Women

Try making delicious, healthy, figure-friendly food this festive season

Give the gift of good health this Christmas, by inviting your friends and family over for a super healthy soirée! You might think it’s hard to lure your guests with vegetable crudités and non-alcoholic punch rather than pigs in blankets and boozy mulled wine, but we’ve found a selection of ideas that are both healthy and delicious. And, when the festivities are over, your guests’ waistlines will thank you for it. Get creative in the kitchen with flavours, colours and textures to make your get-together one to remember.

Try making delicious, healthy, figure-friendly food this festive season

Try making delicious, healthy, figure-friendly food this festive season

Turkey baubles

Turkey baubles

By Michael Kelly, nutritional chef

Serve these bite-size meatballs with a chilli dipping sauce such as Wahaca’s Fiery Habernero Chile Sauce ($3; wahaca.co.uk), which has a third fewer calories than the leading brand.

In a bowl, combine the juice and zest of 1 lemon, 400g minced turkey breast, a handful of chopped fresh coriander, 1 tsp English mustard, ½ a finely sliced onion and 1 egg. Separate into small, bite-size balls and place on a baking tray. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 2000C/gas mark 6 for around 15 minutes, or until browned. Serve hot with cocktail sticks. Makes 16-20 meatballs.

Pomegranate fizz

Pomegranate fizz

By Michael Kelly

Making mocktails for your guests is easy, and with a bit of artistic flair you can make a few simple ingredients taste delicious.

In a blender, blitz together the seeds of 1 pomegranate, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Strain, pour into a jug and top up with fizzy water and crushed ice.

Feta & butternut dip

Feta & butternut dip

By Jennifer Irvine, founder of The Pure Package (purepackage.com) and author of The Diet for Food Lovers (Orion, $32).

This creamy dip can be made with leftover roasted butternut squash or pumpkin. It can also be served as an accompaniment for chicken or fish.

Place 200g chopped butternut squash onto a non-stick baking sheet and roast at 2000C/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes or until soft. Leave to cool. Place the squash in a food processor with 40g of feta cheese and 1 tsp harissa and blitz until smooth. Spoon the dip into a bowl and serve with sugar snap peas.

Sham-payne

Sham-payne from bbc.co.uk/food

By The Hairy Bikers, authors of The Hairy Dieters; How to Love Food and Lose Weight (Orion, $24).

When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be hard to say no to a glass of bubbly at a party. This fakers’ alternative is almost the same in colour and is a real thirst- quencher, perfect all year round.

In a jug, mix together 60ml lime cordial, 60ml elderflower cordial, 3 drops orange blossom water and 250ml ice-cold soda water. Serve in a tall glass with ice. Makes 2 servings.

Vietnamese chicken salad spoon from Canapés

Vietnamese chicken salad spoon from Canapés

By Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille (Dorling Kindersley, $24)

This spoonful of colour contains protein, veg and Asian flavours that will astound your taste buds. The result is a canapé that is much more sophisticated than the simple assembly process lets on.

Pre-heat oven to 1800C/gas mark 4. Poach 1 skinless chicken breast in 300ml milk in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool in the milk. Combine 1 seeded chilli, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 tbsp sugar, the juice of 1 lime, 1½ tbsp each of fish sauce and rice wine vinegar. Shred 50g white cabbage, ¼ seeded cucumber, a handful of coriander and mint, 1 seeded red chilli, 2 shallots and 1 carrot. Slice the chicken and mix with everything. Pile on each spoon and garnish with chopped peanuts.

Green goddess dip

‘Serve dips with roast cauliflower or roast sweet potato wedges or grilled shrimp’ says Gamble

By Simon Gamble, head development chef at Glorious! foods (gloriousfoods.co.uk).

This dip is light and packed full of flavour. Herbs and vinegar give a great taste with fewer calories.

Blitz 2 anchovy fillets, 2 spring onions, 1 garlic clove, ¼ cup each of fresh parsley, coriander, dill and basil, 2 tbsps white wine vinegar, 1 tsp sugar and a pinch of black pepper in a blender. Add ¾ cup of reduced-fat sour cream and ½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise and process until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

 

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