Holidays are fun but frenetic—the perfect storm for packing on the pounds. We’re no strangers to indulgence, but there’s only so much a person’s body can take on before saying “Nope. No thanks.” Not something you want to happen halfway through December!
So we’re planning healthy meals to get us through to the end—but they’ve got to pass a litmus test of being both delicious and easy as well. Though these recipes might have passed too easily—we can imagine eating them right into the new year!
Breakfast and Snacks:
It’s hard to snack healthy when you’re always on the go, and especially when everything around you is telling you ’tis the season to indulge. Luckily, Aida’s been there many times, and—as our resident chocolate fiend—her Date Coconut Cacao Nib Truffles are the perfect antidote for snack attacks coupled with a sweet tooth.
When it comes to quick and healthy breakfasts, almost nothing beats a smoothie. But with the beautiful produce of spring and summer long behind us, keeping less-than-optimal fruits and veggies around isn’t ideal. Good thing this smoothie is pantry-perfect, with most of the ingredients being non-perishable and likely to already be on hand. Plus, it’s got the added bonus of tasting like a milkshake.
Even though it’s the most important meal of the day, with a packed holiday schedule, a good breakfast can be cast aside during the packed holiday season. But because your schedule has you in overdrive, we insist you fill up on something nutritious and delicious. For this reason, we’re big big fans of overnight oats. First, oats are the perfect platform for a variety of flavors seasonal, sweet—even savory. Second, preparing your breakfast the night before ensures that no matter how many times you hit the snooze button, you’ll be powered up to power through the day. Plus, jarring it makes it conveniently portable, you know, just in case that company party got a little out of hand.
If you crave something with a little crunch, make toast the most powerful tool in your breakfast arsenal. Choose (or bake!) a dark, seeded rye, like the Scandinavians do, and top with ingredients packed with protein and good fats to keep you satiated ’till snack time. Some good ones to keep on hand that are quick and easy to throw together on a plate: smoked fish, avocado, boiled eggs, plain nonfat yogurt, lean cold cuts, pickles and fresh cucumbers. Adding fresh dill and radish is always a welcome flavor addition. Hello, quick trip to Sweden!
Prepping something that’s pretty as well as healthy ensures you’ll actually be excited to eat it, so take advantage of some of the loveliest winter produce and you’ll avoid a midday meltdown come lunchtime. Pomegranates and persimmons are likely to end up on one (or more!) of your holiday menus this season, and are easy enough to toss together with some greens (kale and winter spinach would be perfection) and some hearty wild rice to keep you satisfied. Pistachios add a dose of healthy fat and crunch, making this dish a tantalizing tour for your taste buds.
We over here at the site like salads. A lot. Might as well be called Salads & Wind, okay? But mostly because they’re such a versatile canvas for flavor and texture, a vehicle for celebrating seasonal ingredients, and, much of the time, very transportable—and you know there’s a lot of transporting going on around here, too. So yeah, we’ve got two salads on your lunch list, but we couldn’t resist when we saw how easy this Moroccan Carrot & Chickpea Salad recipe was (and pantry-friendly, too).
Like something a little more homey for lunch? Why not try a rice-less risotto recipe? Using the ever-so-versatile ingredient, cannelloni beans, this grain-free recipe has the same richness as regular risotto, with the added bonus of being a bit more belly-friendly for our gluten-free friends. Add tons of chard to get your greens and inspire major lunchtime jealousy while keeping your healthy little secret between you and us.
When it comes to eating healthy for dinner, nothing beats making a big batch of something hearty and healthy. That way, when you’re at your most drained, dinner is a no-stress situation—never more so needed than during the holiday season, what with all the shopping, planning, last-minute to-dos, and all those irresistible invitations. To make things even easier, try this super simple Acorn Squash with Wheatberry Apple Walnut Stuffing recipe. It’s filling, flavorful, and just the kind of thing you want to come home to.
If, like us, you’ve got a major noodle-obsession right now, then make sure you treat yourself to a healthy, homemade soba salad, like HonestyYUM’s recipe. Buckwheat noodles are quite allergy- and diet-friendly, while still satisfying a carb craving. And then you just add a garden of vegetables, some added protein if you like, and boom! Body and mind: treated.
When you’ve got approximately 0.8 seconds for dinner, think small—specifically, we mean reach for shrimp! Nothing could be faster—or easier—than these little guys, and they’ll work with practically anything you’ve got currently in your fridge. Try out a simple salt and pepper recipe, then add a dash of this and top it over a bit of that, and a healthy, satisfying dinner is served.