gift guide: the healthy foodie

In the last few days, I’ve managed to just about finish up my Christmas shopping. We spent the evening at The Grove (an outdoor mall in LA) and it’s one of my favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit – and for reasons that go far beyond the shopping. The whole mall is decked with decorations, there are live musicians playing holiday favorites and lots of little kids waiting in line (and a lot of pets?!) to get their picture taken with Santa. And fake snow! It’s quite magical.

Are you still shopping? If so, I’ve got a few gift ideas for your favorite healthy foodie!

 

waldorf salad

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

I love this time of year. The lights, the cheer – everyone seems so happy! And I can’t forget the constant stream of sweet treats. I don’t know about your office, but between the gift sweets and homemade sweets, it’s hard to stay away from the kitchen. And then there’s my own kitchen…which has seen its own constant stream of sweet treats lately. Dessert > Wine. (Only while pregnant.)

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But with all of the extra treats, it’s also a time of year when cutting back elsewhere needs to happen. Cookies > Other Carbs.

It’s not something that I actively keep track of, or even stress out about, but I make sure that salads are a staple for lunch and dinners are built around protein and vegetables. For me, it feels easy (and honestly, salads at lunch are the norm) but painless. I still get to enjoy the treats and while I’ll be gaining weight this year no matter what, at a minimum, I can feel good about fitting in some nutritious foods into each day.

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But it’s not the time to cut-back too much – meals still need to be filling! This salad, though pretty light in calories, still packs a protein and fiber punch, and it will keep you satisfied until your cookie snack! :)

Need more convincing? This salad is:

  • high in protein (32 grams!)
  • full of fresh produce (crunchy romaine and celery + sweet apples!)
  • healthy fats from almonds
  • light and tasty yogurt-based dressing

Enjoy every cookie. And every salad!

Waldorf Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-lb chicken breasts
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through.
  2. Let cool and thinly slice. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, yogurt and mayonnaise.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
  5. Layer lettuce, celery, chicken, apples and almonds on each plate.
  6. Drizzle with dressing.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 19 grams Sugar: 12 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 32 grams

How do you balance things this time of year?  

recommended reading

Recommended Reading | anutritionisteats.com

Are your weekends filled with shopping and baking? We spent the day (seriously) at Ikea yesterday so technically we were shopping, but unfortunately it was not for holiday gifts! Our new apartment is lacking (understatement of the year) storage space so figuring out how we can fit everything into our place has been challenging to say the least. I *think* we’ve come up with some good solutions, though Richie might be putting together Ikea stuff until 2016.

recommended reading:

I’m determined to bake at least one cookie this year, but I have no idea what yet! I know most people stick with their family tradition cookies, but if you need some inspiration, check out 32 Cookie Recipes for Holidays and More from Bon Appétit. (And if you have a favorite, link below, I’d love to see what you are baking!)

If your holiday brunches include a bit of booze, please drink some of this Breakfast Sangria for me!

10 Ingredients Food-Lovers Never Buy for Themselves is a great place to gather some gift-inspiration if you have any food-lovers on your list. Olive oil caviar?! FUN!

I desperately want a house – even a tiny one! 27 Modern and Minimalist Prefab Homes may not have the washer and dryer I dream of but I’d happily move into any of these.

And finally, How to Eat Healthy: 5 Easy New Tips From Research breaks down food psychology research into simple tips that will have you eating better without much effort. It’s worth a read!

What did you read this week? Share below!

 

charred triple-onion dip with crudités

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

You know what every holiday party needs? A beautiful platter of vegetables served alongside a delicious dip.

But not just any ranch dip served with baby carrots. Oh. No.

A dip full-of-flavor and vegetables that are anything but expected. Like where I’m going here?

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

I took three types of onions: green, leeks and shallots. I charred them in the broiler. And then I turned them into a delicious dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Instead of serving it with the usual carrots, celery and pepper strips, I served it with baby boiled potatoes, mini romaine leaves, roasted brussels sprouts and fresh carrots with tops. (Technically speaking, crudités are raw vegetables, but there’s no need to get technical today.)

It was a welcome change. Other unexpected crudité ideas: roasted cauliflower or winter squash slices, thinly sliced beets or fennel, lightly steamed broccolini or haricot verts and any baby lettuce that’s sturdy enough to stand up to a dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

If you are trying to eat more vegetables (who isn’t!?) try this dip. It’s reminiscent of the classic onion dip, but it’s made from real onions (not dehydrated ones) and the flavor will have you grabbing for vegetables like you never thought was possible!

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités
 
Author:
Serves: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 small leeks, cleaned and cut lengthwise
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 small bunch of green onions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • few drops of worcestershire
  • salt & pepper
  • crudités for serving
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat broiler.
  2. Drizzle leeks, shallots and onions with olive oil.
  3. Broil for about 10 minutes, until slightly charred.
  4. Let cool a bit and chop all onions, removing roots of green onion.
  5. Stir together remaining ingredients and let chill for at least two hours before serving.