(If you’re looking for the Healthy Holiday Desserts, go HERE)
As the holidays come up full swing, I’ve been getting excited to start planning. I love, love, love this time of year, and everything about it. The weather is cool, the scenery is beautiful, the lights are bright and our homes are warm. We get to spend time with family and love on each other a little bit more, just because. We are able to come together over tables, and share good food, laughs, and love. We make so many memories around those tables.
But as someone that’s on a really specific diet, I have to do more planning ahead than I used to because I need to make sure that everything at the table is something that everyone can enjoy. With chronic illness, there are so many foods that I have to avoid to keep healing. When you take into account all of the ingredients on most food packages, this explains why I have to make nearly everything from scratch. Removing unhealthy foods from your diet doesn’t mean that you’re only left with steamed broccoli and carrots and will never eat anything delicious again. Trust me, there’s so many flavorful options still out there. I’m sharing with you 5 fantastic, healthy holiday side dishes that are delicious, and yet still gluten and sugar free. One of my favorites is the Pesto Cheese Blossom. It’s a delectable grain free appetizer combining garlic, pesto, and sun dried tomatoes with cream cheese and provolone. A must have for all of your holiday get togethers, with minimal ingredients and maximum flavor!
Healthy Holiday Side Dishes
- 1 (8-ounce) package sliced provolone cheese
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 ounces oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- Line a medium bowl with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhang to cover the top.
- Reserving 3 slices of the provolone, line the bottom and sides of the bowl with the remaining provolone, overlapping the slices.
- For the cream cheese layer, process the cream cheese and 1 of the garlic cloves in a food processor until blended; scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- For the pesto layer, process the basil, parsley and the remaining garlic clove in the food processor until blended.
- Dissolve the salt and pepper in the olive oil and mix well.
- With the machine running, add the oil in a fine stream.
- Scrape this mixture into a second bowl and set aside.
- For the tomato layer, drain the tomatoes, reserving the oil.
- Puree the tomatoes with a small amount of the reserved oil in a food processor.
- Spread some of the cream cheese mixture over the cheese slices lining the bowl.
- Layer the pesto mixture, half of the remaining cream cheese mixture, the sun-dried tomato mixture, and then remaining cream cheese mixture in the bowl.
- Cover with the remaining provolone.
- Bring the edges of the plastic wrap together over the top and secure with a twist tie.
- Freeze until firm.
- Remove the plastic wrap and invert the mold onto a serving platter.
- Serve with party crackers.
Gluten Free Ranch Potato Biscuits from Kaila at Healthy Helper Blog– A healthy take on a carb-filled favorite! Ranch-flavored, creamy tasting biscuits with the added softness of potatoes and the doughiness of gluten-free oat flour. The perfect addition to your holiday table or dinner menu for the week!
Seasoned Sweet Potato Chips – Sweet potatoes are often a staple at holiday meals, but this one puts a different spin on it. Seasoned sweet potato chips are flavorful and easy, and are always a popular dish!
Roasted Butternut Soup from Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner – is brimming with all the delicious flavors and scents of fall. This vegan, gluten free soup is sure to please all of your holiday guests.
Vegan Dressing with Barley from Celeste at The Whole Serving – Rich with flavor, hearty, wholesome and so satisfying, this Vegan Dressing with Barley is sure to please vegans and non-vegans around your holiday table.
What is your favorite healthy holiday side dish?