And our healthy Christmas theme goes on. When I say Christmas, I’m thinking about all the festive meals that we may have with family and friends during this time of the year.
Healthy Christmas Recipe:
A salad that is easy to make but still special and tasty
Among my healthy Christmas recipes, a colorful salad is an absolute must, to freshen up your holidays’ dinners and helping to balance things on the nutrition front.
If on one hand, we want special recipes that show our appreciation for the company, on the other hand, we also need a few convenient and quick to prepare recipes, that will add variety and color to our tables but will not take hours to prepare.
At least that’s how I run: I save my time for a few dishes and choose others that are assembled fast. Every market nowadays has an array of pre-washed and mixed salads that are the perfect example of what I’m saying here. Not the most sustainable solution? I know… But this is a special occasion. And, at least where I live, there are a few leaves that you can only find on sale in this form. It’s the case of lamb’s lettuce, baby kale, and those cute purple mustard leaves.
These salad mixes are life-saving for the time constrained and I suggest you keep experimenting, to decide which ones you prefer.
For larger parties, I usually buy two or three different kinds and mix them in large salad bowls. I then add seeds, nuts and even fresh fruit, and season it with one of my favorite sauces.
I am a fan of citrus fruits in salads. A long time ago I found a Nigella recipe that added lemon – the actual fruit – to a spinach salad and I enjoyed that so much that I kept experimenting with different mixes.
Today, I’ve chosen clementine!
Sweet delicious clementines
I really like clementines, this fruit reminds me of my childhood and how happy I was to find these little flavor bombs, so sweet and with no pips in sight! It was not easy to find pip-free fruit in those days. We were very far from imagining pip-free grapes or watermelon…
Here, clementines show up twice: the fruit is added to the salad leaves and the juice has the lead part in a festive vinaigrette.
Pistachio: an exotic and nutritious touch
When I have pistachios I travel mentally, to far-off places – exotic, romantic and colorful places. Unfortunately today most of them live truly dramatic situations and cannot be visited, but one can always dream…
I’d suggest you try and find raw unsalted pistachio, and toasted them yourself. However, if you can’t, just get the toasted salted bar variety and do the following: peel the pistachios, place them on a clean and dry kitchen towel, in a single layer; fold the towel on the pistachios and rub them softly to remove a bit of the salt.
When I was writing this recipe I researched on its nutritional composition and I was positively surprised: they have about 20% protein, zero cholesterol, and as minerals, they bring calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Obviously, as with all other nuts, about half their weight is fat.
Read more about pistachio’s nutrition facts HERE.
Now, the recipe for a healthy Christmas dinner:
Green Salad with Pistachio and Clementines
Serves 8 as a side
- 300g mixed green salad leaves
- 2 clementines
- Half a cup raw unsalted pistachios
- For the dressing
- 2 tbsp clementine juice (freshly pressed)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider or white wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Sal and black pepper
Prepare the salad:
Heat a non-stick pan on the stove.
Add the pistachios, without greasing the pan.
Shake the pan regularly so the pistachios toast uniformly.
When you feel that nice toasty scent, they are done. It should take you about 5 minutes, give or take.
Transfer to a cold plate and let them cool.
After they cooled, break them up with a sharp knife; you want irregular visible bits, for an interesting texture.
If you bought the salty snack-type pistachios, see the intro of this post for my suggestion on how to deal with them. Then break them as I’ve just described.
Peel the clementines and separate the segments.
With a small sharp knife peel each segment as much as possible. Then, cut each one in two and set it aside.
Prepare the dressing:
Assemble all the ingredients in a glass jar, close it well and shake until you see all the ingredients coming together.
Alternatively, you can do this in a bowl and use a whisk or a fork to combine.
Arrange the salad leaves in two large bowls.
Take half the clementine segments, divide among the two bowls and mix gently.
Season each bowl with 3 to 4 tbsp of the dressing, and mix again, carefully.
Arrange the remaining clementine segments on the leaves, in each bowl.
Distribute the pistachios over the salad and clementine.
Drizzle each bowl with the remaining dressing.
Don’t mix again, you want all the ingredients and textures to be visible, it makes the dish more appealing.
Assemble the salad only when you’re about to eat, otherwise, the salad will wilt in the dressing – not nice at all 😉
Other healthy recipes for your Christmas dinner: