After we get our fill of Christmas treats and family dinners, we start thinking about our health and making New Year’s resolutions.
Why are you waiting till January to take up a health challenge?
Indeed, that does seem to be the best month to try out your Veganuary, or start my 12-week Eating Smarter and Getting Healthy plan, but why not start for Christmas?
Do you have a friend or someone in the family who is already vegan or vegetarian?
Could veganism be a lifestyle you might appreciate?
While it can seem to be a sacrifice at first, embracing a plant-based diet can offer several benefits, which might prove to be ideal for all those Christmas parties and events.
What can a plant-based diet do for you…
A Plant-Based Diet Can Help You Manage Weight
Managing weight is a challenge for everybody, which often becomes unbeatable over the holiday season.
Of course, we all love to indulge in Christmas treats and meals – after all, they only come around once a year!
However, this year, Christmas will be a little different.
The people around the Christmas table will only be a few, as we all need to keep a safe distance from others.
And, since it is already different, why not also try something revolutionary?
Being plant-based – even for a month – can help you better manage your weight during the holiday season and gives you the chance to live through this month in the healthiest way possible!
It Allows You to Try New Ingredients
Naturally, the Christmas dinner is made of those traditional dishes that have been prepared in your household for years.
However, in most of these dishes, it is possible to substitute one or two of the ingredients to make that dish vegetarian or vegan.
And, today, there is an impressive number of alternatives you could experiment with.
For example, products such as Jackfruit, seitan, and tofu can help you make your dishes taste meaty.
Other ingredients, such as liquid sugar, are vegan and perfect for your baking!
It Can Encourage You to Experiment With Different Recipes
While nobody would tell you not to prepare the classic roast dinner, you might decide to experiment with different ingredients and flavors.
If you already enjoy food from different cultures, it won’t be too difficult to find the inspiration you need to create alternative, plant-based, delicious dishes that will make everybody around the table reconsider their nutritional choices.
If you have found meat substitutes that work for your type of cooking, there won’t even be the need to tell your guests the truth straight away!
Let their taste buds judge your alternative recipes.
It Is Good for the Planet!
A study shows us that a standard Christmas meal produces over 23kg of carbon dioxide emissions, which is over double the emissions produced by the same dinner – if made with plant-based, local ingredients.
Not everybody who decides to embrace this lifestyle does so for health or ethical reasons, but if you are concerned about living sustainably, you should take up this challenge.
Maybe you will even find out that it is the right choice for you!
Just another option to think about – even if you try it for a short while.
Here is a great recipe for a Christmas party or event, sure to satisfy everyone.
Vegetarian Homemade Nachos
Homemade Tortilla Chips
- 16 7 to 8-inch flour tortillas
For the Nachos
- 1/2 cup fat-free dairy sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
- 1 small zucchini quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato seeds removed
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers drained
- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
For the Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Cut the flour tortillas into 6 wedges each. Arrange wedges in a single layer on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 10-15 minutes or until dry and crips. Makes about 96 chips.
For the Nachos
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, and finely chopped cilantro. Cover and chill.
- In a large skillet cook zucchini, onion, carrot, and cumin in hot oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are crisp but tender.
- Stir in pinto beans.
- Arrange prepared tortilla chips on an oven-proof platter or a large baking sheet.
- Spoon the bean mixture onto the chips.
- Sprinkle with chili peppers and tomato.
- Top with cheese.
- Bake in a 350ºF oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- To serve, transfer nachos to a serving platter.
- Garnish with cilantro and the sour cream mixture you prepared earlier.