Celebrating the holidays doesn’t have to mean foregoing nutrition or unwanted weight gain. Consider the fact that your most popular holiday menus include a lean protein, vegetable side dish, and some sort of potato or grain side dish. Keeping this in mind, when portions are controlled and activity levels remain consistent, holiday weight gain can easily be avoided.
Lucky for us, we know that nutritious can still be delicious. In fact, we’re so confident that we put together your entire holiday menu, including dessert. So get your clan together for a killer workout, then settle in for a feast.
Brunch: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Frittata
Start your holiday off right by fueling the body with protein. This simple frittata will keep you full all morning long while avoiding a morning blood sugar spike.
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup grated Swiss Cheese
- 1/2 bunch (about 6 1/2 cups) Swiss Chard
- 1 large white onion (about 2 cups), thinly sliced
- 2 tsp coconut oil, divided
- Pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- 1 Chomps Original Turkey snack stick, cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large (oven safe) skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over low heat. We recommend a 10 inch cast iron skillet so you can easily transfer the dish into the oven directly from the stove top.
- In a medium bowl, combine egg, egg whites, swiss cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Add onion to skillet and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions become translucent.
- While onions cook: Wash swiss chard and separate the leaves from the stalks by cutting away or simply using your hands. Cut both leaves and stalk into 1 inch pieces.
- Increase skillet heat to medium and add remaining oil and swiss chard stalks to the onions. Cook 3-4 minutes, then add swiss chard leaves. Cook onions and chard until onions are caramelized and chard leaves are wilted (about 5 minutes).
- Reduce heat to low, add egg mixture, and stir to mix all ingredients. If you’re opting for more protein and flavor, add in your Chomps snack stick now. Allow to cook 6-8 minutes until edges begin to set.
- Transfer to oven and cook 5-6 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through.Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Enjoy fresh or store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Appetizer: Powerful Guacamole
Satisfy your guests with a pre-meal dip you can feel good about.
- 2 ripe avocados, diced
- ¼ Cup Powerful plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Pink Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a mixing bowl, mash avocado to desired texture. Add remaining ingredients and mix until evenly combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.
This protein and healthy fat packed dip is great with pita chips or veggies. Or try cleaned-up winter squash cheese dip.
Main Dish: Traditional Honey Mustard Glazed Ham
Traditions are important. We get that. So we’re not going to mess with your holiday ham...too much. For a leaner option, we recommend going with a pork tenderloin.
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 2 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1 onion, sliced*
- ½ Tbsp Olive oil
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
- In a small bowl, combine mustard, honey, and thyme.
- In a medium bowl, pour olive oil over onions and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Place sliced onion in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Season pork lightly with salt and pepper on all sides, place on top of onion.
- Brush half of mustard mixture over pork and cover with another piece of foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and check pork for a safe internal temperature of 140-150 degrees F. If temperature has been reached, remove from oven and set oven to broil. If temperature has not been reached, return to the oven for another 5 minutes before rechecking.
- When pork is up to temp. remove foil cover from the pork, brush with remaining mustard sauce, and put under the broiler for about 5 minutes (or until a crispy crust forms on top but without burning)
- Remove from oven and allow pork to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
*Notes: Thinner cut onions are more likely to burn. I like preparing thick slices of roughly ¼ inch. Vidalia onions are slightly sweet and pair well with this sweet and savory dish.
Side Dish 1: Swiss Chard Casserole
A pop of green at the table offers up a savory flavor profile. This dish rivals the traditional green bean casserole.
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 pound (~2-3 cups) shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (see Pro Tip to add more nutrition)
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (see Pro Tip to add more nutrition)
- 10 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves thinly sliced (~5-6 cups prepared)
- Preheat oven to 350° and spray a shallow 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish with non-stick spray. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook over high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs with 1/4 cup of the cheese. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with the cayenne, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Stir in the Swiss chard and mushrooms.
- Pour mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 20 minutes, until the eggs are just set around the edges. Sprinkle the panko on top and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, until the casserole is set and the topping is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving
Pro Tips: Bread crumb boost: Replace 3 Tbsp of the bread crumbs with Hemp Hearts for an additional 10g protein, 13g of unsaturated fats, and over 25% of your daily magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus needs. Parmesan boost: Replace ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese with Nutritional Yeast for an additional 8g protein, 4g fiber, and over 100% of your daily b vitamin, folic acid, and pantothenic acid need.
Side Dish 2: Roasted Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
The bright color of sweet potatoes helps liven up any table. The natural sweetness of the potato is complemented by the warm flavors of cinnamon.
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut evenly into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
- Cut sweet potato into 1” cubes.
- Place in large bowl and coat with olive oil. Toss in cinnamon to cover.
- Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until cinnamon begins to caramelize. The sweet taste of the caramelized cinnamon and sweet potato are a warm treat so good, you’ll forget it’s a potato.
Dessert: Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Because it’s not the holidays without a decadent dessert.
- 1 medium avocado, ripe
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (available in cans)
- 1 4-ounce container of vanilla Greek yogurt (we like Powerful yogurt)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ½ teaspoon (tsp) vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- honey to taste (optional)
Directions Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you have access to an immersion blender, go for it (you’ll need to use a spatula a couple times to help it along) Serves 4.
Want more Spartan approved dessert ideas?
Avocado, ripe Cilantro, fresh Garlic, fresh Lime Mushroom, shiitake Onion, white Onion, red Sweet potato Swiss chard Thyme, fresh
Cayenne pepper Cinnamon Coconut oil Dijon mustard Honey Olive oil Panko bread crumbs Pumpkin puree Sea salt, pink himalayan Unsweetened cocoa Vanilla extract
Eggs Greek Yogurt ( We like Powerful yogurt) Pork tenderloin Cheese, parmesan Cheese, swiss
Quality ingredients, proper portions, and planning will all support your wellness goals during the holiday period. The foods we eat and our activity levels are the primary components to keep consistent. Not only will these support our health and help avoid weight gain, feeling confident in our choices naturally keeps stress levels low. And with the holidays being a more stressful time of year for many, focusing on your health never seemed so right.
Related Content: https://life.spartan.com/post/how-to-eat-real-food