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8 Healthy HOliday Side Dishes

The holiday season, with its festive gatherings and tables full of delicious dishes, is rich in tradition and comfort. This year, why not add a modern, health-conscious twist to your holiday spread? I've put together a selection of side dishes that are not only flavorful but also healthy, and I hope a few will stand out to you as you curate your holiday feast menu. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Balsamic Glaze:

When roasted to perfection, Brussels sprouts attain a beautiful caramelization that's both sweet and savory. Tossing them with ruby-red pomegranate seeds adds a burst of freshness, while a drizzle of balsamic glaze lends a tangy finish. Roast sprouts at a high temperature (around 425°F) to achieve that irresistible crispy exterior.

Quinoa and Cranberry Stuffing:

Swap out traditional bread cubes with protein-packed quinoa for a modern take on stuffing. Infuse with aromatic herbs like rosemary and thyme, toss in dried cranberries for a sweet touch, and you have a nutritious and delicious side. Consider toasting the quinoa in a skillet before boiling to bring out its nutty flavor.

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic:

Reduce your carb intake without sacrificing taste. Mashed cauliflower, when blended with roasted garlic and a touch of olive oil, delivers a creamy consistency reminiscent of classic mashed potatoes.

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges:

Instead of candied yams, opt for roasted sweet potato wedges seasoned with heart-healthy spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Drizzle with olive oil before roasting to ensure a crisp exterior.

Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad:

Beetroot, rich in antioxidants, pairs well with creamy goat cheese and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. Toss with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon zest, and a hint of honey.

Barley and Mushroom Pilaf:

Ditch the heavy casseroles for this earthy, hearty pilaf. Cooked barley, combined with sautéed mushrooms and fresh herbs, offers a wonderful chewy texture and is an excellent source of fiber.

Citrus Fennel Slaw:

This refreshing side is a palate cleanser. Thinly sliced fennel mixed with segments of citrus (oranges or grapefruit work wonderfully) and a light mustard vinaigrette can break up the monotony of heavy dishes.

Charred Broccolini with Chili and Garlic:

A slight twist on regular broccoli, broccolini, when charred, offers a smoky undertone. A quick toss in garlic-chili oil elevates this simple veggie to festive standards. Ensure your skillet or pan is searing hot before adding broccolini for the perfect char.

With a bit of creativity, classic dishes can be reinvented to satisfy the palate and cater to health-conscious preferences. This year, let your festive table be a testament to the fact that delicious can be nutritious, too. Happy holidays to you and yours! 

Here is one of the videos from this past week! Dairy/Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

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