Healthy Holiday Menu

Holidays can be stressful for families and individuals alike. During these times, it’s even more important to care for your body and provide the nourishment it needs. Fortunately, you can get the proper nutrition and have a flavorful meal at the same time.

Here’s a healthy holiday menu for you to use at your next gathering, complete with a convenient shopping list to print off. We’ve done the meal planning for you, now you just have to put it all together and enjoy.

list of menu items and ingredients.

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Photo Credit: Nick Amoscato

reindeer cheese and crackers

Ingredients

  • Laughing Cow cheese wedges
  • Maraschino cherries, cut in half
  • Mini dark chocolate chips
  • Small pretzel twists
  • Whole grain cracker

 

Reindeer Cheese and Crackers

Instructions
1. Place wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on cracker.
2. Place half of cherry at the point as the reindeer nose.
3. Place two pretzel twists on the other two corners of the triangle wedge for reindeer ears.
4. Place two chocolate chips on cheese for eyes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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mash

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  •  2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup low fat milk or milk substitute
  •  1/2 cup honey or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
  • Kosher salt

 

Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash

Instructions
1. Place potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients. Season with salt.
2. Cover and cook on low setting, stirring periodically, for 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork.
3. Taste and adjust seasoning. Using a hand-held mixer, whip at medium speed until combined and light and fluffy. Add a bit of additional milk and/or Greek yogurt, if needed, to achieve a creamy texture, but do not over-mix. (For totally smooth potatoes, mash first with a potato masher, then whip with the mixer.)
4. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Cherry, Wild Rice, Almond stuffed Pork Loin on plate on wooden surface

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 oz. Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4  cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs. boneless pork loin

 

Cherry, Almond and Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Loin

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. To make the filling, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add sausage and garlic and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and add parsley, thyme, rosemary, dried cherries, fresh cherries and almonds. Stir in wild rice and add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread filleted pork loin on a clean work surface. Top pork loin with prepared stuffing from edge to edge. Starting from the short side, roll the pork loin and filling into a spiral.
4. Tie spiral together with heavy-duty kitchen twine in the center of the roast. Also tie the spiral on each end so that the coil is secure.
5. Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and insert an oven-safe meat thermometer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
6. Place roast in the oven and allow to cook for 1 hour.
7. Reduce heat to 325°F and continue to cook for another 45 to 60 minutes. Remove roast from the oven once the meat thermometer reaches 160°F.
8. Allow meat to rest in the pan, loosely covered with foil, for 20 to 30 minutes.
9. Remove from the pan and cut twine away from the roast. Slice before serving. Enjoy!


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Strawberries with cheesecake mousse in the middle and chocolate chips on the mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) package low-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Amaretto
  • 12 large strawberries
  • Mini dark chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Santas

Instructions
1. Slice the stem off the strawberry. Cut flat so santa can stand. Then cut off tip of strawberry for hat.
2. In a small bowl, mix together softened cream cheese, sugar, and Amaretto (or vanilla or almond extract) until well combined.
3. Spoon filling into a small ziploc bag, seal bag, and cut off one corner of bag.
4. Fill strawberry body, place strawberry hat on top. Use cream cheese filling for ball on hat and buttons on strawberry body. Use mini chocolate chips or sprinkles for eyes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Two Ginger Spritzers with Lemon Peels in front of Silver and Red Trees

Ingredients

  • One two-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups water
  • 16 oz. sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Lemon (for garnish, optional)

 

Ginger Spritzer

Instructions
Bring water to a boil. Add the ginger to it and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Drain the ginger tea and chill the liquid in the refrigerator.
Mix tea with sparkling water, then pour over ice and garnish with the lemon wedge.

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