Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, it’s no secret that we pile on the calories. It’s estimated that on Christmas Day alone the average American will consume 4,052 calories. That’s double or triple your recommended calorie intake! And that’s not even including all the other social events during the season where we tend to overeat.
This Christmas dinner, why not consider making one of these three healthy alternatives to the usual dishes? You’ll be surprised how many of your guests will appreciate being served creative, healthy foods instead of the same old, same old.
Butternut Squash Soup
Are you always tempted to purchase one of those beautiful butternut squashes at the grocery, but aren’t sure what to do with it? Make soup! Soup is a great beginning to any meal, and it’s filling, so you’re less likely to overeat. Place a small bowl of the soup at everyone’s place setting and garnish with a sprig of rosemary or thyme. Let everyone finish before bringing out the other dishes.
To make the soup, peel the squash and discard the seeds. Cut the squash into one-inch cubes and set aside. Use a soup pot or Dutch oven to sauté a small diced onion, one diced carrot, and one diced rib of celery in two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the squash and six cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the squash is soft. Blend everything together with an immersion blender. Add a half a cup of 1% milk or plain plant milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
If you’re in a hurry or out of oven space, why not serve a cold salad? Forget the romaine. Try shaved Brussels sprouts! You can often find them already shaved or in a bag mixed with other hard cruciferous vegetables (like cabbage). Toss a pound of the sprouts or a bag of the veggies with the zest of one lemon, the juice of half a lemon, three tablespoons of olive oil, half a cup of walnuts (or other nuts), and three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Let the salad sit up to 20 minutes before serving to soak in all of the dressing and to allow the sprouts to break down a bit.
By now you’ve heard of cauliflower everything — potatoes, pizza crust, rice — why not add to that breadsticks? The concept itself is easier than you think. You make the crust like you would a cauliflower pizza, only instead of making it round, you bake the dough in a rectangular pan and slice it into smaller rectangle slices (think cheesy bread that you’d get from your local pizzeria).
Either rice your own cauliflower by putting one diced head into a food processor until fine or take a timesaving sort cut and buy the cauliflower pre-riced at the store. Cook the cauliflower (microwave is fine) until it releases most of its moisture — about 20 minutes. When it’s cooled, place all of it into a dishcloth and do your best to squeeze every last drop of water out of it. You want it to be as dry as possible. Then, add it to a mixing bowl with two eggs, one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and a pinch each of salt and black ground pepper.
When combined, press the mixture onto a sheet of greased parchment paper on a baking sheet (don’t make them too thin). In a 450 degree oven, bake the sticks for 18 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove it from the oven and add a half a cup of your favorite cheese to the top (or skip the cheese for an even healthier version). Put back in the oven for another five minutes, cut, and serve.
Live Well Chiropractic Center focuses on our core values of healthy eating, exercise, and spinal health to help treat and prevent pain and injury. With chiropractic care from our clinic, you can expect to feel better. Call us today at 513-285-7482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about the health benefits of our brand of chiropractic care.