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Healthy crowd pleasers for holiday parties

Holiday parties can be a highlight of the season, but scrambling to prepare the perfect dish to share can be stressful. You want something that pleases the crowd without sabotaging your goals for healthy eating. Here are a few suggestions from Kaiser’s Food for Health for nutritious dishes that will shine at any holiday gathering:

  • Butternut squash and lentil soup — Roasted squash is accented with smoked paprika (a magical ingredient for adding smoky sweetness to any dish) for a simple, nourishing and delicious soup. It pairs beautifully with kale salad and hearty whole grain bread for dipping.
  • Paprika chicken or tofu with chickpeas — Smoked paprika is once again the star in this classic dish. The vegans at the party will love the version replacing chicken with tofu.
  • Vegan sloppy joes — This healthy take on the traditional meaty meal is cozy comfort food without any of the guilt.

Eating healthy is particularly important during the holiday season, when the average American gains one to five pounds. From UCLA Health, here are some tips to keep healthy habits through the holidays:

  • Prioritize healthy foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats so you’re less tempted by sweets.
  • Exercise often, to boost your mood and help keep holiday stress in check.
  • Focus on small, achievable goals for healthy eating throughout the holiday season, rather than relying on a New Year’s resolution to counteract your holiday indulgences.

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