3 Healthier Holiday Meals and Side Dishes

This holiday season try these three healthy side dishes, they will help you impress your family and friends without feeling stressed.

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for many people. However it is also the time that we all like to host and entertain. These three recipes are nutritious, quick and easy. Each of these dishes make great additions to any holiday party or event.

CHRISTMAS SALAD

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INGREDIENTS
2 bunches Swiss chard, chopped
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup pecans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup blue cheese
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

DRESSING
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice from 1 large orange
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon orange zest

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DIRECTIONS
1. Over medium heat, add brown sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of water and pecans to a pan. Cook for a few minutes until sugar mixture is thick and pecans are toasted.
2. Combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk well.
3. On a plate, arrange Swiss chard. Top with oranges, pecans, blue cheese and pomegranate seeds. Top with dressing.

MUSHROOM AND ZUCCHINI LASAGNA
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INGREDIENTS
1/2 lb. lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef (or chicken, turkey, etc.)
1 small wedge of quality Parmesan cheese, grated

SAUCE
1 large zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cups celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can no-added salt tomato sauce
1 jar no-salt-added pasta sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 teaspoons black pepper

CHEESE LAYER
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, cook onions, zucchini, celery, mushrooms and tomatoes for about 15 minutes.
2. Once vegetables start to soften, add pasta sauce, garlic, black pepper and cayenne powder.
3. Meanwhile, sauté beef until cooked through and browned. Add to sauce mixture and keep sauce on low heat.
4. Boil noodles until cooked and drain.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together Parmesan cheese, cottage cheese and garlic powder.

ASSEMBLY
1. Start with a layer of chunky pasta sauce on the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish. Be generous with the sauce as you do not want dried up noodles.
2. Then add one layer of noodles, then a thin layer of cottage cheese mixture, then a sauce layer.
3. Repeat layering until baking dish is nearly full.
4. Top with quality grated Parmesan cheese.

To cook lasagna, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 30 minutes. For the last 15 minutes, cook without foil so the cheese melts. Serve once lasagna is hot.

ORANGE GLAZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND SWEET POTATOES
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INGREDIENTS
3 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pecans
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

THE GLAZE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper

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DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Toss Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes with olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet. Put into oven.
3. Meanwhile, in a small pan, toast pecans for about 3-4 minutes with brown sugar, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons water. Watch carefully as these can burn easily.
4. Whisk glaze ingredients together.
5. After about 10-15 minutes in the oven, flip Brussels and sweet potatoes. Let cook another 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
6. Remove from oven and toss with glaze. Top with pecans and Parmesan.




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