The holidays are right around the corner! The dinner table might look a little different this year, just like last, but this year’s meal just got a whole lot tastier. When the holidays roll around, it is common for people to pull out their stretchy pants, accept the classic holiday weight gain and start to feel a little stressed. Let’s make this year the healthiest and happiest one yet! In today’s blog, we’re going to be sharing our favourite tips for sneaking in extra vegetables into your meals this season.
Tip #1: Start with an Appetizer:
You might think this tip is counterintuitive when it comes to maintaining your weight over the holidays, but hear us out! Most meals start with finger foods, an appetizer or some sort of starter such as a salad or soup. This year, dish up a warm and cozy bow of soupl from La Dee Da’s new line of gourmet soups! Choose from Vegan Spicy Moroccan Lentil Soup, Vegan Spicy Thai Green Goddess, Vegan Black Garlic Cauliflower and Ginger Carrot or Vegan Sweet Potato Minestrone Soup. All of which are plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free and free of nightshades. In other words, these soups are the perfect dish to serve everyone at your table! Starting with a nutrient-dense soup gives you the nutrients that your favourite holiday dishes likely lack, cleanses your palate and allows you to choose the healthiest options afterwards as it is made with real ingredients and takes up space in your stomach, limiting the amount of food you will eat following. Now before you worry about having enough room for the rest of the meal, you will, you’ll just be eating more of the good stuff and less of the triple buttered turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy!
Tip #2: Serve a Dips / Sharable Platter
Most holiday parties have a snacking platter, charcuterie board or a dip and chip spread. Elevate your offerings this holiday season by creating a superfood snack spread for your family and guests. Pair our Twelve Veggie Tomato Sauce with shrimp for a delicious shrimp cocktail offering or use it as a healthy salsa for dipping with chips. Looking for something a little cozier? Bake a round of brie and pour our Savoury Mushroom and Basil Sauce on top and serve it with your favourite plant-based crackers. This pairing is the perfect complement of savoury and salty without the added sugar from typical fruit or jam spreads that accompany brie.
Tip #3: Save the Gravy, Sub in Sauce!
If you live for the gravy at your holiday dinners, this tip might go right over your head, but hear us out. Gravy is simply leftover cooking juices, flour, butter and salt. What if this year, you offered your guests four different sauces to pair their turkey, ham or chicken with? The combinations are endless and there is something for everyone to choose from. The Savoury Mushroom and Basil Sauce and Cauliflower Alfredo both pair perfectly with turkey and chicken. The Twelve Vegetable and Butternut Squash Beet Sauce are delicious paired with seafood such as salmon or shrimp. You can even go crazy and mix and match your sauces. Try one or try them all, it’s your dinner plate this holiday season!
Tip #4: Add a Side of Vegetables
This tip has less to do with soups or sauces and more to do with simply adding more vegetables in general to your meal and appetizer. Pair a light salad with your soup to start or add a side of chopped carrots, celery and peppers to your charcuterie or brie wheel. Simply having the offering there allows others to cleanse their palate, eat something that isn’t cheese, nuts or deep-fried and offers them an abundance of vitamins and minerals. For the main course, roast a tray of vegetables with a touch of coconut oil and sea salt to pair with your protein and starch. Do your best to eat your vegetables before your starch, such as potatoes, stuffing and/or grains, and you’ll fill up a little faster allowing for less room for the higher calorie items.
Tip #5: Make a Vegetarian Offering
Most dinner tables in North America will have a turkey, ham, chicken or roast of some kind around the holidays. This year, try offering a vegetarian dish in addition to your meaty main. Ratatouille or a vegetable lasagna tastes delicious when crafted with La Dee Da Twelve Veggie Sauce. Make a single or double batch and eat the leftover over the next few days to give your body an opportunity to reset after all of the food, treats and alcohol!