Christmas Spread The Healthy Way

We’re all keen to over-indulge this time of year. If we can make our delicious snacks and meals a bit healthier, we can even do it without the guilt! Here are some dishes everyone will love over the holidays.

Sun Dried Tomato and White Bean Dip (makes 2 cups, from Pick Up Limes)

Serve this up with crackers and fresh veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1 medium red onion, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans (drained and rinsed if from can)

  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (drained if in oil)

  • 1 lemon juiced

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives for topping (optional)

Method:

  1. Add the oil to a pan on high heat. Sauté the onions until soft, then add the garlic. 3 -5 minutes. Splash in water while cooking if things stick.

  2. Add the cooked mixture to a food process with all the ingredients except chives. Blend well.

  3. Stir in the chives by hand and voila!

Eggplant Lasagne Rollups (12 rolls, adapted from The Minimalist Baker)

If you struggle with the heaviness and lactose found in dairy, this is a great recipe to still enjoy the comforting feels of a classic Italian dish!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1cm thick pieces for rolling

  • 2-3 cups of your favourite marinara sauce

Filling:

  • 2 medium lemons juiced

  • 1 block of extra-firm tofu (pressed dry with a weight in a clean towel for 10 minutes)

  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • ½ cup fresh basil chopped

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ tsp of salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 218C.

  2. Arrange eggplant slices on baking sheets in an even layer and bake for 13-15 minutes. Then reduce oven heat to 190C.

  3. While the eggplant is baking, add all the filling ingredients to a blender and pulse to combine. You’re going after a semi-pureed mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

  4. Pour ½ of marinara sauce in small oven dish.

  5. Scoop 3 tbsp of the filling onto each eggplant slice and roll it up carefully.

  6. Continue with all slices, placing seam-side down into the sauced oven dish.

  7. Pour the remaining sauce on top and bake for 15-23 minutes in the oven.

Shredded Kale and Nut Salad(serves 4, from Oh She Glows)

Savoury, sweet, and healthy as!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bunches of de-stemmed dinosaur kale, finely chopped

  • 2 large garlic cloves

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • 3 to 4 tbsp of olive oil, to taste

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ to ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries

Pecan parmesan:

  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted

  • 1 ½ tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 pinches salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150C. Spread pecans onto baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.

  2. Finely chop the washed kale leaves. The smaller, the better.

  3. For the dressing, in a food processor: process the garlic first. Add the lemon, oil, salt and pepper and process again.

  4. Add dressing to kale and stir very well, ensuring everything is coated.

  5. For the pecan parmesan: add all ingredients to the processor and pulse until a coarse crumb texture. Do not over process.

  6. Sprinkle on top of the salad and toss in the cranberries. Place in fridge for 30 to 60 minutes to soften, or eat straight away.