Seven Healthy Side Dishes That Will Complete Your Festival Feast

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Holidays are special occasions and are always celebrated with joy and enthusiasm. People start to think about mouthwatering delicacies upon the arrival of Christmas and Thanksgiving. However, people with existing health conditions and health conscious individuals might refrain from overeating. 

Luckily there are many options for healthy sides that can be enjoyed by cutting the calories and can add unwanted pounds. With these few sides for Thanksgiving, your daily meals can be made even healthier and can look beautiful by adding topiaries to the environment. 

Sweet Potato Recipes

Instead of potatoes try sticking with sweet potatoes as it becomes a great choice. In addition to being a great alternative, it tastes great and also has fewer calories than the creamy version of potato side dishes and mashed potatoes. 

Before adding sweet potato, you have to be sure to select the one with cinnamon instead of loading it marshmallow, butter, and brown sugar. A little serving of this dish brings only 157 calories to the waistline. Roasting sweet potato is simpler when compared to mashing and boiling. Adding up maple syrup to this dish transforms it into a whole new look. 

With the current mashed potato dish, you can add more sweet potatoes to add further deliciousness and more calories. Use an oven instead of a saucepan.

The creamy and delicious sweet potato casserole collects all its aromatic flavors through honey and freshly grated orange zest instead of the traditional butter stick. For completing healthy makeover, it would be a lot better to sprinkle up to a crunchy pecan streusel spiked with orange juice concentrate on top. Marshmallows can, later on, be used for other dishes. 

Whole grain dishes for keeping it healthy

Serving these side dishes would surely fetch you compliments from your friends and loved ones. It is best to select fresh whole grain rolls for your dinner sides. The dishes you will cook with whole grains would be rich in fiber and other nutrients. You can try out rolls without adding the creamy and buttery topping. Otherwise, you can put on little spread without making it unhealthy. 

A healthy winter squash would be a great way for added delightfulness to all your dishes. With winter squash you can easily add rich flavors to barley pilaf. For adding a lively finish, you can use Gremolata, an Italian combination of lemon zest, parsley, and garlic that provides the dish with a lively finish. The Pilaf would look great when added with Parmesan. 

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

A pungent cauliflower puree would be a perfect dish to add to a low carb diet. The dish would get all its delicious flavors from the buttermilk, garlic and a little fineness of butter, and the best thing is that is packs about only one-quarter of the calories that you typically get with mashed potatoes. So if you are thinking about adding this side, it can be varied by adding chopped fresh herbs and low fat cheese. 

German-inspired Warm Red Cabbage Salad is an easy to prepare quick side dish. It is cooked till tender and gets combined with sweet caraway apples and tangy vinaigrette. You can serve the dish with the help of roasted pork lion or turkey kielbasa and can further use faux floral arrangement for an added professional look to the surrounding environment. 

The massaged Kale Salad dish gets ready with the infusion of aromatic garlic dressing above the kale just after massaging the dressing and the greens with your hands. Any kale can be used in preparation for this simple kale salad recipe; you just have to remember to remove tough stems even before preparation of the recipe.

Puddings and tarts 

Add up sweet caramelized pears to the comforting highlight, raisin laden bread pudding and custardy. When turned out of the baking dish, the flan-like pudding would rest at a large pool of intense caramel, which makes it worthy of its place on a holiday table. This can be served chilled or warm.

Fontina red onion and sweet potato tart is a roasted-veggie tart and serves as a great thanksgiving appetizer or side for a special dinner. The pastry dough is simple to roll on parchment and is very forgiving. The walnut laden crust becomes crisp and is served warm, but the tart can be enjoyed at cold as well as room temperature. 

Lemon-Dill Green Beans

This lemon and dill vinaigrette would be a natural complement for green beans. This would also be appearing great while drizzling with fresh sliced tomatoes or tossing with steamed asparagus. For serving ten people with the recipe, you would need to have 2 ½ times of all the ingredients: Use ¾ teaspoons mustard and 2 ½ tablespoons each shallot, lemon juice and oil, 3 tbsp dill, 2 ½ pound green beans, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and salt. 

Mushroom Casserole and Mashed Potato

Regular mashed potato can be easily fancied up by having an additional layer of mushroom duxelle-a sauté of finely chopped shallots and mushrooms. Traditional butter gets omitted in duxelles and chard can be added for getting a boost in nutrition. Instead of using regular mash potato you can serve this side and enjoy as a main dish. 

Squash as sides 

Though serving pasta would not seem like a common option for Christmas, the spaghetti cheese, and squash mac would be a comforting dish that would have guests just ready to savor the delicious flavors with a beautiful surrounding environment through silk arrangements for your table. 

