Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Healthy Christmas Dinner

On Christmas Eve we feasted. I am so grateful for a mom that is health conscious, and is down with trying to make things as healthy as possible. I wanted to show you that it is possible to have an awesome meal that is healthy, contains a lot of traditional favorites, and can please everyone. Our dinner looked a little something like this...

A tossed winter salad with romaine lettuce, diced pears, raspberries, slivered almonds, feta cheese, and a light champagne dressing.We always keep the dressing on the side. Doing so saves you from overdoing it, and it also makes the salad savable for leftovers.
Roasted Vegetable Bake with baby carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow squash, and sliced red peppers. This was topped with a little drizzle of olive oil, some garlic, onion powder, salt pepper, and a little dusting of brown sugar.
This Cornbread Stuffing is reeaaally good. I don't really like normal stuffing, but this stuff is divine. It is a lot better for you than regular stuffing, and it tastes a whole heck of a lot better too. 
My sister Nichole always makes the Mashed Potatoes, and if you were wondering why they look so legit, it's because they are.  She whips them up with a hand mixer. I believe she adds a little skim milk, salt and pepper as well. YUM.
Gravy is usually a huge scary calorie filled addition to your meal, but it doesn't have to be. My dad is actually the gravy and the turkey connoisseur at our house. When he bakes the turkey he includes some carrots, parsnips, celery and onions around the base of the bird. After the turkey is done he removes the vegetables and purees them, and adds them into the gravy. It is SO good, and a great way to add nutritional value to your gravy.
My mom and I have the same conversation about these rolls every year. Is there any way to "health-ify" them without ruining the recipe? We could make them wheat, but then they are wheat rolls and we're in a whole different ballpark. We've just accepted the conclusion; there is nothing healthy about these rolls, but man are they tasty. These rolls are the reason my brother-in-law and nephews  even come to dinner, so taking them away from them would be like stealing candy from a baby. It's just not right, so we leave them be. We force them to eat every other healthy concoction we come up with, so we have to be flexible sometimes. The rolls were actually my job this year, and they are super fun to make...and they smell like heaven. If only they weren't made with crisco and glazed with butter.
I love baked sweet potatoes. Yum. We were actually running low on time so my I suggested we cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave before slicing them and baking them with the brown sugar. My mom was a little apprehensive, but they turned out SO good. With these we just add a little salt, pepper, and a bit of brown sugar to glaze them before we bake them. Skipping the mounds of butter and marshmallows saves you a LOT of calories, and actually allows you to taste the great flavor sweet potatoes have.
 Dad did an excellent job on the turkey, as you can tell. He bakes it in the oven. He takes off the skin before he carves it which saves a ton of calories. Baking your turkey vs. using a turkey fryer is a much healthier option.
And Voila! My plate looked a little something like this. I have no idea WHAT happened to the lighting here, but you get the gist. Dinner was excellent!
I also had a piece of a roll and I wasn't able to finish all those potatoes. My eyes are bigger than my stomach sometimes. My mom has been telling me that since I was little...Do you guys make volcanoes with your mashed potatoes, or is that just my family? Mashed potatoes and gravy used to be the only thing I would have touched on this plate, so I'd make my whole plate one big volcano. Good times.

Dessert was English Trifle. Sadly, I couldn't eat more than a few bites because I was so dang full, but it tasted even better than it looks. Hard to believe because it looks like art. Well done Elaine. Well done.

If you would like any of these recipes in detail I'd love to post them or email them to you. Since there was such a collaboration of food I just wanted to give you the main gist of what our Healthy Christmas Dinner looked like, but I'd be more than willing to share the specifics!! 

p.s. Are you in a sugar coma?
  I was so hopped up on sugar from yesterday that I barely slept last night. I'm glad to be back to my sugarless-self today.


The Hungry Runner Girl said...

WOW!! That looks all so amazing. It is possible to have a healthy Christmas meal:) I need all of those recipes. Great job on the are my idol:) I am still on a sugar high ha!

Katie said...

I was totally in a sugar coma yesterday, I've been stuffing myself with veggies today :D A little sweat fest helped out too.

Anonymous said...

Looks great! I too am fortunate that my family likes a healthier Christmas meal.

Could you share your dressing recipe? I'm not really a fan of my mom's (shhh, dont tell her)

Jenn said...

That looks like a GREAT meal! WAY healthier than what we had around here! Hope you had a great Christmas!!!

Meg said...

Yumm, every time I visit your blog, I leave hungry! Can you explain how you are able to label your pictures? I've been wanting to do that for ages! Tutorial, please!

Yes, we all make volcanoes here in my house and there's no one under the age of 19 here. Well, except Sparkle Pants(when he's visiting), but he's too young to do the volcano thing...maybe next year!

Nicole said...

My mom does the veggie gravy trick too! I need to do a sugar detox because this year has been a little out of hand.

Kate said...

I was in a sugar coma for about 4 days straight. I FINALLY feel normal again.

So, why don't you move to Southern CA and be my training partner? Hmmmm? :)

Your xmas feast looks amazing. Especially the trifle.