Warm Up to a Healthy Recipe


Winter is well known for its comfort food. Big batches of lasagna and macaroni and cheese remind us of good times with family and friends. As tasty as they are, these recipes—rich in refined grains and saturated fat—can make it hard to meet our health goals.

Why not try to gather around healthier fare? Below are a few healthy recipes ideas worthy of your holiday party menu.

Your traditional holiday breakfast might rely on big plates of bacon and plenty of pastry. You can make a healthy and satisfying spread with some new dishes. Why not try a quiche with an olive oil and whole-wheat crust? You can pack it with flavorful, colorful combinations of healthy vegetables. For red and green, try spinach and sundried tomato or red pepper and arugula.

To satisfy the need for sweet, offer your guests a make-your-own parfait station using yogurt, a little honey or maple syrup, fresh fruit, and a whole grain cereal. Each guest will appreciate his unique and delicious creation.

For a healthier take on a holiday lunch or a beautiful appetizer, try a carrot-ginger soup. (Recipe below.) This spicy soup is easy and delicious, and it could not be healthier. For a balanced meal, enjoy it with cucumber-avocado sandwich triangles on whole-grain toast. (Recipe below.)

And for dinner, you can please a crowd with a turkey chili with brown rice. This hearty dish accommodates lots of vegetables and hunger-busting protein. The best thing about this recipe is its convenience. You can make it ahead on the stove or in a slow cooker and even freeze leftovers for later. To make it party worthy, serve it with fresh celery sticks and yogurt-based dip.

When it comes to holiday meals with friends, we truly can have it all: a delicious meal that is good for us, too. Try something new this season for a delicious and healthy holiday. The rewards will likely inspire you to try many new, healthier recipes in the year ahead.

Kristin Irace RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. “Health Matters” is a column meant to educate readers about their personal health, public health matters, and public policy.


Carrot-Ginger Soup

Servings 6

  • 5 Large carrots
  • 1 Small onion, diced
  • 4 Cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger
  • Dash black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1. Simmer all above items until tender.

2. Blend in blender return to pot and simmer.

3. Once up to a simmer slurry with cornstarch.

4. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Cucumber-Avocado Sandwich

  • 2 Slices hearty whole-grain bread
  • 2 Teaspoons garden vegetable cream cheese
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons mashed avocado
  • 12 Thin slices cucumber
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toast the bread.

2. Spread each slice of bread with the cream cheese on one side.

3. Top the cheese on both slices with mashed avocado.

4. Then, layer the cucumber slices on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

5. Eat open faced or place the two halves together.