‘Tis the season to gather with your loved ones near and far to share meals and make memories. While endless holiday parties and house guests may feel like you have to throw in the towel when it comes to keeping your low-carb lifestyle in mind, we want to assure you that’s not the case. We’ve enlisted the help of our registered dietitian to equip you with the tools (and recipes!) to make a carb-conscious holiday spread this season that everybody will be talking about. Pinky promise, you can still be the host(ess) with the mostess when you keep these tips in mind.
5 DIETITIAN APPROVED HOLIDAY MENU PLANNING TIPS
When it comes to hosting a holiday bash at your house, listen up, friends. You are steering the ship as host of the gathering so be sure to let your goals help guide your menu planning. Use these five tips as a starting point as you plan your grocery list this season.
1. Set The Stage With A Lean Protein As The Star.
Protein helps keep you feel fuller for longer. Planning your meal around a lean protein source helps ensure you (and your guests) will feel satisfied and satiated after the meal. When it comes to protein, though, not all are created equal. While holiday ham may be popular, it’s also quite high in sodium with a 3-ounce portion providing over 700 mg. Excess sodium may make you feel bloated, an unfavorable side effect of a holiday meal. Instead, choose a leaner cut of meat, like a pork tenderloin, round roast, salmon or whole chicken or turkey, to prepare.
2. Volumize With Vegetables Whenever You Can.
Vegetables are a great addition to every holiday menu. Consider adding one of our favorite seasonal fall produce picks to your menu, or volumizing with some of the higher fiber vegetables like artichokes. Riced cauliflower also is a great addition to mashed potatoes or snuck into casserole style dishes.
3. Go Easy On The Sauce.
Be it the canned cranberry sauce or turkey gravy, both can increase the added sugars, carbs, and saturated fat of your meal. Instead of instantly adding the sauce to the table, consider incorporating the ones your family can’t live without. Even better, try a low-carb twist on them. A homemade cranberry sauce can easily be prepared with your favorite keto-friendly* sweetener to decrease the total carb count and added sugar content.
4. Rethink Your Sweet Treats.
There are a variety of simple swaps you can implement as you make your favorite holiday treats. For instance, consider using the yogurt hack and swapping in a :ratio Keto-Friendly* Cultured Dairy Snack as you prepare creamed pies, bake sweet breads or muffins, or even as a boost to a sweet potato casserole. This can bump up the protein and lower the sugar of your traditional chocolate crème pies.
5. Opt For The Smaller Plates.
When mapping out your tablescape, instead of purchasing the large, dinner-sized compostable plates, consider going for a smaller size. Not only will this help you regulate the serving size of the items you portion on your plate, but it may help your guests too. Research shows that students who used a smaller size portion plate versus a standard size dinner plate actually had better self-regulation of their portion sizes. While more research is needed from a scientific point of view, we can all agree that trialing this at home may be a fun experiment for the holidays. Or, at the very least, render unfiltered reviews from your filterless guests (we all have one).
CARB-CONSCIOUS HOLIDAY MENU
Get your creative juices flowing and use these low-carb ideas to guide your holiday cooking!
Packed with 11 grams of high-quality protein per serving, this Egg Bake recipe is a win-win for all lifestyles. Pair it with a winter salad (like a kale, roasted beet, pecan and goat cheese salad) to increase the fiber content and sneak a few more vegetables in.
Recipe Suggestion: Asparagus and Zucchini Egg Bake
Consider adding a festive twist on the charcuterie board with a baked Brie topped with seasonal cranberries and pistachios and serving up bite-sized Italian Deli Roll-Ups. To keep the added sugar down, consider swapping the cranberry topper with pomegranate arils for a natural pop of red (and sweetness.)
Recipe Suggestion: Italian Deli Roll-Ups
Recipe Suggestion: Brie with Cranberries and Pistachios
Practice the protein and veggie dietitian approved tip as you plan your main meal. While the chicken is the lowest carb option from our recipes below, both the salmon and lasagna can fit when you plan your plate around these items. Consider with the salmon dish leaning heavy into the salmon and enjoy a smaller ¼-cup of the potatoes. Since lasagna is harder to deconstruct (nor do we want you too), consider ½-ing the portion and enjoying alongside a slice of the lean protein and a seasonal salad.
Recipe Suggestion: Lemon-Dijon Chicken Skillet
Recipe Suggestion: Vegetable Ragu Zucchini Lasagna
Recipe Suggestion: Sheet Pan Salmon Niçoise
Satisfy and satiate your sweet tooth with our lower carb treat options. Whether you prefer a cookie dunked into your coffee or desire a slice of seasonal Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Pie, you are allowed to take pleasure in the seasonal treats. Enjoy the treat of your choice sitting down, savoring the flavor of each bite.
Recipe Suggestion: Keto-Friendly* Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Pie
Recipe Suggestion: Keto-Friendly* Almond Shortbread Cookies
Recipe Suggestion: Keto-Friendly* Peanut Butter Cookies
THE BOTTOM LINE
Let your carb-conscious goals guide the holiday menu you’re planning for loved ones this season. Remember, you are in charge of empowering your own holiday eats and planning your holiday menu is a great way take the reins. We’re here to help, so be sure to tag us @ratiofood so we can celebrate your kitchen wins with you along the way.
†2G Net Carbs = 2G Total Carbs - 0G Fiber - 0G Sugar Alcohol
*Always consult your physician before starting an eating plan that involves regular consumption of high fat foods. See information for calorie, total fat and sat. fat content.