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A Very Healthy Christmas (Menu)

Posted Dec 15 2010 2:01pm

There’s a reason why Christmas is one of the most celebrated food seasons of the year – it’s one of the few times we go all out in the kitchen, slaving away at the stove to make a special meal for family and friends. Below is a menu I put together for those who want to celebrate all the fabulous food but avoid starting to look a little like Santa Claus… Ho ho ho!

Citrus Salad Yields 6 servings

  • ½ C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1.5 lbs of Citrus fruit segmented (oranges, grapefruits)
  • 2 TBSP Lime Juiced
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 12 oz mixed greens (can use any type of greens you prefer, I recommend red leaf and bibb)
  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
  • Place coconut flakes onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Toast in oven until golden brown (2-3 min). Be careful as coconut can burn easily, so don’t go too far.
  • Slice citrus fruits into segments over a mixing bowl. Save the juice that falls off into the bowl.
  • Squeeze 2 TBSP lime juice into the run off juice of the citrus segments. Add salt and pepper and slowly whisk in olive oil.
  • Add the greens to the dressing and toss gently.
  • Arrange greens on a plate and top with citrus and toasted coconut flakes.

Cranberry Apple Glazed Pork Yields 12 servings

  • ½ tsp Ground Sage
  • ½ tsp ground Thyme
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 3 lb boneless top-loin pork roast, trimmed
  • 16 oz can of Cranberry Sauce
  • ½ C Apple Cider
  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine herbs and seasonings to make a rub. Sprinkle the rub over all sides of the meat.
  • Place the pork on a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour.
  • Combine cranberry sauce and apple cider in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Spoon ½ the sauce over the meat to glaze.
  • Place roast back into oven for another 30 – 40 minutes. You can test the meat by placing a thermometer in the center, it should read 155 degrees.
  • Remove from oven, cover with foil & and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • Slice and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Fancy Sweet Potatoes Yields 6 servings

  • 6 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 1 TBSP Chopped Parsley
  • 1 tsp Chopped Thyme
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Slice each potato into thin slices but do not slice all the way through, creating an accordion effect with the potato.
  • Place the sliced potatoes into a microwave safe dish and cover with wax paper. Cook in microwave on high for 12-15 minutes.
  • Transfer potatoes to a metal baking pan. Carefully drizzle oil between slices.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in oven for 25-35 minutes. You want potatoes to be lightly browned on edges.
  • Transfer potatoes to a platter and sprinkle with chopped herbs.

Garlic & Thyme Green Beans Yields 6 servings

  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 2 lb Green Beans, trimmed
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • In a 12-inch skillet, heat about 1 inch of water and ½ tsp of salt on high heat.
  • Add the beans and bring the water to a boil.
  • Simmer on low, uncovered for 7 minutes or until beans are tender but crisp.
  • Drain and wipe skillet dry. Heat oil and garlic in skillet on medium heat for a minute.
  • Add beans and cook until beans are hot.
  • Remove from heat and toss beans with remaining salt and pepper.

Steamed Cauliflower with a Christmas Relish Yields 6 servings

  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP Capers, drained
  • 4 tsp Lemon Juice, Fresh
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ C Parsley
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • Remove leaves from cauliflower and trim the core.
  • Place into a steamer basket or a large stock pot, core side down and steam for 10 minutes or until fork tender.
  • In a food processor, pulse tomatoes, caper, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt & pepper until coarsely chopped. Be careful not to overdue it as you want it to be a rustic relish and not a puree.
  • Spoon relish over cauliflower and garnish with fresh parsley.

Wine Poached Pears Yields 6 servings

  • 1 Bottle of Red Wine (Shiraz or Zinfandel)
  • 2 C Water
  • ½ C Agave
  • 4 Star Anise
  • 6 Bosc Pears, Stem included
  • In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat wine, water, agave and star anise and bring to a boil stirring to dissolve agave.
  • Peal the pears leaving the stems on.
  • Place the pears into the wine mixture and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. You want the pears to be tender but also to hold shape and not fall apart. Turn pears occasionally to ensure that the color is evenly distributed.
  • Remove the pears from the liquid. Discard star anise and heat the wine mixture on high to a boil. Cook for approx 20 minutes uncovered to thicken liquid.
  • Cover the pears and the liquid separately and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours (can be made days ahead).
  • To serve, spoon the liquid over the pears and serve.

Have any healthy recipe ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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