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Unique Holiday Dinner Options

Shake up your supper with these fresh picks

A holiday without masses of food is like bubble wrap that’s already been popped: not even half as much fun. But eating the same food beside the same crazy relatives year after year can get tiring: something’s gotta give, and we know it won’t be the fam (unfortunately). So ditch the turkey and ham this year and give one of these alternatives a try as a main or side at your next family gathering. There are more than enough options to please vegetarians, vegans, staunch meat-a-tarians and picky eaters alike.

Cornish hens
These tiny chickens were originally bred specifically for single servings. They’re healthy too, as they’re mostly white meat. Try them with traditional stuffing, or a yummy wild mushroom mix.

Mini bread bowls
A full-size loaf of bread as a bowl is a bit heavy, and it’s a ton of extra unnecessary fat and sodium. Pare down the bowls to Kaiser-sized rolls. Hollow them out and fill them with a rich stew or creamy soup (like potato and leek).

Stuffed vegetables
I can’t say enough about the versatility of stuffed vegetables. For a festive choice, try an eggplant or squash. The stuffing can be just about anything, but I’d recommend stuffing a halved squash with maple baked beans – super sweet.

Venison
If you have a lot of carnivores in the family, give deer a try. It’s a rich flavour, stronger than beef. Just don’t let slip what’s really on the table, or you may have a kids’ table crying for Rudolph.

Quinoa
If you have a family full of vegetarians or vegans, it can be hard to find food to fill them up when your choices are mostly fruit and vegetables. Don’t forget the grains! Besides fibre, quinoa is packed with protein too – crucial for picky vegetarians. Make it with apple cider and cinnamon for the holidays.

Mini meatloaf
The only thing better than a perfectly spiced meatloaf is individually sized meatloaves. Make them the same way you would a regular meatloaf, just in a muffin tin. Throw some cranberries in to pump up the flavour (and your immune system).

Quiche
This is very easy to make and can be made to suit just about any palate’s preference. Throw in ingredients you would usually use in an omelette, but don’t hesitate to jazz it up with gourmet add-ins like caramelized onions or goat cheese. The best part: it looks fancy and is great to bring for brunch, too.

Sarah Robinson Wellness ,,,,,,,,,,,,

A holiday without masses of food is like bubble wrap that’s already been popped: not even half as much fun. But eating the same food beside the same crazy relatives year after year can get tiring: something’s gotta give, and we know it won’t be the fam (unfortunately). So ditch the turkey and ham this year and give one of these alternatives a try as a main or side at your next family gathering. There are more than enough options to please vegetarians, vegans, staunch meat-a-tarians and picky eaters alike.

Cornish hens
These tiny chickens were originally bred specifically for single servings. They’re healthy too, as they’re mostly white meat. Try them with traditional stuffing, or a yummy wild mushroom mix.

Mini bread bowls
A full-size loaf of bread as a bowl is a bit heavy, and it’s a ton of extra unnecessary fat and sodium. Pare down the bowls to Kaiser-sized rolls. Hollow them out and fill them with a rich stew or creamy soup (like potato and leek).

Stuffed vegetables
I can’t say enough about the versatility of stuffed vegetables. For a festive choice, try an eggplant or squash. The stuffing can be just about anything, but I’d recommend stuffing a halved squash with maple baked beans – super sweet.

Venison
If you have a lot of carnivores in the family, give deer a try. It’s a rich flavour, stronger than beef. Just don’t let slip what’s really on the table, or you may have a kids’ table crying for Rudolph.

Quinoa
If you have a family full of vegetarians or vegans, it can be hard to find food to fill them up when your choices are mostly fruit and vegetables. Don’t forget the grains! Besides fibre, quinoa is packed with protein too – crucial for picky vegetarians. Make it with apple cider and cinnamon for the holidays.

Mini meatloaf
The only thing better than a perfectly spiced meatloaf is individually sized meatloaves. Make them the same way you would a regular meatloaf, just in a muffin tin. Throw some cranberries in to pump up the flavour (and your immune system).

Quiche
This is very easy to make and can be made to suit just about any palate’s preference. Throw in ingredients you would usually use in an omelette, but don’t hesitate to jazz it up with gourmet add-ins like caramelized onions or goat cheese. The best part: it looks fancy and is great to bring for brunch, too.

sjrobinson@live.ca Author 29Secrets

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