Give healthy, vibrant vegetables a seat at the holiday table and park your feelings of guilt and overindulgence at the door. We’ve wrestled up a few quick, easy dishes that are as healthy and festive as they are delicious (without overwhelming ingredient lists). Whether you serve them for a big family feast or something more intimate, each recipe stores well as leftovers, so you can have mindful meals all season long!
Lacinato Kale & Pecorino Salad
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Scant 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons tahini
- Honey, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 1 bunch of lacinato kale, finely shredded
- 12 Brussels sprouts, finely shredded
- 3 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and sliced
- 20 large green olives, pitted and sliced
- 2/3 cup shredded pecorino cheese
First, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the shallot with the lemon juice and allow to sit for 5–10 minutes before whisking in the olive oil, tahini, honey and salt. Next, pull together the salad. Toss the kale, sprouts and green onions with the dressing. Mix well, preferably with your hands and then allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add the pecans, olives and pecorino, and gently toss once more before serving topped with chopped herbs and/or herb blossoms.
Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1 cup
Per serving: Calories: 312; Total Fat: 30g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 7mg; Sodium: 323mg; Carbohydrate: 8g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 5g
Roasted Pumpkin & Coconut Soup with Turmeric & Ginger
- 2 acorn squash, pumpkins or other small winter squash
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 teaspoon red Thai curry paste, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt, or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, fresh can also be used
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F and place the racks in the middle.
Carefully cut each squash or pumpkin into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece with butter or olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin side down and pop it in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.
When the pumpkin/squash are cool enough to handle, you’re ready to make soup. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add the onion and a drizzle of olive oil, sauteéing until the onion is translucent. Then, scoop the pumpkin flesh into the pot and stir. Add the coconut milk, curry paste and spices, bring to a simmer. Once the mixture is simmering, remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water, one cup at a time, pureeing between additions until the soup consistency is to your liking — a light vegetable stock also works well. Bring up to a simmer again and add the salt (and more curry paste or spices if you like, I used just shy of 6 teaspoons, but the curry paste I use is not over-the-top spicy). Top with toasted pepitas, fresh herbs or croutons.
Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1 cup
Per serving: Calories: 125; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 38mg; Carbohydrate: 16g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 1g
Carrot & Ricotta Tart
- 2 cups ricotta
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 4 large carrots (about 8 ounces), scrubbed, thinly sliced into coins
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons small dill sprigs
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Whisk ricotta and cream in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook, tossing occasionally, 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Lightly roll out pastry on parchment paper to smooth out creases. Using the paper, transfer to a baking sheet. Lightly score a 1-inch border around the pastry. Brush with egg; bake until golden and slightly puffed, 10–15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and spread ricotta mixture over pastry, staying within border. Scatter reserved onion and carrots over the top. Bake until carrots are tender, onion is starting to caramelize and pastry is golden brown and baked through, 30–35 minutes. Let cool.
Just before serving, toss herbs and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Scatter over tart.
Do ahead: Tart can be baked 6 hours ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
Serves: 12 | Serving Size: 1/12 recipe
Per serving: Calories: 285; Total Fat: 20g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 42mg; Sodium: 190mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 10g