Healthy Holiday Recipes

Indulge in Festive Food That Tastes Great

Christmas is a time for indulging, but that doesn’t mean you have to let your healthy eating habits fall by the wayside. Our healthy holiday recipes will help you serve up delicious dishes without compromising on taste.

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A Spicy Starter

Scallops are a South African favourite, especially over the festive period. This spicy seafood cocktail, made with ingredients such as lime juice, chilli and onion, delivers lots of flavour but very few calories.

Ingredients: Directions:
·         250g jumbo sea scallops (6 to 8)

·         1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

·         1/4 cup tomato juice

·         1/4 cup tomato sauce

·         1/4 cup fresh lime juice

·         3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

·         1 teaspoon seeded and finely chopped chilli pepper

·         1 teaspoon hot sauce

·         Freshly ground black pepper

·         250g cooked small shrimp, peeled and deveined

·         Tortilla chips, for serving

·         Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

·         Add the scallops, reduce the heat and poach gently for about 2 minutes.

·         Drain well and chill for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

·         Stir together the onion, tomato juice, tomato sauce, lime juice, coriander, chilli and hot sauce in a large bowl.

·         Season with salt and pepper.

·         Quarter the scallops.

·         Add the scallops and shrimp to the sauce and stir gently to combine.

·         Divide among 4 glasses or bowls.

·         Serve with crackers or chips.


On the Side

Spinach is famous for its ability to make you “strong to the finish.” While this leafy green won’t cause your biceps to inflate like balloons, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, low in calories and versatile in cooking. And especially delicious in the following recipe.

Ingredients: Directions:
·         1kg spinach

·         2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         4 lemon wedges (optional)

·         Remove the spinach stems and tear the leaves into large pieces.

·         Fill a large bowl with cold water and wash the spinach. Repeat 2 or 3 times until the spinach is thoroughly cleaned, then drain.

·         In a large skillet, heat half the oil over a medium heat, add the garlic and stir until it begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes.

·         Remove the garlic and discard.

·         Add the spinach in batches, stirring to wilt, before adding more.

·         When all the spinach has been added, raise the heat to high, season with salt and pepper, and cook, covered, for 3 minutes.

·         Drain the spinach in a colander.

·         Return spinach to the skillet to heat through. Serve in a medium bowl, drizzled with the remaining oil and garnished with lemon wedges, if desired.


The Main Event

Serve your guests a savoury mix of mushrooms and bacon stuffed pork tenderloin this festive season. It’s a delicious alternative and no one will guess that it’s a healthy holiday main dish.

Ingredients: Directions:
·         5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

·         4 slices bacon, chopped

·         200g mushrooms, thinly sliced

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         1 clove garlic, finely chopped

·         1 tablespoon breadcrumbs

·         1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

·         2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat

·         1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

·         Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

·         Add the bacon and cook until crisp — about 8 minutes.

·         Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes.

·         Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

·         Remove from heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and all but 2 tablespoons of parsley.

·         Allow it to cool.

·         Soak 10 to 12 toothpicks in water to prevent them from burning.

·         Rinse the pork and pat dry.

·         Butterfly the pork: Make a 2cm deep incision down the length of each tenderloin; do not cut all the way through.

·         Open the meat like a book so the tenderloins lie flat.

·         Cover the pork with plastic wrap; pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until about 1,3cm thick, starting from the middle and working outward.

·         Spread the mushroom mixture over the 2 tenderloins.

·         Starting with a long side, tightly roll up each tenderloin and secure the seams with the toothpicks.

·         Preheat a grill to medium high; brush the grates with olive oil.

·         Brush the pork rolls with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

·         Grill, turning, until a thermometer inserted into the centre of the pork registers 60 degrees Celsius, 25 to 30 minutes.

·         Transfer to a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes.

·         Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons parsley, the lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

·         Remove the toothpicks and slice the pork rolls.

·         Top with parsley oil.

Guilt-free Indulgence

This cinnamon-stick-and-clove holiday-favoured sorbet is perfect for a hot summer’s lunch. The presentation is sophisticated, but the preparation is simple: just freeze the mix and scrape with a fork.

Ingredients: Directions:
·         3 cups dry red wine

·         1/2 cup sugar

·         1 cinnamon stick

·         2 whole cloves

·         1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

·         1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

·         Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

·         Bring the wine, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice and peppercorns to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

·         Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let it stand for 15 minutes.

·         Strain the mulled wine into a 20cm square baking dish and freeze until hard, about 5 hours.

·         Scrape with a fork and divide among glasses.

·         Serve with whipped cream.

*Recipe source:

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