On Your Health

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Healthy Recipes and Snacks Using Christmas Leftovers

The holidays are the most difficult time of year to keep your waistline intact and your energy levels from feeling sluggish. If you have any doubts, just ask your body when it’s stuck on the couch after Christmas lunch.

A Christmas meal could push 3,000 calories, and that’s not including sugary drinks and sweet desserts. An extra helping of mashed potatoes or a few of Grandma’s sugar cookies can add up.

Considering Christmas generally includes large portions and many leftovers, you may feel the urge to spend the next week chowing down on the remnants.

Instead, we wanted to find a way to repurpose those Christmas leftovers into healthier options with five recipes you can share with your friends, families and loved ones. You’ll notice a theme here — we featured superfoods throughout these recipes. After all, they carry many health benefits.


Christmas frittata (click here to download a pdf)

A frittata is a fancier, more sophisticated omelet that works best with leftovers. There are no rules when it comes to frittatas, as you can come up with just about any flavor combination. Our version combines leftover protein-packed turkey with superfoods like spinach, broccoli and tomatoes. You can opt-out of the goat cheese to save calories, but we like the creamy touch it adds.


Holiday kale salad (click here to download a pdf)

Save the iceberg lettuce for another day and incorporate kale into your diet to enjoy many of its health benefits. If you’re worried kale isn’t exciting enough, we jazzed it up with leftover Christmas nuts (almonds and walnuts), strawberries and apples for a tart crunch. The maple mustard vinaigrette cuts some of the bitterness from the greens, adding a sweetness to round out the flavor profile.



Smoothie bowls (click here to download a pdf)

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with all the leftovers from a fruit tray or fruit salad, then this is for you. Throw it all in a blender to make a smoothie. We’re sticking with the holiday theme here, so we opted for spinach to create a green smoothie base and strawberries as a garnish to play up Christmas colors. The addition of flax seeds and chia seeds, both of which act as sources of antioxidants and fiber, beef up the nutritional aspect even more.



Sweet potato quinoa bowls (click here to download a pdf)

Sweet potatoes are popular around the holidays for their role in the calorie- and sugar-laden casserole dish found on many of our tables. Once Christmas is over, use some of your leftover sweet potatoes as the star of this bowl. Roasting the sweet potatoes gives it an entirely different complexity, and the addition of avocado and spinach help round out the meal that can act as either lunch or a snack.



Turkey soup (click here to download a pdf)

A twist on an old classic, this soup subs in turkey for chicken as a way to warm you up during the holiday break. This recipe from is especially worthwhile if you have family in town and need to feed a crowd. 


For more recipes and health-related blog entries, visit On Your Health.


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