As the holiday season rolls around, sticking to a healthy eating plan can prove challenging. Many of us dine a little more richly during the holidays: With soul-nurturing family dinners, festive cocktail parties, obligatory office holiday gatherings, casserole-laden potluck suppers and the like, it can seem like temptation lurks around every corner throughout the months of November and December. There’s nothing wrong with loosening your dietary standards — and your belt — a few times a year, especially when it comes to beloved dishes that only make an appearance on special occasions. But that doesn’t mean you have to totally blow your meal plan at every get-together this holiday, especially if you have some control over the menu.
When visions of sugarplums start dancing in your head, balance out your indulgence with some healthy Christmas recipes that don’t taste a bit like deprivation. With these flavorful recipes for succulent chicken, heart-healthy pasta dishes, and celebratory salads, your menu will be worthy of the big day while allowing you to save room for sweets. And since you’re on the nice list for dinner, that means you can be on the naughty list for dessert, right or wrong?
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Source Goodhouse Keeping
Pan seared salmon in a mustard dill cream sauce with spinach
4 salmon fillets⠀ 2 tbls olive oil⠀ Salt and ground pepper⠀ 4 garlic cloves chopped ⠀ 1 cup heavy cream⠀ 2 tbls dijon mustard ⠀ 2 tbls honey⠀ 1 cup chicken broth⠀ 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill⠀ Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon⠀ 1 (10oz) bag baby spinach *⠀ ⠀ Heat a large non-stick skillets over medium-high heat. ⠀ Add 1 1/2 tsp olive oil to each skillet. Dry both sides of salmon dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.⠀ Place salmon in skillet flesh side down. Cook 4 minutes without fiddling at all (you want to develop a sear). Flip and cook 3 more minutes. When done, remove to a plate. ⠀ To the drippings, add the garlic. Sauté just 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add broth and reduce 3-4 minutes. Combine cream, honey and dijon. Add to the pan and stir to combine. Meanwhile combine cornstarch with 1 tbls broth. Stir that into pan along with the 1/2 the dill and lemon juice. Add spinach and let wilt for a couple minutes. Nestle the salmon back into the pan and let cook in the sauce for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with other half of dill and lemon zest.
CHICKEN FLORENTINE PASTA
Ingredients 1 package penne pasta⠀ 3 garlic cloves minced⠀ 6 ounces fresh baby spinach⠀ 1 tbsp. olive oil⠀ 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast⠀ kosher salt⠀ Freshly ground black pepper⠀ 1/2 tsp. oregano⠀ 1/2 cup white wine⠀ 2 1/2 cups heavy cream⠀ 2 cups shredded mozzarella⠀ ½ cup grated parmesan cheese⠀ 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese⠀ 1 teaspoon salt⠀ 1/2 teaspoon pepper⠀ 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper⠀ 1/3 cup Italian-style panko bread crumbs⠀ -⠀ DIRECTIONS Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.⠀ In a 6-qt. Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds. Add spinach; cook and stir just until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.⠀ In same pot, add olive oil over medium/high heat. Season each side of each chicken breast with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook on each side for approximately 8 minutes or until fully cooked. Set aside and allow to rest for 5 minutes; slice into thin strips.⠀ In the same dutch oven, add the white wine to deglaze the pan. After wine is simmering, scrape all the chicken bits to the center, they hold a ton of flavor! Add in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Slowly stir in the mozzarella, parmesan, and cream cheese. Stir in the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Heat through until all the cheese is melted and smooth.⠀ Add pasta to the sauce, tossing to fully coat. Stir in the spinach mixture and the chicken. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Firecracker Salmon Eat or Pass?
Ingredients : Calories: 286kcal⠀ 1 teaspoon minced garlic⠀ 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger⠀ 1 tablespoon olive oil⠀ 1 tablespoons low sodium low soy sauce⠀ 2 tablespoons Heinz chili sauce (substitute with Buffalo sauce or hot sauce to suit your heat preference)⠀ 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute) -- OPTIONAL⠀ pinch of crushed red chili flakes⠀ 1-2 teaspoons sriracha (adjust to suit your heat preference)⠀ 4 skin off salmon fillets⠀ Salt and pepper to season⠀ 1/2 teaspoon paprika (mild, smoky or spicy)⠀ 1/4 cup chives chopped⠀ -⠀ DIRECTIONS In a shallow bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, minced ginger, olive oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, red chili flakes and sriracha to combine.⠀ Season salmon with salt, pepper and paprika. Add salmon fillets to the marinade, turning each to evenly coat in the sauce.⠀ Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight (if time allows).⠀ Preheat oven to 370°F (190°C). Heat an oven proof skillet over medium heat with a small drizzle of oil.⠀ Sear salmon for 2-3 minutes on both sides, undisturbed, to get nice crust. (You may need to sear in batches depending on the size of your skillet.)⠀ Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining salmon.⠀ Return all salmon fillets to the skillet. Alternatively, transfer to baking dish.⠀ Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.⠀ Serve warm with chopped chives.⠀
Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
Ingredients⠀ 1 lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined⠀ 1 lb dry linguine pasta 4 cloves garlic minced⠀ 1 red chili (mild) or Habanero (intense) finely diced (optional)⠀ 1 tsp sea salt or to taste⠀ 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste⠀ 6 cups milk (full fat or 2%)⠀ 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese⠀ a small bunch of fresh chopped basil to garnish⠀ -⠀ DIRECTIONS⠀ Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.⠀ Add garlic and chili, and sautee for about 1 minute, until just fragrant.⠀ Stir in the shrimps and cook until pink, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper (to taste), then remove from the pan and set aside.⠀ Pour the milk in, reduce the heat and bring it to a gentle simmer. Season generously with salt and pepper.⠀ Stir in the pasta and cook (on low heat), while stirring occasionally, until it gets to al dente (about 7-9 minutes). At this point, you can place the lid on, but remember to give it a stir every 2-3 minutes.⠀ Return the shrimps to the pan and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese , then mix to combine. (If the pasta is a bit too dry you can add 1/2-1 cup of milk and mix well to combine).⠀ Serve immediately with fresh ground pepper and chopped basil .⠀
Smoked Chicken Tikka Legs. So. Good.
