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The Athletic Club

of Overland Park
13 Dec 2016

Healthy Holiday Eating

Hello friends, and Happy Holidays! The season is in full gear! With parties, celebrations and gatherings galore, this means food is everywhere! Snacks, desserts, dinners, pot lucks; all of the extra indulgences that are just so hard to say no to are tempting you at every turn. If you are anything like me, this time of year is definitely the most difficult as far as watching your weight is concerned. I have a big sweet tooth and that is the most enticing area I have trouble saying no to. So I thought what better an idea than to find some different recipes that are healthy and don’t make you feel like you are missing out on the spirit of the season.

With Christmas less than two weeks away, I’m sure most of us are beginning to plan our holiday dinners, and get the ingredients in advance. Here are a few of the healthier options to choose from, in each important holiday dinner category! I have also included some healthier substitutions for common ingredients that are called for in many of these recipes.

Appetizers

Gluten Free Spinach Balls
6c – spinach
3 – eggs
1/2c – cheddar or parmesan cheese
1c – gluten free panko crumbs
1/4c – fresh herbs of your choice (I personally love rosemary)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Trim and wash spinach leaves.
  3. Place leaves into a saucepan. Salt and cover with boiling water for 3m.
  4. Drain the spinach leaves using cold water. Make sure they are fully drained.
  5. Chop spinach and place in a mixing bowl.
  6. Add all of the other ingredients, and S/P to taste. Combine together. (If the mix is too moist you can add more panko to help.)
  7. Use a spoon or your hands to form balls.
  8. Place the balls on a non-stick pan and cook for 15-20m or until golden brown.
Sides

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
1lb – brussels sprouts
1lb – sweet potatoes
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/3c – olive oil (I like to use avocado oil as well)
1tsp – cumin
1/2tsp – garlic salt
1tbsp – red wine vinegar
S/P to taste
Thyme for a garnish

  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Trim / peel / cut brussels sprouts as needed, and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Peel and chop sweet potato into pieces of a desired size, and add to mixing bowl.
  4. Add garlic / seasonings, and pour olive oil over veggies. Vinegar will be added at the end.
  5. Pour veggies onto a non-stick pan, and cook for 40-45m.
  6. Toss into a serving bowl and add the red wine vinegar to taste, as well as the thyme.
Main Protein

Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb
1 rack of lamb
1/2c – chopped or minced parsley
5-6 stalks of fresh Rosemary (minus the stems)
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1tbsp – coconut oil
S/P to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine herbs and all other ingredients.
  3. Season lamb with S/P, and let sit out for approx 15m to get to room temp.
  4. Coat a medium sized skillet with coconut oil and heat to medium-high.
  5. Brown the lamb in the skillet for approx 4-5m on each side.
  6. Place the lamb in a roasting pan with the fat side up. Rub the herb mixture all over the lamb.
  7. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for approx 10-12m or until desired temp.
  8. Remove the lamb from the oven and cover the top with foil for approx 10m.
  9. Cut into desired sizes and slices. Lollipop chops are recommended.
Dessert

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake bites
Crust –
1 1/2c – raw almonds
8-10 – medjool dates
water (will be explained below)

Cake –
2c – raw cashews (soaked over night)
1 1/2c – fresh strawberries
1/2c – maple syrup
1/3c – coconut oil (melt first, then measure)
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2tsp – sea salt (I like to use himalayan pink salt)

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine/blend almonds and dates. Slowly add the water at your discretion until the mixture becomes thick.
  2. Press the mixture into a muffin pan. You may use liners if you like, or a silicone baking pan also works well.
  3. Place the pan into the fridge while you make the filling.
  4. Now combine all of the cheesecake ingredients, and spoon the filling evenly into each muffin cup.
  5. Place the pan back into the fridge for approx 6 hours, so it can all set. Voila!
Substitutions

>For every 1 cup of BUTTER – use – ¾ cup of coconut oil or olive oil
>For every 1 cup of COW’S milk – use – 1 cup of ALMOND milk
>For every 1 cup of SUGAR – use – ¾ cup of STEVIA
>For every 1 cup of OIL – use – 1 cup of APPLESAUCE

Thank you for joining me this week! I hope my ideas are some that you might want to try, or at the very least will give you inspiration for some healthy recipes that may please your palate! Come back next week for another wonderful topic! Happy Holidays to all of you!!

Don’t forget to stay positive and LOVE YOUR LIFE!!

For more information, feel free to visit – https://www.pinterest.com/