Super Foods for a Healthy Christmas Dinner!

By on December 16, 2013






We all love the good old traditional Christmas day dinner – you can’t deny that. However, there is nothing to say that you can’t liven things up a little bit from time to time, especially if you could be adding flavour while taking away the calorie content… Aren’t you intrigued now?

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There are a few foods out there that are well known to be super foods. They are classed as super foods because of their high nutritional content and the fact that they all contain powerful antioxidants that could even help you to reduce your chances of getting cancer and other potentially fatal conditions. Wouldn’t you liven up your Christmas day dinner if it meant your entire family being a bit healthier?

Salmon

Salmon is something that can turn up on the Christmas day table but normally in buffet style with the form of smoked salmon slithers. Salmon contains a ridiculously high amount of protein which we all know is good for rebuilding the cells in the body. With just 4 ounces of salmon, you could crank your daily total of protein up to almost 60%. Not just good for rebuilding cells, protein is good to encourage the metabolism to increase weight loss. You’ll feel fuller for longer which means you are likely to ingest FEWER calories, and it’s tasty too!

Although you wouldn’t normally think about incorporating salmon into your Christmas day dinner, there are a few ways that you can manage it. For example, you could swap the prawn cocktail starter for a salmon and spinach warm salad?

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Spinach is actually another super food so this will kill two birds with one stone and we will talk about that in a moment. Back to the salad and you need just a handful of ingredients for this tasty delight. You’ll get the good mono-saturates fats from the extra virgin olive oil that you’ll need, and with a pinch of salt and pepper, a couple of handfuls of roasted pine nuts, 450g of fresh spinach and 300g of fresh salmon, you’ll have a great and unique starter created in no time.

Spinach

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We’ve already discussed the idea of spinach being a super food and you’ll understand why in just a moment….

Fresh spinach iin a wooden bowl on a cutting board

There are very few calories in spinach. There are however, plenty of vitamins including vitamins A & K, vitamin C, iron, and once again, plenty of antioxidants and properties that have suggested reducing the risks of dementia and similar medical conditions. The vitamins in spinach not only help your brain as you get older but also keeps you looking more youthful for longer. The vitamin C is especially good for this!

The good thing about spinach is that you can use it in any way that you would normally use lettuce in a salad. We’ve already broached the idea of a spinach and salmon salad starter for Christmas day, but you could also use this in your actual Christmas day dinner. Leafy greens are very good for you during the winter months, and spinach is just one of the ones that you will find in abundance. You could consider making something like a spinach and tortellini Christmas soup for your starter on the big day, and it is actually one of the simplest and healthiest things to make. It’ll take around 25 minutes from start to finish but you don’t need a great deal of ingredients:

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  • 2 cans of vegetable broth or stock 
  • A packet of tortellini (around 9 ounces)
  • 15 ounces of kidney or cannellini beans
  • Chopped and diced Italian tomatoes (or one can of) – this can be adjusted to your taste
  • Fresh spinach 
  • Basil, salt, pepper, shredded Asiago cheese

Making the soup is so simple – you get yourself the biggest saucepan you can find in your kitchen and throw in the broth which should be bought to the boil. Throw in the tomatoes, the beans and some salt and pepper and let it simmer for a few minutes. Chuck in the tortellini and let it cook for about 4 or 5 minutes and then add the spinach which should be cooked until wilted. Each bowl can be then topped with the cheese and you have yourself a very simple and very effect Christmas day starter that is packed with the good stuff. Again, the tomatoes in this recipe brings us nicely to the next super food!

Tomatoes

This fruit is so good for you and for so many different reasons. There have been studies performed by the guys at Tianjin Medical University that showed those eating tomatoes between 2 and 6 times per week were 50% less likely to suffer with depression. The first super power this super food seems to have is making you happy and at this particularly stressful time of year, you need all the help you can get, right?

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Not just good for lowering the chances of you suffering with depression, tomatoes can also help you to lower your risks of getting certain cancers, heart attacks and much more. It would be very safe to say that these foods are very good for you.

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If you want to incorporate tomatoes into your Christmas day dinner, why not try one of these great dishes:

Tomato and Basil Salad Starter:

This fabulous starter is great for those that don’t fancy the spinach and salmon salad! You need a few different varieties of tomatoes chopped down so that they look good, a few fresh basil leaves, bread that you can make into croutons (or a bag of croutons if you are lady like us!), some parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. You’ve probably got some of these things in your house already, right?

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You could even try your hands at large tomatoes stuffed with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and you can even use it to make a slightly healthier Bloody Mary cocktail! Easier than you thought – right?

So there you have them – easy and healthy changes that you can make to your Christmas day dinner to bring it into our modern homes. Healthy, disease-preventing and incredibly tasty… what more could you possibly want?

**Delicious food pics found on Pinterest.com