Healthy Christmas Recipes

by Lauren James on December 22, 2011

Christmas is a time to celebrate! Keeping moderation in mind – treat yourself with these low calorie, flavour filled creations.

Entrees and finger food

Rainbow Stack                                                                        Serves 8

1 eggplant

2 red capsicums

2 zucchini

1 sweet potato

150g reduced fat feta cheese

100g basil pesto

Freshly cracked black pepper

  1. Cut the vegetables into slices about 10mm thick. Try making these a similar diameter as they will be stacked.
  2. Barbeque or grill the vegetables for about 10minutes or until soft. Season with pepper.
  3. Assemble stack: eggplant as a base, followed by zucchini, sweet potato, a thin slice of feta, a small dollop of pesto and finally a slice of capsicum.
  4. Return to the grill or bbq (lid down) and cook until cheese is melting. Serve immediately.

 

Cranberry and Turkey Bites                                                Makes 24

Olive oil spray

3 sheets filo pastry

2 tsp oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

250g turkey mince

2 tsp fresh thyme

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 tbsp whole cranberry sauce

1 tbsp finely chopped toasted walnuts

1 tbsp finely chopped chives

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Use oil spray to lightly coat 2×12 mini muffin pans.
  2. Layer the 3 filo sheets, lightly spray with oil on the bottom and middle sheets. Cut filo into 6cm squares to end up with 24 squares
  3. Line each muffin hole with filo square. Lightly spray shells with oil. Bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside until needed.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat in frying pan. Cook onion until soft. Add turkey and thyme. Break up mince and cook for minutes until meat is coloured (about 8 minutes). Stir through cranberry sauce and pepper.
  5. Fill filo shells with mince mixture. Bake 4 – 5 minutes to reheat.
  6. Combine walnuts and chives and sprinkle over. Serve immediately.

 

Honey Pork Kebabs                                                            Serves 8

500g pork fillets

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground paprika

2 tsp olive oil

Honey glaze

½ cup orange juice

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp barbecue sauce

2 tbsp creamy mustard

  1. Cut pork into 3 cm cubes and combine with additional ingredients.
  2. Thread pork (2-3 pieces per skewer) onto skewers (if bamboo skewers used, soak for at least 1hr prior)
  3. Combine glaze in a small saucepan and bring to boil whilst stirring. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Cook skewers in a pre-heated non-stick pan, grill or barbecue for 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through, turning occasionally.
  5. Serve with honey glaze.

 

Hearty Hummus                                                            Serves 8

400g can chickpeas (juice reserved)

2 cloves garlic (more if you like!)

Juice of 1 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp tahini

1 cup fresh parsley

2 ripe tomatoes, deseeded and diced finely

1/4 cucumber, diced

½ red onion, diced finely

Sweet paprika to garnish

  1. In a food processor blend together chickpeas, garlic, lemon and tahini. If additional moisture is needed, add juice from chickpeas. Add parsley and blitz again until blended.
  2. Place in serving bowl and mix in tomato, cucumber, onion and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.
  3. Serve with vegie sticks or mountain bread/pita (crisped in the oven)

 

Sweet Treats

Spiced Cherries                                                             Serves 8

250ml (1 cup) water

1/4 cup caster sugar or sugar substitute

5 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

800g cherries (stems still attached)

800g diet vanilla yoghurt

  1. In a small saucepan combine water, sugar, and spices. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Simmer over medium heat until thickens slightly and remove.
  2. In a shallow heatproof bowl arrange cherries. Pour hot syrup over and set aside for 1 hour.
  3. Serve chilled with vanilla yoghurt. Use stems to dip cherries if desired.

 

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti                                    Makes 26 slices

3 egg whites

1/3 cup castor sugar

½ cup plain flour

¼ cup wholemeal flour

80g pistachios

80g dried cranberries (Crasins)

½ tsp grated orange rind

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 19x9cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Using an electric beater, whisk egg whites until soft peaks from. Add sugar at intervals, beating well between so appears glossy and smooth.
  3. Fold in sifted flours, pistachios, cranberries and orange rind. Mix well. Spoon into tin and smooth over top.
  4. Bake 25-30minutes or until top is brown and firm. Remove from oven and cool in tin. Reduce oven temperature to 140°C.
  5. Remove loaf from tin and slice with serrated knife into 5mm thick slices. Arrange slices on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake 15-20 minutes until just firm. Cool on tray.

 

Berry Trifle                                                                        Serves 4

2 tbsp apple juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

500g fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

12 sponge finger biscuits, thickly sliced crossways

2/3 cup low-fat custard

  1. Place apple juice, vanilla and half the berries in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
  2. Place biscuits in a bowl. Working quickly, pour berry mixture over biscuits and spoon this sauce until coated.
  3. Spoon 2 tablespoons biscuit mixture into base of four x 1 cup capacity dishes. Top each with 1 tablespoon custard. Arrange 1/3 of the remaining berries over custard. Repeat layers twice. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

 

Fruit truffles Makes 24

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnut pieces

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbspn margarine

1 ½ tbsp desiccated coconut

1 tsp vanilla essence

Extra coconut for coating

  1. Place fruit, nuts, cocoa, margarine, coconut and vanilla in a food processor and process until the mixture forms sticky crumbs. Blitz mixture slowly, with caution not to over process.
  2. Wet hands and roll the fruit mixture into 24 balls. Roll each ball in coconut and refrigerate until required.

 

Yoghurt, Meringue and Berry Sticks                        Makes 6

1 packet/4  meringue shells

400g Vanilla or berry flavoured low-fat Greek yoghurt

1 punnet of fresh berries (strawberries, rapsberries, blueberries) or 1 packet frozen berries

  1. Assemble 6 popsicle molds with a wooded/plastic stick for each.
  2. A total of 4 layers will be created: First make a layer of yoghurt and parfreeze until slightly set. Second layer add broken meringue pieces and parfreeze again. Third layer berries and continue freezing process. Finally complete with another layer of yoghurt.
  3. Insert stick into each mold and freeze overnight or until completely firm.
  4. When ready to serve, run mold under warm water to loosen stick.


 

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