Christmas shopping finished? Check. Tree adorned with ornaments? Check. Stockings stuffed with goodies? Check. Recipes in place for not just Christmas dinner but the entire week relatives are in town? Uh oh. Some things are harder to plan for than others. It can be especially tricky to find recipes that cater to the whims of specific individuals. Read on for three creative ways to tackle breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of these options are not only fun, but customizable, so everyone’s happy.
Breakfast: Custom Breakfast Bowls
Yes, it’s just as fancy as it sounds. Or it can be plain and simple. It all depends on your relatives’ personal preferences. This breakfast option is quick, easy and incredibly healthy.
Step 1: Make one pot of oats and one pot of quinoa.
Step 2: Slice berries and bananas and place them in separate bowls.
Step 3: Place fixings on the table next to the bowls of quinoa, oats and fruit. Fixings can include peanut butter (or a substitute ‘nut’ butter like sunflower butter to avoid allergens), dark chocolate shavings, coconut shavings, hemp seeds, agave, cinnamon, goji berries, granola and anything else you can think of that might pair well with grains and berries.
Next, encourage your relatives to build their own breakfast bowl, or, as we like to say, choose their own adventure. This is an especially fun activity for littles ones. Here are some of our favorite combinations:
Creamy bliss bowl: Use quinoa as your base, mix in peanut butter (or an allergen-free nut butter) and stir agave in to taste. Add strawberries and blueberries.
Berry crunch bowl: Mix oats with berries, cinnamon and milk of your choice for a creamy, berry-filled bowl. Top with granola.
Bananarama bowl: Use oats as your base, mix in agave and cinnamon, add a touch of salt and top with bananas.
Lunch: Lettuce Eat Wraps
Wraps are fun to eat. They’re portable, typically mess-free and fun to customize. And they’re the perfect vessel for Christmas leftovers.
Step 1: Provide base options like a whole wheat tortilla, a gluten-free wrap and lettuce leaf ‘wraps.’
Step 2: Waste not, want not. Remember your leftovers. Gather leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, cooked veggies, stuffing, gravy and whatever else your family couldn’t finish during Christmas dinner.
Here are two fun combinations to try:
Chicken lettuce wraps: Perfect for leftover chicken. Create a tangy white sauce using mayo (or Veganaise for an egg-free option), lemon juice, white vinegar, black pepper, minced garlic and salt. Blend and spread over the chicken. Use large romaine lettuce leaves as the wrap and add thinly sliced carrots.
Christmas leftover wrap: Use a wheat or gluten-free wrap. Spread a light layer of mashed potatoes along the inside of the wrap. Add chicken or turkey, leftover roasted veggies and gravy.
Dinner: A New Twist on Mac and Cheese
There’s nothing like traditional comfort food during chillier winter months. But for many, cheese can cause considerable discomfort. We love this easy, peasy, not-so-cheesy twist on an old favorite. It features a nutritional powerhouse, aptly named nutritional yeast. This yellow powder, often called hippy dust in the vegetarian community for its health benefits, boasts a cheesy, nutty flavor, but it’s allergen-free. It’s packed full of B vitamins and is a complete protein. It works well in recipes to create substitute cheese sauces or sprinkled on top of popcorn for a delicious movie night treat.
Step 1: Cook your favorite type of pasta.
Step 2: While the pasta is still warm, blend nutritional yeast with honey mustard and mix it in. Do this little by little and let your tastebuds guide you. The mixture shouldn’t be chunky or watery. It should be right in the middle and should coat the pasta well.
Step 3: Steam or sauté broccoli and add it to the pasta.
Step 4: If you’re feeling adventurous, we love adding sun dried tomatoes to this dish. Leave them on the side and let family members decide if it’s for them.
If you enjoyed these recipes, you’ll love Hero Nutritionals’ Picky Eater Recipe Guide. Download it for free here: Picky Eater Approved Recipes. Enjoy and let us know which recipe you like most.