Some people hear “healthy” and think bland and boring. But you know better.
So you may want to keep it to yourself this holiday season when you end up serving the healthy side dishes. There is so much flavor packed into these small but mighty side dishes that no one will know you’ve got their best health interests at heart.
Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts With Cranberries and Feta
It’s no secret space in the oven runs out pretty quickly during the holidays. That’s why using your slow cooker to make Brussels sprouts is genius — and the cranberries give them a pop of color that will brighten your Christmas table.
Chili Roasted Black Eyed Peas
Black eyed peas make appearances on many New Year’s Day tables, especially in the south. Try this recipe as a snack that will pack protein and fiber along with a kick of spice. The resulting dry, crispy peas are great for snacking, so use these as an alternative to chips or popcorn.
Healthy Green Bean Casserole
That classic creamy side dish topped with fried onions is great for nostalgia but not for your waistline. You can update the old standard by trying this lighter version, which doesn’t rely on the high-sodium, high-fat canned cream of mushroom soup or the fried onions. Instead of masking the green beans, you can really enjoy them alongside the mushrooms in this healthier dish.
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
You might start a war within your family if you decide to forgo the mashed potatoes this year. Instead, try using cauliflower in place of potatoes. You can still top them with your mashed potato toppings of choice, like crumbled bacon or chives. Your family will get plenty of nutrients from the cauliflower mash, like vitamins B, C and K.
Southern Style Corn Bread
Most corn bread recipes call for a few sticks of butter, but this recipe only needs three and a half tablespoons of butter. Another benefit to using this recipe is you skip the additives and preservatives that are put into the boxed versions of corn bread. The recipe won’t take you more than an hour from start to finish, and you’ll have a crowd-pleasing side dish no one will know has undergone a healthy makeover.
As the winter wears on, everyone starts to crave some fresh veggies. Quinoa salad will fill your family up thanks to the super grain, but it will also sneak in fresh veggies like cucumbers and endive.
If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, this is a great first-timer recipe, since the salad dressing and avocado will pack a flavorful punch and will have your family asking for the ancient grain more often.
There’s a reason so many of us resolve to hit the gym in January. It’s because we fall — hard — off the healthy-eating wagon during the holidays. This year, stay fit throughout the holiday season with these healthy side dishes, and your body and taste buds will thank you.