Mix up your holiday recipes by adding in some healthy low fat and low carb choices. Healthy options can be both tasty and fun and will often go undetected by the pickiest of guests. Eating healthy during the holiday season can help you stay on your diet plan and make for a festive menu that is nutritious and delicious.
Healthy Holiday Eating Tips
Offering your guests a low fat and low carb appetizer is a great way to offer them tasty treats while minding their diets. Usually appetizers are full of fat and loaded with carbs. Canapés based on pâte sucrée with high fat toppings are traditional at holiday gatherings, but consider using Asian and Mediterranean dishes that will please your crowd and cut the fat and carbs.
Another way to make recipes low in fat and in carbs is to use substitutions.
- Rather than use recipes with tartlet shells, use recipes that include romaine leaves.
- Swap out bread and chips for fresh vegetables, so the carbs from the bread would be removed.
- In addition to trying out new recipes that are either low in fat or low in carbs, you can add in more fruits or vegetables, offer your guests sauces or dips on the side and serve items without lots of butter or oil.
Low Fat and Low Carb Holiday Recipes
Try these healthy recipes for your next holiday celebration.
Asian Salad In Romaine Cups
This recipe serves four and works well for an appetizer as well as for a salad course.
- 8 leaves from a Romaine heart
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 cup of baby corn
- 2 scallions
- 2 cups of bean sprouts
- 2 tablespoons of roasted peanuts chopped
- 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons of lime juice
- 3 tablespoons of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger root
- ¼ teaspoon of red curry paste.
- Wash the lettuce leaves and hold them in your refrigerator covered with a damp paper towel so that they do not wilt.
- Julianne the carrots and the celery
- Cut the baby corn into half lengthwise
- Slice the scallions finely on a diagonal
- Put all the sliced ingredients and the bean sprouts into a bowl
- Toss the ingredients together
- Divide the tossed salad between the lettuce leaves
- Add all the dressing ingredients in a bowl
- Whisk until smooth
- Dress each salad
- Top with the chopped peanuts
This serves six and can be used as a dip for fresh vegetables or as a condiment for a sandwich.
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ¼ cups of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- A selection of cut veggies including but not limited to carrots, celery, bell peppers, radish and blanched green beans.
- In a food processor mince the garlic
- Add a pinch of salt
- Continue to process until the garlic becomes a paste
- Add the egg yolks
- Process until smooth
- Slowly drizzle the oil into the garlic paste.
- Add the lemon juice
- Taste for salt and pepper
This recipe serves 12 and is perfect to offer as a first course salad.
- 2 large cucumbers
- 2 ½ cups Greek yogurt or strained plain yogurt
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Grate the cucumbers into a bowl lined with a cheese cloth or paper towels
- Squeeze as much water out of the cucumbers as you can
- In a bowl add the yogurt and cucumbers
- Stir in the garlic, dill and olive oil
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Refrigerate until ready to serve
- Garnish with cayenne or paprika
- Serve with fresh or steamed vegetables
Mussels with Pesto
Many families make it a tradition to have seafood at Thanksgiving or on Christmas Eve. Even though this recipe has breadcrumbs in it there are only 17 grams of carbs. It serves four.
- 2 pounds of mussels
- 6 tablespoons of fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tablespoon of toasted pignoli nuts
- 2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ a cup of olive oil
- 2 cups of bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the mussels by cleaning them and removing any beards.
- Put the mussels into a pot and cook them over a high heat for three to four minutes shaking the pot occasionally
- Discard any mussels that do not open
- Save the cooking liquid.
- Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan and reduce until it is a tablespoon full.
- Pour the liquid into your food processor with the basil, garlic, pignoli, and parmesan.
- Process until finely chopped
- Add the bread crumbs and olive oil
- Process until well mixed
- Open the mussels throw away the empty shells and loosen them in their shells
- Cover each mussel with the pesto bread crumb mixture
- Heat under the broiler on high until the crumbs are crisp and the mussels are heated through.
To make this meal a bit heartier and suitable for an entree, add in some whole wheat pasta and serve with fresh whole wheat bread for dipping. There is no need for butter or oil on the bread since the liquid from the mussels makes for a perfect dipping sauce.
Finish with a Delicious Holiday Dessert
Desserts do not have to be complicated or loaded with fat to be delicious. Purchase an angel food cake which is low in fat and serve with light whipped cream and fresh fruit. This is simple, elegant and will satisfy your guests without adding extra fat or unwanted calories to their diets.