The big unifying trope of Southern food is “comfort.” No matter the dish, they all have the touch down-home, traditional cooking that makes us feel warm in our hearts when we eat it. There are good things to be said about Southern food, but plenty of fair criticisms, such as the overbearing presence of butter and the enormous portion sizes.
Holiday food tends to have the same problem, and a combination of holiday menus and Southern food seems like a recipe for disaster for anyone on a diet. However, that does not need to be the case. The following recipes are packed full of healthy food choices while retaining their holiday and Southern inspiration. Here’s SkinnyMs.’s Southern Holiday Dinner Menu. Enjoy!
This turkey is covered with a rub positively packed with our favorite spices such as cayenne, paprika, oregano, thyme, and onion powder to give it that kick Cajun food is known for. Roast with lots of flavorful and healthy vegetables for a tasty turkey that won’t soon be forgotten.
A light dish to take away from how heavy Southern food can be, this salad features pears, a delicious fruit native to the fall season. Walnuts, another seasonal food, are packed full of protein which, when paired with spinach, add plenty of nutrients and fresh flavor.
Twice-baked cornbread in a cast-iron skillet feels as Southern as a hot, humid afternoon. Add in the vegetables for a tasty stuffing that’s as good as it gets. The stuffing can be made without the cast-iron skillet, but some of the charm is lost.
Adding bacon into a dish is a proud Southern tradition. This turkey bacon is added into a honey and cider vinegar sauce to add a nice tang to plain old green beans.
These sweet potatoes demand to be eaten as slow as the molasses that flavors them. The Greek yogurt adds creamy texture to the potatoes, and the cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg add a little punch to this dish as smooth as silk.
Cardamom has a slight citrus flavor to it, making it match well spices like cinnamon and nutmeg – and all of them are a part of this scrumptious pie. Maple syrup and molasses add some homey flavor to an already comfortable dish.
For a more traditional, but still healthy, take on holiday dishes, check out our Traditional Holiday Dinner Menu.
Have thoughts about this Southern menu? Have your own Southern take on traditional favorites? Tell us about it in the comments below.