Kristen’s Healty Recipes

Top 10 Holiday Tips and Tricks

1. Identify your non-negotiables
Figuring out what foods are absolutely necessary during a holiday is key to creating a good game plan. Identify the foods that you “need” to have to feel like you’re getting the most out of your holiday meal, and don’t guilt yourself for eating them. Enjoy them, don’t over-do it, and move on.

2. Keep Yourself in Check and Look Ahead
Remember that you are in control of what goes in your mouth. Keep away from the mindless snacking and it will greatly decrease the extra calories you’re likely to consume. Look ahead at the week you have and pinpoint any times that you think will be a challenge when it comes to eating right. Identify those road blocks and come up solutions that will keep you on track.

3. Survey the Buffet
Scope out your options first. Pick out the foods you absolutely have to try, and balance those out with healthier options. Once you’re done with your plate, get up and walk around after; distance yourself from the food table to limit temptation.

4. Follow the “half your plate” rule
Filling half of your plate with vegetables will dramatically decrease empty calories that are often so available at parties. Whether they’re raw, steamed, grilled, or baked, they’ll provide you will plenty of fiber and antioxidants which will leave you full and satisfied.

5. Pick your “cheat day”
Planning ahead goes along with picking the days in which you’ll allow yourself to indulge. If you know you have a party one day out of the week, pick that day to loosen up and let yourself enjoy that mac and cheese or pasta salad. Keeping yourself in check the rest of the week will help you find that healthy balance. Pick one day a week, and no more.

6. Focus on the holiday, not the food
We’re so accustomed to relating food to events; birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, showers, whatever the occasion. Focus on the people around you and enjoy the company you have rather than thinking about the food you’re going to eat. Keeping them the focus of the event helps put food to the side.

7. Drink before you drink
Alcohol can tack on calories very quickly at parties. Start by drinking 20oz of water, and another 20oz for every drink that you have. It will cut down on the risk of a hangover, as well as keeping calories low.

8. Check out the Menu
If you’re going out to a restaurant, always google the menu and nutrition facts so you have a game plan as to what options are healthier. Planning the choices you have will prevent the mind game of what to order, and you’ll have more time to focus on the company the surrounds you.

9. Avoid Store-Bought Anythings
Would you rather have homemade chocolate cake, or store bought brownies? There’s nothing special about store bought foods, you can get them at any time. Save the real indulgence for foods that are homemade with real ingredients and better taste.

10. Keep on Snacking
Keeping quick snacks in your car or in your purse is only going to help to make sure you don’t go more than 5 hours without eating. Always prevent yourself from getting too hungry, because that’s when we make bad choices. Lean on nuts, granola bars, or dried fruit to prevent that “hangry” urge.

Chicken BLT Salad with Jalapeno-Ranch Dressing

Serves about 6, serving size: 1.5-2 cups

2 bags or one head of romaine lettuce

½ lb low-sodium bacon

1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced

1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced into bite-sized pieces

2-3 jalapenos

1/2c light ranch dressing

  1. Preheat oven to 425⁰ and place bacon on a lined baking pan. *The bacon will crisp up better if you place a cooling rack under the bacon so the fat can drip off while baking.
  2. While you’re waiting for the oven to heat, slice cherry tomatoes, and cut and de-vein the jalapenos. Slice the jalapenos into thirds and place into a small food processor.
  3. Add ranch dressing to the food processor and puree jalapenos and dressing until there are no more chunks.
  4. Cook bacon for 15 minutes, flip, and cook for another 8-10 minutes until bacon is cooked and crispy.
  5. Assemble your salad with romaine, tomatoes, chicken, bacon, and drizzle with jalapeno-ranch dressing.

185 Calories. Fat 11g. Protein 16g

KP’s Tip: Sprinkle with parmesan cheese for a little more flavor. You can also use turkey bacon to cut down on the sodium. This is also a great salad for lunches for the week! Easy to assemble, little ingredients, and SO delicious!

Honey Mustard Hummus

Serves 8 , Serving size 3 tbsp

  • 1 1lb 13oz can of garbanzo beans (large can)
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1/4c spicy brown mustard
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3-5 drops lemon juice
  1. Open garbanzo beans and rinse in colander.
  2. Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth and no chunks or beans are left.
  3. Spoon into your serving bowl and enjoy with your favorite dipping food!

Calories 90. Fat 4g. Protein 3g.

KP’s Tip: I used carrots, celery and pretzel thins to dip into the hummus. This was especially good with the pretzels; it’s like a honey-mustard pretzel!

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Serving size 2 muffins

  • 1lb ground turkey sausage
  • 2 medium peppers (red, green or yellow)
  • ½ small onion, chopped (red or white)
  • 4 handfuls spinach, ripped into pieces
  • 1tbsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 32oz container liquid egg whites
  • Non-stick spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰ and spray muffin tins with non-stick spray.
  2. Heat skillet to medium high heat and brown turkey sausage until cooked through, breaking up into small crumbles.
  3. Combine turkey sausage, peppers, onion, spinach, and spices in a mixing bowl.
  4. With a spoon, scoop turkey sausage mixture evenly into 24 muffin tins. *I only had one 12-cup muffin tin so I used half the mixture first, baked the eggs and then used the rest of the mixture.
  5. Pour egg whites on top of mixture, into muffin tins just below the rim of the pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until eggs no longer move when you wiggle the pan.
  7. Once they’re done, place on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes and enjoy!

Calories 114. Carbs 3g. Protein 18g.

KP’s Tip: Make these ahead of time so you have them for the week. They make a great grab-and-go breakfast that’s still hot! You can also find pre-cooked turkey sausage crumbles to save time too.

Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4, serving size 1 pepper half

  • 2 large red peppers, raw
  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1/3 c hot sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Non-stick spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰.
  2. Rinse and slice peppers in half lengthwise and then devein the peppers (cutting out all seeds and hollowing out pepper).
  3. Lines baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray. Place pepper on tray and set aside.
  4. Cook ground chicken in skillet on medium to medium high heat. Continue to stir until cooked.
  5. Add hot sauce to chicken and mix.
  6. Once sauce and chicken is combined, stuff into pepper halves. You should be able to stuff all the chicken into the peppers evenly.
  7. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  8. Place peppers in oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are cooked.

Calories 283. Fat 15g. Protein 29g.

KP’s Tip: Pair with your favorite green vegetable or side salad for a colorful, low-carb and high protein meal!