Here’s 3 healthy recipes for your New Year’s Eve dinner AND 2 drink tips!
The last two weeks of every year are usually spent binging on foods that are not part of your nutrition plan. In the months leading up to this, everyone scrambles to drop a few pounds to look their best in that cocktail dress or just to fit into that favorite pair of slacks. Then all the hard work is shot when Christmas dinner and New Year’s dinner comes around. Instead of falling into the standard pattern, break the mold and try these healthy New Year’s Eve Dinner ideas this year!
Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mediterranean Chicken
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-inch-long, 1-inch-thick strips
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Mediterranean Spice
4 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
1 tablespoon red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup Tzatziki
1/4 cup Red-Wine Vinaigrette
12 butter lettuce leaves
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Preheat a grilling pan over high heat. Use 1 teaspoon Mediterranean spice to season chicken and then place on grill. Cook, basting with balsamic vinaigrette and turning once. Continue until chicken is cooked all the way through, about 2 minutes per side. Season chicken with the remaining Mediterranean spice and remove from heat; set aside.
Place red onions and shredded romaine lettuce in a medium bowl; drizzle red-wine vinaigrette over mixture and toss. Divide mixture evenly among butter lettuce leaves and drizzle each set with 1 teaspoon of tzatziki.
Finally, top each Mediterranean taco with 1 piece of chicken and garnish with feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, and olives. Top with parsley, basil, and oregano; serve.
Salmon BLT Stacks with Lemon Caper Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25-30 minutes
2 lbs of wild salmon
8 slices of thick sliced applewood smoked bacon
5 ounces of arugula
2 tablespoons of avocado oil
3 tomatoes, sliced
Salt and Pepper to season
Lemon Caper Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
2 heaping teaspoons of capers
1/4 teaspoon of salt
First, prepare the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette. In a medium bowl whisk together lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, capers, and salt.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Heat an oven proof skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add avocado oil and then salmon to the skillet with the flesh side down and the skin side up. Cook salmon for 5 minutes without disturbing. Flip salmon and move the skillet to the oven for 4 minutes for rare or 6 minutes for well done. Place a layer of arugula on dinner plates with a tomato slice, two slices of bacon, and repeat the arugula and tomato layers again.
Top the salads with salmon and then serve with the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.
Pesto Zucchini Noodles
4 medium zucchini, julienned (thin)
pinch of salt
6 slices uncooked bacon
1/2 cup green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 Tablespoons prepared basil pesto
2 cups broccoli florets
Fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese, for garnishing
Place zucchini strips in colander in the sink. Sprinkle zucchini with salt and toss. Let sit for 15 minutes while the salt extracts the moisture. Drain any excess water. You can squeeze the zucchini, if necessary.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, turning frequently, until crisp. Remove bacon and place on a stack of paper towels to drain fat. Crumble the bacon. Remove all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings from the skillet.
Return the pan to medium heat. Add broccoli and green onions, stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes or until crisp. Add zucchini and 2 Tablespoons of pesto. Then toss to combine all of the ingredients. The mixture only needs to warm up. 2-3 minutes of heat should be enough.
Serve with bacon crumbles and freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Other low calorie ideas for New Year’s Eve: Drink Tips
Alcoholic drink favorites for New Years’s Eve usually include cocktails that are incredibly tasty and rightfully so. Many of the drink mixers used in these cocktails have high fructose corn syrup as their first ingredient. Ergo, it’s loaded with sugar. To avoid the excess and useless sugar calories, there are some easy solutions.
Switch to hard liquor without the drink mixers
For those of you that like putting hair on your chest, Johnny Walker Black Whiskey is a low-calorie favorite. At just 69 calories per ounce, this blended whiskey packs a punch at 40% alcohol by volume. Many people enjoy it on the rocks but if you’re feeling brave and want to enjoy the full flavor, try it neat (without ice).
If you need to dial back the volume a little bit from straight whiskey on the rocks, one of our favorites is a simple mixture of Vodka and Crystal Light powder. There’s just 64 calories in each ounce of Vodka and 5 calories in one serving of Crystal Light for a grand total of 69 calories.
- 1 part Vodka
- 2 parts water
- Crystal light to taste – fruit punch
Fill a cocktail glass half full with ice, add the Vodka first, then the water. Finally add the Crystal light and stir. It really doesn’t take a lot of the Crystal light to flavor the cocktail.