Posted by Jen:
I’ve finalized our menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and am pleased with how I’ve managed to work in more healthy foods than in the past:
Christmas Eve – Dinner with friends (followed by a viewing of the original “Grinch”)
- homemade pizzas – I bought the pizza dough from Whole Foods, but will make the sauce myself. All of the herbs are from my garden — basil I pureed and froze this summer and oregano that’s still going strong.
Christmas Day – lunch with extended family
- appetizers – a platter of cheeses, crackers, roasted almonds, grapes, etc.
- winter salad – greens, chopped apples, toasted walnuts, bleu cheese, a drizzling of vinaigrette
- soup – Tuscan bean (homemade chicken broth, cannellini beans, spinach, onions, garlic, etc.)
- mini hot sandwiches – ham and cheese on wheat, cut into smaller sizes
Christmas Day – dinner with just the four of us
- grilled steak
- steamed broccoli and carrots
- mashed potatoes
- Buche de Noel – I described this recipe in an earlier post
- Pumpkin Cheesecake – Using pumpkin that I cooked, pureed, and froze this fall. I substitute low-fat cream cheese for the full-fat version but otherwise have not tampered with the recipe.
So what I’ve done is worked in more vegetables than usual and cut back on some of the unhealthy/less healthy foods that are normally served on people’s holiday tables. I also tend to use the freshest organic ingredients and I’m trying to eat more seasonally, which is why our salads won’t have tomatoes, peppers, carrots, etc. Obviously, since I’m serving grapes with the appetizers, I’m not there yet, but I’m trying harder than in the past.
I’ve cooked Christmas lunch for my extended family for years, but always found the menu to be a challenge. Obviously, Christmas lunch needs to be a little nicer than usual, but the fact is that traditional Christmas foods (turkey, roast beef, etc.) are too heavy for lunch and we’d all be in a food coma an hour later. A few years ago, my husband and I finally decided to go with soup and hot sandwiches. He makes the sandwiches but then cuts them into quarters and removes the crusts, so that they’re smaller.
As for myself, I’ll be managing my portion sizes very carefully. I’ll balance my foods toward the vegetables, of course, but plan to have a LITTLE of everything.
So that’s what we’ll be eating in Jenworld. How about the rest of you? What do you normally serve for your Christmas meals and are you making any changes this year to reflect the healthier you?