Happy Holidays! It is officially 12 days until Christmas and it’s my favorite time of year! Everyone is so much kinder to one another, decorations warm my heart, and now that I’m older it’s one of the few times a year I get to see my family. Now as a young adult, I’ve realized the beauty of Christmas isn’t just about the gifts or Santa- it’s about how the world agrees to take some time off work and spend quality time with our loved ones. With that being said, I wanted to have some fun with this week’s blog.
I don’t know about you, but I am always going to a gazillion potlucks during the holidays. I thought, why not share 12 healthier recipe ideas to bring to your next party?? We are a wellness organization after all. Whether your office potluck assigned you hot entrees, appetizers, or desserts, we have you covered. Here we go:
1. Festive water: Regular water can get boring, add some fun and flavor by adding fresh slices of limes and whole cranberries for some holiday cheer! For some fizz, add sparkling water.
Pro Tip: Freeze the fruits and they will help the water stay cold.
2. Hot Apple Cider: Trying to warm up? Brew fresh apple cider and keep it in a crockpot.
Pro Tip: Serve with cinnamon sticks as stirrers for extra flavor.
3. Cheese and Veggie Platter: Serve fresh cut vegetables such as carrots or celery sticks and cheese for added protein.
Pro Tip: Use holiday cookie cutters such as the star or gingerbread man to make fun shapes with your cheese.
4. Skewers: Break out those toothpicks and layer up pepperoni or salami, cheese, tomatoes, and olives in any order! Who doesn’t love food on a stick??
5. Fruit: You can never go wrong with nature’s candy. A fresh fruit platter complements any food table. You can still cut them out in fun shapes as in suggestion 3.
6. Vegetable Lasagna: Lasagna can be a holiday meal if you believe in it! The colors, the flavors, the nostalgia will all be a crowd pleaser.
Pro Tip: For a healthier swap use zucchini or eggplant instead of traditional noodles.
7. Turkey Meatballs: Be the real MVP and bring protein to your potluck! Turkey meatballs are a great alternative to beef.
Pro Tip: Get creative with the sauce, perhaps a cranberry orange glaze or stick with traditional BBQ sauce.
The following veggies are in season so why not save a buck or two while you’re at it.
8. Butternut Squash Soup: Turn a winter staple vegetable into soup for a bowl of nutrients!
Pro Tip: Keep in a crockpot for it to stay warm.
9. Brussels Sprouts: Did you know boiling brussels sprouts is NOT the best way to cook them? Roasting them in the oven will change your life. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at a high heat; you will never go back to the boiling pot of water.
10. Green Bean Salad: Steam fresh green beans and toss with dried cranberries and your favorite nut (pistachios, walnuts, or pine nuts would go great with this.
Pro Tip: For something extra special, make candied pecans to top this green bean salad with. Roasting nuts bring out their natural oils, guaranteed to make your kitchen smell amazing! Recipe source: All Recipes
11. Christmas 7- layer Cookie Bars: Everyone will be asking for this recipe, all those textures, colors, and flavors are sure to be a hit.
Pro Tip: Cut the bars in smaller bite-size pieces to encourage mindful eating and moderation. It is Christmas after all! Recipe Source: Tablespoon
12. Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip: Serve this with graham crackers for the ultimate crowd pleaser. Recipe: Source: Food, Folks, & Fun
Food isn’t always the only thing you can indulge in this season, try fun, love, and kindness. The good news is that potlucks foster the environment for just that. Bring a dish and leave with memories.
From my kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas!
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