The holidays are upon us, and that means a lot of fattening food. But, it doesn’t have to be that way this year. Whether you are in charge of the cooking or just bringing a dish for the party, there are some unique options without compromising taste. Here are five healthy dishes to think about.
Green Bean Pate
Here is a new twist on an old favorite. Made with fresh beans, onion, hard-cooked egg whites, the nut of your choice, and seasoning, this pate is a great alternative to the ordinary dips of years past. Serve with multi-grain crackers for a light appetizer. The full recipe can be found here.
Asia meets the mid-east with this dip. Hummus is gaining in popularity, and with the addition of edamame (green soy beans), you’ve got a very festive appetizer! Traditionally eaten with pita bread/chips, hummus is also great with raw vegetables. And, it beats the same old cheeseball appetizer any day! Check out the recipe here.
Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots
Forget the candied yams this year. Try a sweet and savory dish that is made with fresh sweet potatoes and a little olive oil. The rosemary and shallots create a new dimension for this superfood, and the amount of brown sugar needed is minimal, compared to what you would eat in a typical sweet potato soufflé. The recipe for this mashed goodness is here.
Farro with Pistachios and Herbs
Farro is a grain, like quinoa or barley, and it has a hardy texture that begs to be eaten. Instead of a starch side dish, give farro a try. It’s not as sensitive as pasta, so you really can’t overcook it. And, with some pistachios and herbs mixed in, along with onion and garlic, it may just become a permanent side dish for future holiday meals. Refer to the full recipe found here.
Frog’s Eye Salad
It sounds scary, but it really isn’t! This can be a side dish or a desert for the holidays. It’s one of those treats that combine a number of unexpected food groups: pasta, fruit, and dairy. The recipe here can be lightened up even more than it is. I leave out the coconut, and I use low-fat whipped topping and canned fruit in light syrup. The maraschino cherries add a nice pop of color to this extraordinary dish.