Christmas isn’t generally the time for low-fat, low calorie recipes. But if you’re concerned about overindulging, we’ve got some quirky, healthier options for this year’s Christmas dinner.

Have yourself a healthy little Christmas with these delicious recipes that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on all the festive fun. From Boxing Day Turkey Tex-Mex, to Cauliflower Mash and even a cheeky Spiced Fruit Bake for pudding, you’ll love these lighter takes on all your favourite Christmas dishes, and some fresh new ideas too!

Boxing Day: Turkey Tex-Mex

Ingredients

  • 500g Turkey mince
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin red kidney beans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chilli (to taste)
  • 1 large pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Pinch sugar

Method

  1. Soften onion and peppers with garlic and spices in pan
  2. Add turkey and brown
  3. Add tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, sugar
  4. Add stock and kidney beans gradually
  5. Simmer 15min

Cranberry Sauce

Skip the shop-bought jars of cranberry sauce this Christmas with all the added sugar and use maple syrup and cinnamon to add flavour instead.

Ingredients

  • 50ml maple syrup
  • 100ml fresh orange juice
  • 250g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 Cinnamon stick/ pinch of ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Combine the maple syrup and orange juice in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Stir in the cranberries and clementine zest, then simmer until the cranberries are tender but still holding their shape – this will take about 5 minutes if using frozen cranberries and a little longer if using fresh.
  3. Refrigerate until needed, the sauce will thicken as it cools.
  4. Remove from the fridge an hour before serving.

Cheesy Spinach Balls

These cheesy spinach balls are the best easy starter to impress your guests.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups uncooked washed spinach
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup grated cheddar
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180℃
  2. Wilt spinach in a cup of boiling water and finely chop
  3. Add eggs, cheese, herbs and bread crumbs
  4. Combine with a spoon or your hands to form little balls
  5. Bake on a baking tray at 180℃ for 15-20 minutes or until golden on the top
  6. Serve with dips of your choice like pesto, hummus or homemade ketchup

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 cauliflowers
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Handful of chives, finely chopped
  • Cold water

Directions

  1. Remove outer leaves, wash and chop into large pieces of cauliflower discarding the cores
  2. Add to a large slow cooker, along with garlic and enough water to cover (stir to make sure no cauliflower is sticking out). Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  3. Drain cauliflower in a colander really well, return to the slow cooker, and add butter and salt.
  4. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Be patient, it will take 4-5 minutes because cauliflower has no starch, unlike potatoes.
  5. Add chives, stir and serve like you would serve mashed potatoes.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 1 day. Best eaten within 24-36 hours.

Spiced Fruit Bake

Try this gluten-free, vegan-friendly pudding as a great topping for waffles, pancakes, or to serve with ice cream on Christmas day

Ingredients

  • 2 cup sliced apples
  • 2 cups pear slices
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (save the juice)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (unrefined) or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 stick melted butter (4 to 5 tbsp melted vegan butter can be substituted)
  • An additional 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil or butter to coat walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts or pecans

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C
  2. In a large bowl, toss your fruit and add in 1-2 tsp lemon juice.
  3. In another bowl, combine your melted butter, spices, and honey or maple syrup.
  4. Mix in a few tablespoons of your leftover pineapple juice as well.
  5. Add this sugar/butter mixture to your fruit and coat evenly.
  6. Pour fruit evenly in a baking dish.
  7. Pour the leftover sugar/butter/oil mixture on top.
  8. Bake for 1 hr.
  9. Toss nuts in some melted coconut oil or butter and a pinch of cinnamon. Add them to a pan and stick them in the oven with the hot fruit bake for the last 25 to 30 minutes or so, or until toasted.
  10. Sprinkle additional cinnamon and toasted nuts on top of hot fruit bake before serving.

You can even prep this dish the night before!

Lemony Asparagus, Beans and Peas

Appease the sprout-phobes with this veg side dish at Christmas lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. thin asparagus, cut into thirds at an angle
  • 12 oz. green beans
  • 8 oz. peas
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • half lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 clove garlic

Method

  1. Steam cook asparagus, green beans and peas until tender
  2. Drain well, then immediately add to ice water.
  3. Fry onion
  4. Whisk together lemon juice, chives, sesame seeds, honey, garlic, salt and pepper and olive oil.
  5. To serve, toss vegetables with onions and vinaigrette.

Do you have any quirky family favourite Christmas recipes?

Let us know in the comment box below!