The Ultimate (Healthy) Christmas Day Feast

by Danielle Omar, MS, RD

Holiday dinners are all about pomp and circumstance at our house. We eat in our formal dining room (which is a rare treat), break out the fancy china, use decorative cloth napkins, and drink from sophisticated stemware.

I love to set the table the night before the big meal. For me, this part of the holiday preparation is the most fun. Dressing up my table sets a fancy tone for the meal, no matter what I’m serving. While setting the table I might also fantasize about how the meal is going to go down. Everyone seated in perfect time, no dishes sitting cold on the table waiting for another dish to finish cooking. Nothing is burnt, overcooked, underdone, or just yucky. I like to call this time “the calm before the storm.”

This little fantasy plays out while menu planning, too. How fun is it to carefully craft a perfectly balanced menu? I love choosing healthy dishes and pairing up recipes to create the perfect dinner flow. When creating my ultimate healthy holiday feast, I always seek the know-how of my dietitian friends. Using their recipes gives me peace of mind that my dinner is not only going to be delicious, but healthy, too.

Here’s the menu:


We start with a prosecco cocktail, of course. Prosecco is my appetizer drink of choice and //">Marisa’s Pear Prosecco screams holiday.


If not prosecco, I might go with //">The Spicy RD’s Triple Citrus Pomegranate Rosemary Margarita. The perfect cocktail hour or after dinner drink; I am in love with this combination.

Next up is the appetizer. I’ve learned my lesson to keep the apps light. No sense spoiling everyone’s appetite with super heavy Hors d'oeuvres.


//">Karman’s Beef Tenderloin and Fig Crostini are a hit with my meat eating crew.


And my very own //">Pomegranate Avocado Guacamole is always a win. I serve it with crudité for a lighter touch.


Next up is the salad course. I adore salad and it plays a starring role in my menu. To jazz up the table I love //">Deanna’s Red and Green Holiday Salad with a Honey Vinaigrette.


For a veggie-based option I always turn to my //">Cauliflower and Fennel Salad with Green Apple. Both are gorgeous on the table and taste amazing.

Speaking of veggies, a few fabulous side dishes are always in order. I like to include two vegetable dishes, in addition to the salad. I’m not a meat eater so I tend to go overboard on the veggies.


MJ makes the most beautiful food and this //">Miso and Pumpkin Spiced Roasted Kabocha Squash does not disappoint.


My //">Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Avocado Cream is also super tasty and sure to please.


Since I cater to my own tastes for most of this feast, the main course is all about my husband. My genius friend //">Gretchen’s Slow Braised Lamb Shank is not only a gorgeous main course, but it’s a restaurant-worthy recipe. My husband will be singing my praises when he gets a taste of this lamb.


Dessert is always a light bite after a big dinner meal. Kyle’s //">Turmeric Spiced Mocha Hot Chocolate is the perfect reward, best sipped slowly while cuddled up by the fireplace.


For something a bit colder my totally craveable //">wild blueberry no-bake mini cheesecakes are the perfect ending to this healthy holiday meal.

So, that’s my healthy holiday feast for this Christmas. What are some recipes you have in mind?