Menu: Healthful Holidays

Cook’s Notes: We are having a “Happy & Healthy Holiday Potluck” at work. I was inspired by this great idea to start researching appropriate recipes. Healthy dishes don’t have to be boring! You can still have festive holiday meals while you lighten the menu. Dishes that are low in sugar, fat, or carbs, or high in fiber are much more than cardboard and rabbit food. Think about serving grilled chicken or salmon, roasted vegetables, fresh fruit, quinoa salad with beans, open-topped pies, dips made with fat-free plain Greek yogurt, whole-wheat pita bread, mixed salads with vinaigrette dressing, or raw vegetables served with salsa.

Helpful Articles:

  • Low-Carb Thanksgiving
  • High fiber ideas: Explore categories at allrecipes
  • Low-fat Christmas cookies at delish
  • Lighter Thanksgiving recipes (at least 20) at eatingwell
  • Non-alcoholic holiday drink recipes at eatingwell
  • Potluck recipes made healthy (these may be more suitable for summer, but at least 6 recipes are provided)
  • Recipe Makeover: Holiday Classics from Cooking Light
  • Top 10 Healthy holiday foods (link)
  • Top 10 low fat Christmas recipes can be found at

Menu ideas

Select a few items from each category. You would not serve all of these dishes at one time!

Baked chips
Black bean hummus (link) on whole-wheat pita breads
Cranberry salsa
Pear and blue cheese flat bread (link)
Raw nuts and seeds, instead of potato chips and salted nuts
Shrimp with cocktail sauce (best one: Alton Brown’s recipe)
Sliced turkey wrapped around asparagus stalks or steamed broccoli
Smoked salmon spread on cucumber slices
Smoked turkey with blueberry chutney on a biscuit
Tortilla rollups with sliced turkey on a light tortilla spread with low-fat cream cheese
Vegetable tray with salsa, instead of cheese dips
Whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese

Main Dishes:
Black bean burgers
Boneless skinless chicken breast with a light pan sauce and mushrooms
Grilled poultry
Grilled or roasted salmon
Skillet Salmon
Stir-fry: brown rice with vegetables
Stuffed baked squash with crunchy pecans and sweet dried cherries or acorn squash with rice and cranberries
Turkey breast or cutlets

Starches (rice, pasta, potato, or bread):
Baked Sweet Potato Fries, instead of sweet potato casserole with butter and marshmallows
Garlic mashed potatoes, made dairy free with fat-free broth (link)
Pasta with peas in a fat-free cream sauce
Whole-wheat rolls

3 bean salad
Baked squash
Black and White Beans
Mixed salad with vinaigrette (non-creamy) dressing on the side
Quinoa salad with black beans and corn (link)
Quinoa salad with roasted vegetables (link)
Roasted broccoli
Roasted carrots and chickpeas
Roasted green beans, instead of the green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup
Roasted vegetables (or lemon roasted vegetables)
White bean salad (link)

Roasted red pepper soup
Soup made with Faith’s Roasted Vegetables
Turkey and vegetable soup

Applesauce (homemade)
Cranberry chutney
Fresh fruit salad
Fresh fruit: apples and pears
Winter fruit salad: Orange slices and pomegranate seeds

Desserts: Fruit
9 Apple Pie with minimal sugar
Baked pears with cranberries
Dark chocolate oatmeal cookies
Dried fruit dipped in dark chocolate
Low-fat gingerbread cookies (link)
Open-top pie (uses less pastry)
Pumpkin pie made light with 1 cup of evaporated skim milk and 3 egg whites, or a crustless pumpkin pie
Reduced-fat cheesecake
Sweet potato pie

Apple Zinger Punch
Non-alcoholic drinks (“mocktails“) or mineral water, instead of alcohol and sodas
Spiced cider, made in the slow cooker (link)