Delicata squash and pears get squashed with brown sugar, bacon, and chili powder to get a delectable combination. The dish can be converted in a vegetarian one by tossing pears and squash with chili powder and brown sugar at the final 5 minutes of slow roasting. 

The Christmas table would surely be incomplete without adding cranberry to your dishes. Being a perfect mixable with all other dishes a little bit of sweetness gets added to everything else on the plate. You can also try the vegan orange ginger cranberry relish which is gluten-free without any added sugar. 

With these sides, everyone including vegans and health conscious people would be happy without having to give on the taste. With all the dishes above your cravings can be met without consuming additional unhealthy calories.

Revealed! How to Organize the Perfect Office Holiday Party

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Do you work in an IT company? As the holiday season is approaching, have you been given the charge to become a planner for your annual office holiday party?? If so, there will be many things to be taken care of, and there would be hassles involved in this task too. But, planning and executing a good party will bring in a lot of positive effects to the overall environment of the company.

What kind of venue should be chosen for the party, what all food should be there in the menu and what other entertaining factors should be added, these questions will keep on circling our mind before hosting a successful office party. These office parties are meant for enjoyment among employees to boost their spirit for gaining more productivity.

What positivity can be brought by arranging an office holiday party?

The word party can itself boost anybody's excitement meter. But hosting a holiday party during holidays and making sure about everybody's presence and perfect execution of the task may be difficult, but there are a lot of positivity it brings. The advantages are explained below:-

  • The spirit and the morale of every employee can be boosted if, a holiday party can be thrown from the employer's side. This is done for bringing in some optimism for welcoming the New Year in support of the work culture.
  • If the employees are praised and awarded for their contribution in the company as a part of the holiday party, it can clearly strengthen the bond between the employer and the employees.
  • This type of yearly holiday party can help in developing good relations between employees.

As a planner for the office holiday party, how will you initially plan for the event?

For planning a big event like this, you need to have more than one month in your hands. The below points are very important and should be taken care of first:-

  • Will it be during the time in Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year, you must set an appropriate date for the event.
  • Should it happen on the company premises or some other place? The venue of the party should be planned and booked before the event which will be suitable for all.
  • Send emails or SMS to every employee to tell them to know about the event. It is considered even better to get confirmation about their attendance in the party.
  • Book the vendors for supplying party essentials, and making sure of the quality of supplies they offer.

What are the most vital points in planning the office holiday party?

A perfect party, which will be incredibly appealing and enjoyable to every employee, is hard to plan, The below points will throw some light as how the holiday party should be planned:-

Set a proper theme

A proper party theme has to be picked by keeping in mind as at what occasion the holiday party is being thrown. If it is a Christmas party, then a huge Christmas tree would necessarily set the party theme, and every other aspect of the party will follow suit. A retro themed party for the New Year or Thanksgiving can be perfect too. Whatever be the time of the party, the theme gets decided according to that.

Decide on the dress one should wear to the party

Formals, Casuals, some particular color code or dressing according to the party theme, all these aspects has to be planned and must be informed to everyone before the party. While sending the invites, the dress code must be mentioned.

Schedule a proper program

A well planned and a well-prepared program schedule for a party is the most important aspect. What kind of music should be played, whether a short and crisp speech lauding the employee's performance should be given from the employer's side, or most importantly when should the party start or end should be appropriately scheduled.

Planning the food items

It is always advisable to study and plan the food, which should form the menu of the party. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians, both types of employees, work in the organization. Hence, ample variety of food should be included, as there will be various people with varied liking in food items. Some will like pizza, and some will like the stuffed Turkey. Proper ensuring should also be done with the vendor about the quantity of the food items so that it doesn't get finished.

Plan the decoration of the holiday party

Whether to follow the decor items according to the party theme or look for various random decoration items for accessorizing party venue, this planning is extremely important. Installation of artificial plants and trees in various corners or introducing temporary topiaries or faux cactus can add beauty to your party decor to another level. 

Plan the party performances

You must book performers in music and dance to increase the entertainment quotient of your holiday party. Instead of professional performers, talents from the employees can also be exhibited through this platform. This can add more fun and enthusiasm amongst them.

Games and awards

Introduce any games synonymous with the party mood which should involve everyone attending the party. This will be good for developing a good relationship amongst the employees. And also arrange a little award ceremony for recognizing hard work from employees in increasing the company's performance. This can boost everybody's mood.

Gifts or Prizes to be distributed

Favors in the form of goodies, special gift baskets, chocolate boxes and other dessert items or special cards can be made by personalizing the employee's name so that he/ she can take that prize as a return gift for their family. This will boost their morale in a big way, and they will be more than excited to attend the next holiday party hosted by the company.

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Commercial Silk Int'l
Commercial Silk Int'l