There is nothing like the holidays to tempt the fitness minded right into weight gain; and with all the hard work and progress made all year, it's difficult to find the motivation to eat healthy during this time.
The smartest avenue to take is to not try to "diet" during these times. Keeping within your program and watching portion sizes, it is possible to enjoy the holiday treats and goodies with minimal impact on your physique.
With just a few adjustments and some minor self control, you can make it through Christmas and the New Year without destroying all your hard work!
Enjoy this collection of recipe ideas, grouped into four main categories complete with detailed directions. These are tested time and time again in my family, taken from everywhere and tweaked to match a fit lifestyle. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
- No fat cooking spray
- 3 tbs chopped green onions
- 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 3/4 cup reduced fat Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Coat a small skillet with cooking spray; Warm the pan on medium heat and add green onions, sauté 3 minutes until tender. Remove from stove, add artichoke hearts and parsley and gently stir.
- Beat eggs and whites in a large bowl with whisk or fork; add the cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, and yogurt and stir for one minute. Mix in the artichoke heart blend.
- Spread the combined mixture into a 9x9 inch square metal baking pan, coated with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes until set. Cut into even squares and transfer to a warmed plate or serving dish, as these are best kept warmed.
Artichode Squares Recipe PDF (26 KB)
Mussels Ravigote Sauce & Mussels On Half Shell
- 48-52 mussels, scrubbed and remove beards
- 1/4 cup white wine, very dry
- 1 hard-boiled egg, extra large
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbs white-wine vinegar
- 1 medium white onion, chopped finely
- 2 tsp drained, bottled, capers, rinsed and chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh, parsley
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh chervil
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Cook the mussels in the wine, covered in a 6-quart pot over medium high heat, just until mussels open wide. Check frequently, after 4 minutes, transfer open mussels to a baking dish using a spoon.
- Toss out any mussels that remain unopened after 5-7 minutes. When cooled a bit, detach meat and toss 1 half shell from each. Set aside the meat and left over shells.
- Peel and halve an egg, then push through a medium sieve into bowl using the back of a spoon. Whisk in the oil, vinegar, onion, capers, mustard, parsley, chervil, chives, salt, and the pepper until sauce well blended.
- Add the mussels, stirring well to coat them all, and then chill the coated mussels in the sauce, and cover, for 1-3 hours.
- Arrange the half shells on a large plate and spoon each of the mussels with equal amounts of sauce neatly into the shells. Serve warm.
Mussels Ravigote Sauce & Mussels On Half Shell PDF (27 KB)
Simple Garlic & Rosemary Turkey
- 8-10 lb. turkey
- 6 whole garlic cloves
- 3 large lemons - halved
- 4 tsp dried rosemary - crushed
- 2 tsp sage
- Cut 6-8 small slits in turkey skin with sharp knife, careful not to cut into the meat. Insert garlic in the space between the skin and meat. Squeeze the two lemon halves, inside the turkey and then stuff and leave them inside.
- Squeeze remaining lemon juice over outside of turkey. Spray the turkey thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray and then sprinkle evenly with the rosemary and sage.
- Place centered on a rack in a large but shallow (3-5 in high) roasting pan. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees F for 65 minutes, then cover and bake 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads 185 degrees F.
Simple Garlic and Rosemary Turkey PDF (27 KB)
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 1 1/4 tbs chopped ginger
- 1 one-two pound Cornish Hen, quartered
- 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 4 medium spears asparagus
- In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, water, garlic, and ginger. Place the hen in the mixture and let it marinate 2 hours. Preheat a sauté pan.
- Brown the marinated hen on all sides, turning non-stop, over medium-high heat and then place hen breast side up in a baking dish. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Make a long slit through the outer skin of the hen, baste the hen with the oil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads 175 degrees F, and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove skin from the hen.
- Steam the asparagus for 2 minutes until crisp. Serve the hen and the asparagus, pour the pan juices over the hen and asparagus.
Healthy Hens PDF (26 KB)
"Fake" Mashed Potatoes
Pureed cauliflower is a good substitute for mashed potatoes for those that really want to keep those carbs low. Adding garlic and low fat Swiss or Parmesan cheese is great! These are delicious, try them, you will be surprised at how great they taste!
- 1.5 lb raw cauliflower bunch
- 1/4 cup fat free milk
- 1/8 cup heart-healthy "butter spread"
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8-1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan or Swiss cheese (optional)
- Break up the cauliflower into smaller pieces or chop thoroughly. Steam cauliflower in microwave until tender and easily pierced.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend in a high power blender or food processor. Serve very warm.
Fake Mashed Potatoes PDF (25 KB)
- 3 tbsp red-wine vinegar, or red wine
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans
- 1 16 oz can dark red kidney beans
- 1 15.5 oz can pinto beans
- 1 15.25 oz can whole kernel sweet corn
- 4 green onions, chopped well
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Mix together the first 8 ingredients with a fork or whisk in a large bowl. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans and the next 3 ingredients. Add to the red wine vinegar mixture.
- Add the chopped green onions, the celery and the parsley and toss the mixture to cover evenly. Cover the vegetables tightly and chill on bottom shelf of fridge 4 hours to overnight.
Marinated Veggies PDF (25 KB)
Desserts & Goodies
This is an awesome alternative to gingerbread or that awful fruit cake that comes back every year, I make this all year round as a quick and healthy treat!
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup Splenda or other sugar substitute
- 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites beaten
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/8 cup canola oil
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and the salt. In a separate large bowl, mix the Splenda, eggs/whites, applesauce, and oil. Combine the two mixtures and blend thoroughly.
- Pour into a 9 inch cake pan, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes until a fork or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes on wire rack before slicing.
Spice Cake PDF (25 KB)
Almond & Apple Soufflés
Although nothing can replace genuine, warm, apple pie during the holidays, the recipe comes really close, and tastes much richer that it is!
- 3 medium apples, cored and peeled and cut into small chunks
- 3 tbs Splenda
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 tsp almond extract
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds; toast if you like but not required
- In a medium sauce pan preheated on stove over medium heat, combine the apples and the water and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce temperature to low, cover pan, and simmer for 12 minutes until apples are tender; stir occasionally.
- Stir in Splenda and almond extract, remove from heat and cool in fridge on top of a pot-holder for 10 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer on high until very stiff peaks form in the bowl.
- With a rubber spatula, carefully fold into the now cooled apple mixture. Evenly spoon the mix into separate soufflé cups, or one large 1 1/2 qt. soufflé dish.
Almond & Apple Soufflés PDF (27 KB)