Prioritize Plants For Healthy Holiday Cooking

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(Editor’s note: The Nutrition Source of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently published an article on plans for healthy cooking. It is reprinted here. To read the original article, please click here.)

We created five nourishing dishes that add up to one healthy holiday meal, bursting with delicious flavor. Wow your guests with the variety of colors and flavors, all while serving them nutritious, vegetable-filled fare with minimal meat – better for both you and the environment.

You can cook all of the recipes, or pick just a few. These recipes can also be made in advance, helping to make your holidays less hectic.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This dish makes a beautiful centerpiece, with its top layer of bright, orange sweet potatoes. The filling of chickpeas and vegetables gives the pie a nice “bite,” making this recipe a top contender for any holiday gathering.

Three-Green & Wheat Berry Salad with Mushroom Bacon

Three-Green & Wheat Berry Salad with Mushroom Bacon

Skip processed meats and try our mushroom “bacon,” used here in combination with three different types of greens and wheat berries. This tasty salad is sure to go fast, so you may even want to double the recipe!

Olive Oil Dressing with Chicken & Walnuts

Olive Oil Dressing with Chicken & Walnuts

We show how to use meat as a condiment in this recipe, which also includes olive oil – no butter – and whole wheat bread. Walnuts, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, give the dish a subtle, nutty flavor and delightful texture.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Using a vegetable stock as the base, this hearty golden soup is flavor-filled with leeks, parsley, and thyme, topped with a balsamic glaze and roasted pumpkin seeds. It’s surprisingly light yet satiating at the same time.

Quick-Pickled Beets & Fennel

Quick-Pickled Beets & Fennel

Add a burst of color to your tabletop with bright beets and crisp fennel. An easy recipe that you can prepare in advance, this recipe shows another way to prepare veggies – no oven required!

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