The holidays are once again right around the corner. Many of us will be either preparing our own holiday meals or perhaps joining in on a potluck at a friend’s house, the office or a house of worship. If you are the one hosting a potluck dinner, why not try something different this year. Add a few twists to the average holiday meal by coming up with an ethnic theme or healthy nontraditional side dishes. Although it may seem challenging to eat healthy during the holiday season, here are some tips that will give you a different perspective on how to prepare healthy and delicious holiday meals.
First, make sure that people sign up for the dish they will be bringing—that is a great way to ensure there are no duplicates and that everyone is sticking with the theme. Its also a good idea to have everyone bring copies of their recipe to share with others. Finally, if you have a few friends who can’t cook to save their lives, they can always bring a drink like wine or egg nog.
Aside from the typical turkey or ham that is common fare at holiday potlucks, here are some menu ideas that will lighten up your holiday meal.
A casserole dish is a simple and great idea because they are usually one dish meals and can feed a large number of people. Green bean casserole is one of the more well known casseroles. This recipe from Eating Well magazine is highly recommended by Dr. Oz. It’s half the calories with just as much taste. Click Here for Recipe
A zucchini rice casserole is another option. You can substitute white rice for brown rice and reduce the cheese by half, and substitute turkey sausage for pork sausage. Eating Well Magazine has a great recipe that is also low in fat. Click Here for Receipe
Salads are always a great choice to bring to a potluck because it’s easy to make and is a healthy alternative. A seven layer salad is an excellent choice. You can make layers of lettuce, peas, bell pepper, and tomatoes with a creamy, tangy dressing. The salad stays fresh underneath until it’s served and gets even better when held overnight. Click Here for Recipe
You can also find a three-bean salad recipe on this site as well. The three-bean salad is another option which includes green beans, lima beans and black eyed peas. And don’t forget the salad dressing. Homemade salad dressing is very quick and simple to make, as long as you have lemon juice, olive oil, or vinegar and white wine.
What’s a holiday potluck without stuffing. A cornbread and sausage stuffing is a nice change from the traditional white bread stuffing. Try this southern favorite with Italian turkey sausage instead of pork. Click Here for Recipe
A gingered cranberry-raspberry relish is an alternative to cranberry sauce. Unlike cranberry sauce, a relish involves no cooking. Use plump raspberries for a juicy freshness, while crystallized ginger provides sweetness and warmth. Click Here for Recipe
And finally—dessert! Instead of the traditional sweet potato and apple pies, try this fabulous—and yes, healthy, caramelized bread pudding dessert. Filled with sweet caramelized pear, this custard, raisin-studded bread pudding, topped with the caramel syrup is sure to be a winner. Click Here for Recipe