Holiday meals are a special gathering, as family and friends come together to spend time with each other. Because these meals can last for most of the evening, they’re typically centered around a large spread of food flavored with the holiday’s spice blends of cinnamon and nutmeg or the comfort of heavy cream and butter—and this is all before dessert! There are plenty of ways to lighten up your holiday table with lighter side dishes that the whole family will love—check out a few of our favorites!
Roasted Fall Vegetables with Feta and Rosemary. Focusing on what’s fresh and fitting for the season is a great way to create a vibrant, colorful dish. Gather pumpkin, carrots, garlic cloves—and any other vegetable you may enjoy—and drizzle them with a touch of olive oil and rosemary. Place them in a single layer on a baking pan, then into a 200-degree oven for about 45 minutes. Top the vegetables with crumbled feta and roasted pumpkin seeds, and enjoy!
Cinnamon Dusted Butternut Squash. Squash is a great alternative to starchy potatoes, and doesn’t need a lot of accouterment to bring out its natural sweetness. All you need to do is take a butternut squash, peel and cube it, then toss it with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and cinnamon. It will smell just like the holidays after about 30-40 minutes in a 400-degree oven!
Mint Chocolate Pudding. Looking for a chocolaty treat to enjoy with your family outside of cookies? Try this light and decadent pudding! Take one container of sugar-free chocolate pudding and mix with muddled mint leaves (or 1 drop of peppermint extract). Top with a dollop of sugar-free whipped cream for a cool dessert to top off a holiday meal.
For those following the Jenny Craig program, here are a few delicious options:
Balsamic Kale and Cranberry Salad. Cranberries are a staple during the winter with their bright color and tart bite. This warm salad takes only 15 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to sauté! Begin by sautéing an onion for 3-5 minutes, then add kale, 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries, water and a dash of salt to cook for another 3-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with some of our Jenny Craig Balsamic Vinaigrette and prepare to dig in!
Curried Cauliflower. Curry powder is a beautiful spice blend that gathers coriander, cumin, ginger, dry mustard and turmeric, among other spices, to achieve its rich color. When tossed with lemon and olive oil onto cauliflower florets and roasted in a 425-degree oven for about 30 minutes, the florets will come out looking golden, just like the rich yellow of a comfortable fire.
These are just a few of the healthy holiday sides we’ve come up with, and there are plenty more to be had! Discover other delicious inspirations, like this Velvety Chocolate S’Mores Shake, and healthy holiday eating tips by looking through our blog where we like to focus on ideas to help you stay inspired about your weight loss journey. Happy holidays, and may your festivities be filled with bright flavors that celebrate your health and happiness!
If you’re a Jenny Craig member, check with your consultant before making any swaps or changes to your plan to ensure you stay on track!