Spotlight Recipes: A Meaty Christmas Menu

When it comes to Christmas dinner, anything goes. Every family has their favorite classic dishes, but we like to mix up each year with simple, yet elegant dishes. This holiday, we’re doing a lighter, steak house inspired meal – but without all those extra calories.

When it comes to Christmas dinner, anything goes. Every family has their favorite classics, but we like to mix it up each year with simple, yet elegant dishes. This holiday, we’re doing a lighter, steakhouse-inspired meal but without all those extra calories.

Toast the Holiday

I love to greet my guests with a cocktail. It’s the best time of year for pomegranates, so these martinis are perfect. Make a large pitcher ahead of time instead of running back and forth from the bar.

Light Bite

Clams make a tasty and delicate first course. Dress them up for the holiday with red bell pepper, pancetta and a touch of Parmesan cheese.

RECIPE: Clams Casino
Main Event

Beef tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that’s always a crowd-pleaser. To go along with it, serve baked potatoes with a side of creamy herb and yogurt topping and some simple wilted greens.

Sweets & Treats

I don't crank out the desserts because guests inevitably bring some along -- cookies, sweet breads and more. To balance, serve a fruit salad or some decadent chocolate-covered strawberries finish off the meal.

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Each year for Hanukkah I serve up an Israeli-inspired dinner followed by traditional Hanukkah desserts. This menu is a big hit with all our friends (and http://blog.healthyeats.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=12333&message=1their kids).

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Spotlight Recipe: Michelada

Want something more exciting than bottled beer for your game-day bash? If your friends are Bloody Mary fans, this Mexican cocktail might be a winner. Lime and hot sauce liven up the flavor without adding calories.

Spotlight Recipes: Granita

Dig in to these delicious frozen treats that are reminiscent of Italian ices. Granita’s are harder in texture than sorbets and contain less sugar. To make a granita, cook up a simple sugar (combo of sugar and water) and add flavors such as coffee, mint, juice and wine along with fruit. Once the mixture has begun to freeze (it takes about 3 hours), scrape the ice crystals every so often as they start to form. Once frozen, scoop and serve.

Spotlight Recipes: Chutney

Chutney is a simmered-down or pureed combo of fruit (or veggies), spices and herbs. Instead of deep frying or drowning your fish, pork or meat in heavy sauces, opt for a tangy bite of chutney instead.

Spotlight Recipes: Gazpacho

Enjoy a refreshingly cool (and super healthy) soup this summer. Traditional gazpacho is a pureed mixture of fresh tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, onions, celery and cucumbers but don’t be afraid to get creative. Shake things up—blend a batch of watermelon, red pepper or white grape gazpacho instead.

A Complete Christmas Dinner Menu Full of the Fastest Recipes Around

Check out this at-the-ready menu of all-star dishes that will wow your guests this holiday season.

Quick Christmas Morning Brunch Menu

This year, instead of resorting to cereal and cocoa, serve a simple brunch, featuring hearty dishes that are ready in 30 minutes or fewer.