It’s that time of the year when you reconnect with your loved ones for celebrations such as singing carols, dancing etc, it’s the Jingle bells season. As we are nearing the closure of this year, I am drowned in sweet memories of Christmas Celebrations at school and with my friends and family. It’s a time to gorge on some festive food. But, the dilemma with most is how do you gorge on food and yet keep it healthy.
After pondering over the last few days here are some recipes which I have planned for my Christmas and New Year Eve’s party.
To start with here is a yummy soup recipe to stimulate the taste buds
1. Cauliflower and Leek soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrot and onion. Stir a little and cover and let the leeks cook till they’re soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and stir to coat. Turn heat to high.
- Add a little water, basil and bring to the boil, then cover and let simmer on low heat.
- Puree the soup with a hand blender.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- A dash of nutmeg helps in stimulating taste buds.
Nutritional Value: Low-calorie soup rich in folic acid and soluble fibre. Basil and nutmeg act as super foods for immunity building.
- Stir-fried green beans: An accompaniment to the soup
- 100 gms Green French beans
- 1tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sesame seeds
- Grounded pepper
- Rock salt
- Heat oil in a pan
- Add sesame seeds and allow them to splutter
- Add the beans and sauté
- Put some salt, pepper and cover the lid
- Cook for 5-7min until a little soft yet the bite remaining
- Sprinkle some oregano and serve
Nutritional Value: The best side dish. Full of fibre, protein and low-calorie snack.
- Chicken, kale and sprouts stir fry
- 100 gm kale
- 2 lean chicken breasts shredded
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1-inch ginger shredded
- Red pepper thinly sliced
- Handful Brussel sprouts
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 lemon juice and lemon zest
- Cook kale along with a good splash of water and cook for 1-2 mins until soft yet a little bite remaining, then cool under running water to keep the colour.
- Add half the oil and cook the chicken strips until brown, then remove and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil and fry the ginger, pepper and sprouts until soft a little.
- Add all the above together and tip in the soy, lime zest and juice. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Value: A good combination of lean protein and fibre. Adding ginger and lemon makes it digestive. A good recipe for a snack or salad or as a main course with some brown
- Whole wheat flour and Ragi cake:
How can a party be without a dessert? Ditch the calorie-laden and not so healthy maida and give a twist to the cake.
- Ragi Flour-3/4 cup
- Wheat Flour-1/4 cup+1 tsp
- Baking Soda-1 Tsp
- Jaggery-1/2 cup
- Palm Sugar-1/2 cup
- Oil-1/4 cup
- Water-1/4 cup
- Butter-1 tbsp
- 1. Remove gasket and whistle of the cooker and keep it in low flame. This is to bring the preheat effect of the oven. (20 – 25 minutes would do)
- Heat water in a saucepan and add jaggery (powdered/grated) and palm sugar and let it dissolve and filter.
- Mash banana and leave aside
- In a bowl sieve both the flours together and add 1 tsp of baking soda and mix well.
- In another bowl add the jaggery + palm sugar mixture, mashed banana, curd, oil and beat them well.
- To this add the flour mixture and beat/mix well.
- Add the raisins and almonds and mix well.
- Grease the tin and pour the mixture
- Place a stand/plate inside the cooker and then place the cake tin.
- Close it and let it cook for 5 minutes in medium flame.
- After 5 minutes keep the flame slow and let it cook for 30-40 minutes.
- Use a toothpick to check if the cake is completely cooked. When you prick the cake deep inside the toothpick will come out clean when the cake is completely cooked.
Nutritional Value: Low calorie with the goodness of calcium from ragi. Have it guilt free.
- Crusty pita bread and chickpeas: A quick and less cooking involved snack
- Pita bread or a multigrain bread
- Boiled chickpeas
- Chopped onions, coriander, green chillies
- Lemon zest and lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Other herb seasonings
- In a bowl mix all the above ingredients and set aside.
- Toast the pita or the multigrain bread.
- Put this mixture and have it like that or can toast them in a sandwich.
Nutritional Value: Low-calorie protein rich and good carbs snack.
- Christmas Balls: These amazing small balls will give a twist to the party
- Dark chocolate
- Dry fruits mix(coarsely ground)
- Sesame seeds(for coating)
- Take a bar of dark chocolate and make it melt in a hot water bath(Boil some water and keep the second bowl in hot water and put the chocolate bar)
- Now put all the ingredients together except the sesame seeds and make small balls.
- Now coat these balls with sesame seeds when still wet.
Nutritional Value: Have these with no hesitation as it is full of antioxidants and the richness of dry fruits.
Hope these party ideas are a hit at your Christmas party. The recipes are low calorie, nutritive, easy to make and So enjoy the party guilt-free with these yummy healthy preparations.