Christmas dinner can be both festive and hearty, but it doesn’t have to be rich in fat and high in calories. You can have a healthy and low-calorie Christmas meal as here are many Christmas dinner options that are high in nutrients but are indulgent and delicious as well. I have been working on some special Christmas dinner recipes, and some I have already tried in the past. All these recipes are crowd-pleasers and are favourites at the dinner table.
Leek and Squash Lasagna
A healthier version of hearty lasagna is really a challenge to perfect. The original lasagna recipe is so delicious but laden with calories. I have done a healthier version using two of my favourite winter vegetables, leeks and squash.
- 10 ounces whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 leeks, use pale green and white parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 pieces of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and grated
- 4 cups non-fat milk
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4cup toasted pine nuts
- 6 ounces parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a cooking spray to coat a 9-inch baking dish.
- Boil water in a large pot. Cook lasagna noodles about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain and return the noodles to the pot.Then cover the noodles with cool water.
- Melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and stir until they have softened.This takes about 6 minutes. Whisk in milk until thick, which takes from 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and salt.
- Assemble lasagna on the baking dish by layering the noodles, sauce, squash, cheese and pine nuts.Cover with parchment and foil.
- Bake the lasagna for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake again for 30 to 45 minutes. Let it cool before serving.
Baked Potatoes with Yogurt Cream Herb
Potatoes are the perfect side dish for holiday dinner mains. Here is a low calorie baked potato that uses non-fat yoghurt instead of butter and cheese. I love baked potato and sweet potato soup and this is a winner. I could eat this every day!
- 4 small potatoes (russet potatoes are ideal)
- ½ cup non-fat Greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Poke holes into the potato and bake for 45 to 50 minute on a baking sheet lined with foil.
- Mix the Greek-style yoghurt, oil, parsley, and chives in a small bowl.
- Slice the baked potatoes in half and add a dollop of the herb topping on each half before serving.
Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken
Chicken is by far the most popular healthy Christmas dinner main dish protein. I love to eat chicken for Christmas dinner, and here is one of my favourite recipes. When you are pressed for time, this is an ideal dish to cook because it only takes an hour – 45 minutes of cook time and 15 minutes of prep time.
- 3 bone-in skin on chicken breasts
- 1 pound red skinned potatoes, quartered
- 2 celery stalks, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into ½ inch wedges
- 1 halved lemon
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
- Toss the carrots, onions, celery, and potatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add salt and pepper and roast until the vegetables are softened.
- While roasting, rub the chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon oil, salt, and poultry seasoning. Just when the vegetables are beginning to soften, place the chicken on top and roast for about 20 to 25 minutes or until skin is golden brown. Make sure that the chicken has an internal temperature of 75 degrees Celsius.
- Remove the chicken breasts and let it rest. Toss the vegetables, add lemon and parsley.
- Serve the chicken breasts and vegetables on single plates. This recipe makes 4 servings.
Beef Fillet with Mushroom Sauce
Contrary to popular belief, beef can actually be cooked in a healthy way. I have been looking for the perfect low-fat and delicious recipe that uses beef as the main ingredient, and I this is the best one. This will be part of our Christmas dinner for sure.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 4 ounces sliced fresh cremini mushroom caps
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- ½ cup pinot noir
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 beef tenderloin steaks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Drain after 15 minutes. Reserve the mushrooms and soaking liquid.
- On a large saucepan, add oil, and sauté shallots, mushrooms, garlic, and porcini. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add wine and cook until liquid evaporates, stirring constantly.
- Sprinkle two tablespoons of flour, and then gradually add the soaking liquid of the mushrooms. Bring to a simmer, and then stir in the herbs.
- In a separate skillet, add oil. Season beef with salt and pepper and then sauté for about 4 minutes on each side, or depending on the preferred doneness. Let beef rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Tenderloin is one of the healthier cuts of pork, and roasting it in an oven instead of frying it in oil will eliminate the fatty aspect of the dish. The flavour of this pork dish is superb, and it is ideal to serve for Christmas dinner.
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 pork tenderloin
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- Mix salt, black pepper, cumin, chilli powder, and cinnamon. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.
- Heat a skillet and add in tenderloins. Brown the pork on all sides, and then leave on the skillet.
- Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients. Pat the glaze over the pork and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the loin registers a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let the loin rest on the skillet for 10 minutes.
- Slice before serving.