1 TBSP SMOKED PAPRIKA 1 TBSP GARAM MASALA 1 TBSP GROUND CUMIN 1 TBSP GROUND CORIANDER 1 TSP TURMERIC 1 TSP GROUND CAYENNE 1/2 MEDIUM SPANISH ONION, DICED 1 THUMB-SIZED PIECE OF GINGER, PEELED AND ROUGHLY CHOPPED 6 CLOVES GARLIC, CHOPPED 1/2 CUP GREEK YOGURT JUICE OF 1/2 A LEMON 1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL 12 CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS CURRY LIME YOGURT 1-1/2 CUPS GREEK YOGURT 1 TBSP CURRY POWDER 1 TBSP FRESH SQUEEZED LIME JUICE PINCH OF SEA SALT GARNISHES FRESH CILANTRO 1/2 SMALL RED ONION, THINLY SLICED 1 LIME, CUT INTO WEDGES 1-2 SLICED GREEN OR RED CHILIES PREPARATION For the Marinade: In the base of a food processor, combine the spices, ginger, garlic, onion, yogurt, lemon juice, oil, and salt, and pulse until smooth. Place the chicken in a large bowl, pour over the marinade, then massage chicken until every nook and cranny of the chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight (at least 12 hours). When ready to cook, set the temperature to High and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. Place the chicken directly on the grill grates and cook for 45-50 minutes, until crispy and wood-fire grilled to perfection (or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉). For the Curry Lime Yogurt: While the chicken is grilling, combine all of the yogurt ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced red onion and serve with curry lime yoghurt, fresh lime wedges, and if you like it extra spicy, sliced chilies. Enjoy!
Festive Chocolate Pomegranate Cups
It's officially time to turn up the Christmas music, and make some holiday treats and memories with the people we love!⠀ ⠀ Pomegranates hold many special childhood Christmas memories for me. I remember my mother bringing home a few pomegranates only once each year...right around Christmastime, and ohhhh boy did my siblings and I value those bright ruby red fruits! Sweet and tangy; their glistening red jewels would burst open in our mouths and the juice inside was better than any candy! We would clean every last drop out of the pomegranates until our mouths were sore from eating too many!⠀ ⠀ In North America, pomegranates are available throughout the early winter months.⠀ ⠀ Despite some rumors, pomegranate seeds CAN be eaten - and they are good for you, too! So eat the entire aril and seed...no spitting allowed!⠀ ⠀ makes 12 servings⠀ ⠀ Ingredients:⠀ 1 cup dark chocolate, melted with 1 Tablespoon unrefined coconut oil ⠀ 1 large pomegranate⠀ 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, to decorate⠀ ⠀ Instructions:⠀ ⠀ Line a mini muffin-tin with mini cupcake liners.⠀ ⠀ To EASILY remove pomegranate arils:⠀ Fill 1/3 of a large bowl with cold water.⠀ Score 4 lines from top to bottom to quarter your pomegranate.⠀ Submerge the pomegranate quarters into the bowl of water and gently release the seeds with your hands.⠀ This is such an easy and less-messy way of seeding a pomegranate.⠀ The pith will float and the seeds will sink, so remove the pith and discard, then drain the seeds. Gently pat dry seeds with paper towels.⠀ ⠀ Scoop about 2 teaspoonfuls of melted chocolate into each cup.⠀ ⠀ Top the cups with a spoonful of pomegranate arils.⠀ ⠀ Then, using a spoon, swirl melted chocolate all over the seeds, as shown.⠀ ⠀ Allow to sit in your refrigerator for 15 minutes, until the chocolate sets.⠀ ⠀ Pop them out of the tin, unwrap and arrange on a large platter.⠀ ⠀ Decorate with rosemary sprigs for a festive touch.⠀ ⠀ These stay good, kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.⠀ ⠀ Enjoy!