panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, onion and garlic powder, black pepper. Gradually add low-sodium broth until the consistency is how you want it. Stuff the mushrooms and bake them for about 5 minutes.
You can eat holiday foods you love and start the New Year right on track. Lark can help. Lark's nutrition and weight loss coaching includes daily check-ins, meal logging features, and instant feedback. And if motivation is what you need during this busy season, Lark is available 24/7 to provide it.
Healthy eating during the holidays does not mean giving up everything you love. There are ways to fit in your favorites and stay true to tradition while making healthy choices. Lark can help you make small changes that can keep you on track.
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