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30 Recipes for a Healthy Christmas Dinner

From appetizers to desserts, here are plenty of healthy Christmas recipes everyone can appreciate.

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Italian Artichoke-Green Bean Casserole

My mother and I made a few small changes to a recipe we found in a cookbook to create this comforting side dish. We increased the vegetable count and tossed in some seasonings to take the flavor up a notch. It's definitely not your average green bean casserole. —Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana
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Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

There's plenty of both crunch and cream in these party appetizers. Fresh chives help them really stand out. —Jean McKenzie, Vancouver, Washington
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Roasted Herbed Squash with Goat Cheese

Cooking is a hobby I'm so happy to share with my toddler. She (and all our Christmas Eve party guests) heartily approved of this new potluck favorite. Any type of winter squash works here. —Lindsay Oberhausen, Lexington, Kentucky
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Savory Pork Roast

I love this herbed roast so much that I make it as often as I can. It's wonderful for special occasions, particularly when served with sweet potatoes and corn muffins. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Cranberry-Pecan Wheat Berry Salad

I love to experiment with different grains and wanted to give wheat berries a try. My whole family goes nuts for this salad, especially my mom. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
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Appetizer Wreath

I have lots of fun with this festive appetizer wreath. I often place a bowl of stuffed olives in the center. —Shirley Privratsky, Dickinson, North Dakota
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Feta Bruschetta

You won't believe the compliments you'll receive when you greet guests with these warm appetizers. Every crispy bite offers the savory tastes of feta cheese, tomatoes, basil and garlic. They're terrific for holiday parties or most any gathering. —Stacey Rinehart, Eugene, Oregon
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Italian Meatball Kabobs

When the temperatures are high, and so is your craving for Italian fare, turn to these deliciously different kabobs. A green salad and rustic bread are all you'll need to complete this summer meal. —Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan
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Christmas Cheese Balls

Christmas at our house just wouldn't be complete without these rich cheese balls. Friends and family ask for them every year-and I can make three gifts from just one recipe. —Margie Cadwell, Eastman, Georgia
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Seven-Layer Mediterranean Dip

Seven-Layer Mediterranean Dip

I like traditional seven-layer Mexican dip, but I love Mediterranean ingredients even more. When I made this mashup, my husband wolfed it down. And he won’t even touch hummus or Greek olives on their own! —Bee Engelhart, Bloomfield Township, Michigan
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Spicy Shrimp & Crab Cocktail

This seafood starter is so good that it makes me love a food I usually don't—radishes! This recipe also calls for spicy V8, but Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix works just as well. Serve the cocktail straight up, with tortilla chips or on a bed of butter lettuce. —Heidi Knaak, Liberty, Missouri
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Garden Veggie Lasagna

Stroll the farmers market and you'll find veggies and cheeses you might not know what to do with. Why not pull them together in one harmonious bunch and make this go-to lasagna when you crave a twist on an Italian favorite? —Samantha Neal, Morgantown, West Virginia
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Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York
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Flavorful White Chicken Chili

Lime, cumin and cilantro really create a burst of flavor in this chicken chili. It's a healthier alternative to traditional chili, but is absolutely delicious. —Donna Lindecamp, Morganton, North Carolina
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Herb-Buttered Baby Carrots

The herb butter can be used for everything from vegetables to roast chicken, turkey, game hens—let your imagination be your guide.—Sandra Corey, Caldwell, Idaho
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Parmesan Baked Potatoes

It always amazed me that this simple recipe could make potatoes taste so good. Mom liked to make them for Easter because they were more special than ordinary baked potatoes. —Ruth Seitz, Columbus Junction, Iowa
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The South in a Pot Soup

With black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, ground beef and comforting spices, this soup has every wonderful memory from my childhood simmered together in one tasty pot. —Stephanie Rabbitt-Schapp, Cincinnati, OH
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Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan

I couldn’t shake my mashed potato habit—until I tried mashed cauliflower with a similar consistency. I started making my own, and my family loves it. —Meredith Howard, Franklin, Kentucky
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Minted Beet Salad

We have neighbors who share vegetables from their garden, and every year my husband and I look forward to their beets. My interest in Mediterranean food inspired this beet salad recipe—the vinegar and oil dressing with fresh mint will tone down the sweetness of the beets, and the kalamata olives add a salty touch. —Barbara Estabrook, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Brussels Sprouts with Garlic & Goat Cheese

I wanted to up my veggie game, so I smothered Brussels sprouts with garlic and goat cheese. It's really a side dish, but I love to eat it for lunch! —Brenda Williams, Santa Maria, California
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Orange Pomegranate Salad with Honey

I discovered this fragrant salad in a cooking class. If you can, try to find orange flower water (also called orange blossom water), which perks up the orange segments. But orange juice adds a nice zip, too! —Carol Richardson Marty, Lynwood, Washington
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Honey Pecan Triangles

After stirring up batches of these tasty bar cookies for many years, I know to include plenty on cookie trays. They have all the goodness of pecan pie and are so easy to serve to a crowd. —Debbie Fogel, East Berne, New York
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Cranberry and Roasted Beet Salad

Cranberry and Roasted Beet Salad

I created this as a healthy, tasty side dish to complement Christmas dinner. This enticing substitute for cranberry relish is excellent with turkey. Even the children loved it! Serve the beet blend alone or on a bed of salad greens. —Brianna St. Clair, Worland, Wyoming
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Honey-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

At a holiday dinner recently, I had the best Brussels sprouts ever! They were seasoned to perfection and lightly sweetened. I've tried to re-create the dish, and this comes very close. It has just the right amount of garlic and sweetness. —Robin Haas, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
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Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled Eggs

It's hard to resist these adorable deviled trees on our buffet table. The avocado filling has pepperoncini and cilantro for extra zip. —Carmell Childs, Clawson, Utah
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Green Beans in Red Pepper Sauce

For easy veggies, I make a simple sauce of sweet red peppers, almonds and parsley. We also like this sauce with zucchini or roasted cauliflower. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy

This quick-prep recipe lets you feast on turkey at any time of year. We save the rich broth for gravy, noodles and soup making. —Joyce Hough, Annapolis, Maryland
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Wild Rice Bread with Sunflower Seeds

I loved skipping the boring school cafeteria meals and going to my grandma’s house for lunch. She spent most of her life in northeastern Minnesota, which is reflected in this bread's ingredients. Now my family uses this for our holiday stuffing. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Gouda Mixed Potato Mash

Everything's better with cheese, right? This cheesy two-potato mash is no exception. If you cube the cheese, you’ll discover delicious pockets of melted cheese throughout the dish. —Shelby Goddard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Pomegranate-Glazed Green Beans

Pomegranate-Glazed Green Beans

Green beans are a popular vegetable in our house. They get a nice zing from this slightly tangy glaze featuring fruit juices, vinegar, maple syrup and seasonings.—Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Christina Manian, RDN
Christina Manian is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist based out of Boulder, Colorado. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, she has been involved with the nutrition departments of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Hospital. She completed her nutrition education at the Mayo Clinic with a focus on medical nutrition therapy and most recently practiced clinical nutrition at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. While her background has largely been in the clinical setting, Christina embraces and is shifting her focus towards wellness nutrition as the backbone to optimum health.
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