The holiday season is beginning this week, we go to parties and eat pies, cookies, and cakes until we make our New Year’s resolutions. It’s important to take each meal one at a time and make good choices each time we put fuel into our bodies but also important to have fun. Work to have the majority of your plate to contain fresh, steamed, or roasted veggies and then add a few holiday favorites. If you’re looking for a few healthy side dishes to accompany your meal here are five ideas:
- Baked Sweet Potato – I can’t bring myself to look up the nutritional facts of the ooey gooey sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and brown sugar. The healthier and easiest way to prepare a sweet potato is to clean it, poke holes to allow ventilation and then lightly cover with olive oil and then aluminum foil. Bake in the oven with your entree until tender, approx 40 minutes. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and don’t need added sweetness but you can add cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Steamed Vegetables – You can’t go wrong with steamed broccoli and steamed green beans. They’re classic side dish veggies and they’re so healthy.
- Quinoa Pilaf – This is a great side dish that can be eaten or served with or in place of traditional stuffing. Quinoa is full of protein and its also fun to say.
- Roasted Squash – Slice pieces of a cleaned acorn squash (or your favorite variety), drizzle with olive oil, add a bit of sea salt and black pepper, and roast at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes. Include red onions, garlic, carrots, and potatoes. Think of this as a scraps dish. Toss whatever you have left into a baking dish with the squash – it’s a new flavor.
- Tossed Salad – A salad can be considered a side dish or an appetizer but it’s a great way to include healthy side dish options. Chop up greens and add lots of fresh veggies. Top with a light or homemade dressing. For more ideas on making a healthy salad read Kathy’s Guest Post.
What are you planning on using for your holiday side dishes? Do you have any healthy favorites? If you’re looking for more ideas, you can also read last week’s guest post where Kathy talks about being Healthy During the Holidays.