A Green Christmas

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How about a green alternative to keep your body healthy this festive season?

It’s that time of the year again. The season of merrymaking, gift-giving and indulging on sinful Christmas delights.

With all the hype and merriment this Christmas, you might be soaking up all the extra carbohydrates you normally wouldn’t touch.

I mean, who could turn down that delectable, dark chocolate log cake?

But don’t be too hard on yourself; Christmas is only once a year, so make the best of this season to catch up and bond with family and friends, and also introduce a healthy alternative to them.

A little green

It is understandable to succumb to the temptations of the festive season. With the typical fare of roast beef, ham, he countless log cakes and wine for accompaniment served up at almost every home you visit.

But who says Christmas can’t be healthy?

You can alter your typical Christmas menu and go for ‘greener’ alternative, salads. These fascinating salads are fuss-free, great-tasting and best of all, centre on the festive theme.

Here are some healthy festive salad recipes that you can try.

Simple Cranberry Spinach Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 packet fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

(For the dressing)

  • ⅓ cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  1. Wash and drain the fresh baby spinach. Tear into smaller pieces if preferred.
  2. In the bowl, combine the spinach and cranberries.
  3. In a separate dish, mix together the Olive Oil, Balsamic vinegar, sour cream and Dijon mustard.
  4. Drizzle over the salad and sprinkle the toasted pecan pieces; serve immediately.

This salad of dark leafy greens and pecan nuts are rich in Omega-3 – a great way to keep your skin healthy and supple as Omega-3 aids in the growth of healthy cells. A touch of red is given with the dried cranberries which are rich in antioxidants. This is a great Christmas salad; don’t they look like baubles on the nest of green from the Christmas tree?

Christmas Snow Salad (serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 packet of fresh arugula (rocket leaves)
  • 1 apple
  • ½ cup of walnuts
  • Parmesan cheese, shaven
  • Salt and Pepper

(For the dressing)

  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  1. Wash and dry the baby spinach and arugula leaves.
  2. Cut the apple into four quarters and then finely slice.
  3. Combine the baby spinach, arugula, apples and walnuts.
  4. To make the dressing, mix the Olive Oil and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese as desired.
  6. Toss and serve – don’t forget the salt and pepper to taste

The apple slices and shaven parmesan create the idea of snow falling on a bed of green. This salad is light and crisp with sourness from the apple. The shaven parmesan lends a heavier taste to the salad without it being too overwhelming.

Tomato and Prosciutto Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 packet of arugula leaves
  • 100g of Prosciutto (Parma Ham)
  • Handful of black olives, pitted and sliced into half
  • Parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper

(For the dressing)

  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

(Additional)

  • Toasted baguette
  1. Lay out the halved cherry tomatoes on a piece of foil, and sprinkle over lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes soften. Leave to cool.
  2. Wash and dry the arugula leaves
  3. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the dressing. Mix well.
  4. On a plate, layout some arugula leaves, cherry tomatoes, Prosciutto and olives – do this for the four portions.
  5. Drizzle over with the dressing, and sprinkle the parsley to garnish. Serve with toasted baguette.

What’s Christmas without the ham? This salad is a salty and tangy one, much unlike the other two. For those who want a healthy accompaniment for their glass of wine, this is the salad to go with it.

These salads are quick and easy to prepare. Bring them to Christmas gatherings, or even serve them while you have guests over. Give your loved ones the gift of health this Christmas!