Christmas Food for your Christmas Holiday in Truckee can be fun, easy, and healthy!
My sister, Kerry Bacon, who has a Science degree in Dietetics, and has created a website called "Healthy Diet Habits", helped write this section on tips to prepare a Healthy Holiday Meal!
Vegetable Tree made and photographed by Leigh Storz, owner of truckee-travel-guide.com
I used broccoli, cherry tomatoes, blueberries for ornaments, and the end of a yellow bell pepper for the star. The tree trunk was made with whole wheat stick pretzels, and I put some broccoli and heart of palm at the bottom of the tree. You can customize this, with veggies that you love. I saw a version of this with a combination of cheeses and vegetables that was great too!
There are so many questions that can run though your mind before this special day, that it is easy to become overwhelmed! By the time Christmas
rolls around, you sometimes dread the day. Too much work and possible disappointment! So much food to prepare too and unending dishes to wash! The operative words here are to simplify, and delegate!
Some of the questions that you'll ask yourself are:
- Will we cook at home or will we hire a Truckee Caterer to help if we are having lots of people?
- Will we skip cooking and go out for to one of the Truckee Restaurants that are serving dinner, or drive to Reno to go to one of the awesome Reno buffets?
- How many different cookies and sweets are you going to bake this year?
- Should you do ham or turkey for dinner, or what will you serve if you have Vegan or Vegetarian eaters in the family?
- Should you bother getting out your china for the holidays, when you have to hand-wash them?
- Which home-made gifts should you prepare this year? Gag gifts, or useful ones or edible treats like granola or jams?
- Will you buy or make your table centerpiece?
- Will you make hot apple cider and will you serve wine with dinner?
- Will you invite just your family, or include friends that might not have family nearby to go to?
Christmas Food Tips
Here are a few healthy diet habits to help simplify your mealtimes:
- Figure out all of your meals way beforehand and delegate! My son has been working at Trader Joe’s for his college years. For the past few years, he buys our Christmas Eve meal. We just do finger foods and it is very fun. He gathers a variety of things we have never tried and we splurge. I provide a few veggies for dipping and he does the rest. It is so helpful and we have found many new love foods! It is simple. We do not do fancy serving dishes, just serve from the wrappers. It’s a new tradition we love and it’s his deal totally, and a great help to me. In Truckee, there are some great Grocery Stores that would have some great items to try!
- Prepare all Christmas meal items beforehand and keep it simple! This is not the time to try out fancy new dishes and show off. Keep it simple and use your favorite stand by easy dishes. You can’t go wrong with a ham, baked potatoes, salad, fresh green beans and a pie, a Costco pie will do too! It is easy, delicious, and will allow you time to enjoy the day. If you decide on Turkey, dressing, and gravy, there is no reason why you can't fix everything the day before and just warm it up, so you can enjoy the day.
- A big fruit and veggie platter made ahead of time can be enjoyed with your meal. Bell peppers with the insides scooped out, make great dip holders for hummus, or your favorite vegetable dip. (Red and Green one's look festive for Christmas) A cup of yogurt mixed with an equal amount of Cool Whip Free makes a great dip for your fruit! Throw whatever fruits and veggies you love on a platter, trying not to put similar colors next to each other. Small items like pomegranate seeds can be put in small dishes on the tray, along with nuts such as almonds or sunflowers seeds. Items such as olives or blueberries, are great to just sprinkle around the tray once you are done arranging your other items.
Fruit and Vegetable Tray made and photographed by Leigh Storz, owner of truckee-travel-guide.com
- Prepare your breakfast meal the night before. We usually buy frozen chocolate croissants, and I set them to rise the night before, and prepare an egg bake that is simple. I simply stick them both in the oven while we are opening gifts and we have tantalizing smells coming from the kitchen. Delish and no slaving away! It’s my day too!
- Skip lunch and have an early dinner. If anyone can’t wait, they can dig into the leftover Christmas Eve goodies, but they must clean up their mess!
Keep it simple is the lifestyle solution that you want to adopt. This is a holiday about celebration, whatever your religious beliefs! Celebrate and enjoy the day with your family. Develop easier traditions and ones that actually mean something! Last year my friend and her family prepared 30 gift bags full of a McDonald’s $10 coupon, socks, toiletries, and candy, and handed them out to homeless men in Seattle! It changed their Christmas and was their favorite memory! Look for those activities and be surprised when the day looks a whole lot brighter!
See Healthy Holiday Tips for some additional great tips related to food, habits, and coping for the 2012 holiday season!
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