Once upon a time, the essence of the holiday was for the family to celebrate together in love, peace and an intimate atmosphere. Today, however, there is a much greater emphasis on gift-giving, excessive spending, and bigger Christmas dinners. Often the food we serve is not good for our body, bad for the planet and we cook way too much, so a lot of it ends up in the trash. With the ideas below, we will help make your Christmas dinner healthy, nutritious and planet-friendly!
What is a Healthy Christmas Dinner
What is a healthy Christmas dinner like? Well, if we start with what healthy food is like, there are a few simple rules to keep in mind. First of all, have as many vegetables and fruits on the menu as possible, subjecting them to as little heat treatment as possible – so they retain the vitamins and can have their beneficial effects.
Also, make sure that whole grain products are on the table, such as bread. It is also a good idea to choose foods that are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. Last but not least, make sure you work with as few processed ingredients as possible: after all, Christmas cooking is a big part of the celebration, don’t be lazy!
Tips to Save the Planet
Those who pay attention to getting a healthy Christmas dinner on the table are also likely to care about what kind of organic footprint their cooking leaves. And while it is easy to forget about the wellbeing of our planet for a while during Christmas, here are a few simple points that we cannot follow to make this mistake.
On the one hand, use as little meat and other animal products as possible – this can do the most good. On the other hand, plan well for how many people to buy and cook: calculate the portions per person! This will prevent some of our dinner from ending up in the trash. In addition to all this, it also means a lot to cook from the ingredients of local producers . Not only are they fresher, but they put even less strain on the environment!
Ideas for a Healthy Christmas Dinner on the Table
Now that we’ve given you a general overview of what a healthy Christmas dinner is like, let’s move on to the specific ideas. Below are some dishes which are not only divine but good for you and the Earth!
In Hungary, fish soup or broth is usually served as an appetizer. What if we made a vegan version of it that is healthy and reminiscent of classic favorites? For example, a delicious algae soup can perfectly replace fish soup, and instead of broth, we can make a cabbage soup that brings another Christmas classic to our menu.
We have a long tradition of various mayonnaise salads that are full of calories and unhealthy additives such as preservatives. These heavy “salads” also appear on the table as a side dish and appetizer, but what if you replaced it with something different, something more special and healthier this year?
Among them, there are countless recipes that immediately create a Christmas atmosphere – such as a mouth-watering fried beetroot-walnut-goat cheese salad. For those who like simpler dishes, we recommend a spinach salad or a colorful cucumber-olive chickpea salad. If you want something more invigorating than this, you can choose from a variety of fried leafy vegetables, to which you can add any cheese and apple.
The main dishes are usually full of meat dishes. If you insist – or the family insists on it – choose fish or possibly chicken instead. Fish is basically a special Christmas dish and can be used to conjure up real festive dishes.
Make confit or fried salmon, and if you want to reduce your organic footprint, work with local fish! Buy carp, grass carp or catfish – depending on what recipe you’ve dreamed of. And the border between chicken dishes is the starry sky, as you can prepare it in millions of ways. And if you want to try to reverse the tastes of carnivores a little, work with Sejta or tofu instead of chicken!
We know full well that the usual side dishes are not exactly healthy. But even with the salads listed above, there are some that don’t strain our bodies. For example, choose sweet potatoes instead of potatoes, not only the fried but also the puree version is divine! And if it’s sweet potatoes: pumpkins work almost exactly the same way! Try quinoa and bulgur instead of rice! And as mentioned above, in the case of garnishes, it’s also worth making sure the whole-grain versions are on the table.
As we wrote above: if you have a healthy Christmas dinner, there are lots of vegetables and fruits! That is why the simplest and most obvious dessert is the fruit salad, which will go very well after a hearty dinner. But of course we can bake some kind of cake or pie, we can also find healthy versions among them.
Bake a cake with an oat base that can be incorporated into any diet! Made with bananas, apples and cinnamon, it’s a real festive surprise. It’s wonderful, healthy and easy to make strawberries dipped in chocolate: guests will love it! It’s also a good idea to make a cake or cookie from a base that’s basically healthy: just think of carrot cake!
Healthy Christmas Dinner: Plan It!
With these ideas, you can start planning a healthy Christmas dinner! This year, impress your guests by not taking the classic dishes, but taking a little risk! Believe me, the idea of a healthy menu brings more fever than you think!