Saturday, December 19, 2015

6 Recipes for a Healthy and Merry Christmas

I can't believe that Christmas is fast approaching! I mean, where has 2015 gone?! If you are like me, you are planning your meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We want it to be special and for the food to taste great.

As my gift to you, I have included some of the recipes from my most recent Healthy Holiday Sampler for you to try for free. Also check out this post for a recipe to yummy Peppermint Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream. How can you go wrong with hot chocolate and peppermint?

At my house, the morning is going to be filled with multi-tasking and the ovens filled with goodies baking most of the day. If this sounds like you, and you have no room in your oven for breakfast, try this healthy breakfast dish that can be made in the convenience of your own microwave!

Easy Colorful Zucchini Frittata

4 cups diced zucchini
1 small onion, diced
6 eggs
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup diced tomatoes
¼ cup green bell peppers
¼ cup red bell peppers
Salt and pepper to taste

In a 9-inch microwave-safe pie plate, combine the onion and zucchini. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes on high or until tender. In a bowl, mix together the cheese, ham, eggs, salt and pepper. Pour over zucchini mixture. Microwave for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Some microwaves may vary. Yields 6 servings.

Looking for something sweet but healthier to go along with all of the Christmas desserts, try this festive Christmas Day Fruit Bake.

Christmas Day Fruit Bake

Before baking. 

And after, even prettier! 

1 can (29 ounces) peach halves in 100% juice, drained
1 can (29 ounces) pear halves in 100% juice, drained
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks in 100% juice, drained
1 medium apple, peeled and thinly sliced
1 jar (6 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained
                         ½ cup pecan halves                          
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar 
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss apple slices with lemon juice. Place slices in a greased 2 ½ quart baking dish. Drain the pineapple chunks but save ¼ cup of the juice. Combine pineapples, peaches, and pears; spoon over apple slices. Top with pecans and cherries. Combine brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon and saved pineapple juice in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour over fruit. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm. Yields 12-14 servings.

Still looking for some last minute homemade gifts for family and friends? Try these roasted nut recipes that will make your kitchen smell great!

Sweet and Spicy Nuts
1 cup cashews
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon stevia sweetener
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread nuts out on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes or until nuts are fragrant. In a small bowl, mix together stevia, spices, and orange zest. Remove nuts from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and spice mixture; toss to combine. Move coated nuts to a dish to serve immediately or let cool. Store in an air tight container. 

Cocoa Dusted Nuts

Believe me, they taste better than they look.

2 cups whole, raw almonds
¼ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
Pinch salt (optional)
Small handful of unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat agave in a small saucepan. Add almonds and stir to coat. Spoon into a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 10 minutes stirring almonds at least once to prevent burning. Cool for a few minutes. Put the cocoa and cinnamon into a brown paper sack. Add nuts and shake to evenly coat. Store in an air tight container. Yields 16 ¼ cup servings. 

Perhaps you are looking for something healthy, but that will satisfy your sweet tooth while cooking all day. Try these Festive Fruit Kabobs with homemade Fruit Dip to eat with your cheese cubes, roasted nuts, or other healthy appetizers.  A real kid pleaser around my house.

Festive Kabobs with Fruit Dip

4 kiwis, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium apples, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
3 medium firm bananas cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup (6 ounces) vanilla Greek yogurt
1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained
4 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
 Fruit Dip: Blend together honey, cinnamon, and yogurt.

Alternate pieces of fruit on the skewers. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with the fruit dip. Yields 20 servings.

Hope you enjoy these recipes and that your kitchen smells great! From my house to yours, Merry Christmas! - Michelle


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