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Prepare for the Holidays: Healthy Recipes and Cooking Tips

Posted on December 23rd, 2019
Prepare for the Holidays With These Healthy Recipes

It’s that time of year when you have to start thinking about your holiday menu. It can be stressful cooking for your family over the break, especially if you have visitors coming to stay. Consider dividing the cooking between your loved ones and creating a schedule. We’ve compiled some warm holiday recipes and convenient cooking hacks to make this season delicious and stress free.

It can be tempting to order out, and while that may work for a day or two, sometimes it’s nice to cook up a healthy meal everyone can enjoy. Here are our suggestions for eye healthy recipes over the holidays and cooking tips you can utilize to make cooking this year a breeze!

Holiday Recipes

Flavourful Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese

This recipe will fill your home with a nutty and warm aroma that will surely be a feel-good hit at any dinner party. Butternut squash gets its orange tint from beta carotene, rich in Vitamin A. This helps promote healthy vision by helping your eyes adjust to low levels of light. Try this recipe for a tasty twist on a classic winter vegetable, that also promotes your eye health. 

Ingredients

2 medium sized butternut squash

100g goat cheese

1/2 cup crushed pistachios

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions

Set your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and dice all your butternut squash. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Toss the squash in olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft. Let cool outside of the oven, then toss in lemon juice, chopped rosemary and crushed pistachios.

Cooking tip: Ask another family member to help peel and cut the squash! This is the most time-consuming part and having a helping hand at this stage will make the recipe go 2 times faster.

Creamy Pea Soup

We’re never too young or old for mushy peas — a true comfort food! Peas are also packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C, which in combination with each other are healthy for our eyes and could reduce the risk of vision loss. This recipe will warm you up on a cold day and could easily be multiplied to serve a large group.

Ingredients

2 cups of green peas

Half a yellow onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Sauté chopped onion and minced garlic with salt and pepper and olive oil. Peel and boil the potatoes in chicken broth (or vegetarian broth for a veggie friendly option). Once soft, add the peas and sautéed mixture. Let simmer for 5-8 minutes until all ingredients are soft. Let the mixture cool off the stove. Pour cool mixture into a blender (or use hand emulsifier) and blend until all is incorporated. Add more chicken broth if mixture is too thick. Pour the soup back into the pot and heat until warmed throughout.

Cooking tip: For a fun flourish, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to each bowl of soup to add extra creaminess and present a fancy plate to guests.

Spicy Carrot Noodles

Carrots are of course, very healthy for the eyes! Like squash, they are rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants that will help promote healthy vision. They also contain lutein, which may also prevent vision damage related to AMD (age-related macular degeneration). This recipe packs a punch, both in terms of nutrients and flavour!

Ingredients

8 peeled carrots

½ tablespoon chili flakes

½ cup peanuts

1 cup broccolini

½ yellow onion

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

Peel all the carrots into ribbons. Sauté onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once browned add roughly chopped broccolini and the carrot ribbons. Add chili flakes and peanuts. Take off the heat and toss with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking tip: If you can get your hands on a pomegranate, add a sparkle to this dish with a sprinkle of these red jewels for a holiday finish.

Cooking Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

  1. Give your family roles for how they can each help prepare a meal so you can stay organized when making your family feast.
  2. Make big portions! If you’ve got an entourage of people coming over, make a large meal that you can save to have the next day. That way, your efforts can be minimized. Make a fun competition between family members and see who can make the best dish with the leftovers in the fridge!
  3. Turn on the kitchen fan. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the excitement of making something new. Air circulation will ensure your home doesn’t smell like onions the whole week!
  4. Freeze. Want to save a snack for later? The freezer is your friend. Especially for soups or stews, you can easily set aside individual portions in the freezer for a later date.
  5. Dry out your herbs to prolong their use. You may not need all the rosemary you bought at the store. Microwave it in 15 second intervals and once it’s dry, crush it up for later.

We hope you enjoy these eye healthy holiday recipes and cooking hacks! Whether you have to cook for four or a dozen, these meals can come in handy this break to feed all your hungry family members. For more dishes that target eye health, visit our recipes page on our blog.

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