When the holiday season rolls around, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of eating and drinking that does not equate with your health goals. This can lead to feeling lousy physically and mentally after the festive season is wrapped up. But it doesn’t have to be this way! And you don’t have to reject all the fun food and treats.
Instead focus on incorporating healthier foods alongside the traditional treats—especially delicious vegetables—to provide balance and keep you feeling great! Here are some suggestions for staying plant-forward during the holiday season:
Finger foods for a cocktail party:
- Stuffed mushrooms filled with ground almonds, tamari, diced onion and herbs (as opposed to the traditional heavy cream cheese filling).
- A colourful crudités platter (aka raw veggies) in the shape of something festive like an evergreen tree or a star. Use hummus instead of a heavy mayonnaise-based dip.
- Grilled or roasted asparagus spears with a lemon yogurt dip.
- Cherry tomato, basil & bocconcini skewers.
- Buffalo cauliflower bites (roasted not deep-fried).
- Cucumber slices topped with guacamole and a grilled shrimp.
Vegetable star dishes for a sit-down dinner:
- Braised cabbage and apples.
- Roasted root fries—mix it up from potatoes and try carrots and parsnips.
- Sautéed green beans with caramelized leeks and fennel.
- Roasted cauliflower with cumin.
- Butternut squash soup with ginger and coconut.
- Steamed garlic and lemon broccoli.
- Simple sautéed greens (e.g. kale, collards, chard).
- Baked eggplant slices topped with tomatoes and herbs.
Keep the Canada’s Food Guide recommendation of filling half of your plate with vegetables, even if you’re standing around at a cocktail party. It’ll make it easier to save room for dessert!