Healthy Side Dishes For The Holiday Season

These side dishes are easy, healthy & nutritious for the whole family to enjoy

Delicious pesto chargrilled asparagus

This is healthy, delicious & can be an accompany to so many meat dishes.
Asparagus are a Good Source of Vitamin K & rich in Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties.


Olive oil

2 bunches asparagus, trimmed

Black pepper, to season

3 teaspoons finely grated parmesan, to serve

1 tablespoon homemade basil pesto (see below)

Chargrilled Asparagus

Homemade basil pesto
1 bunch basil

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1 small clove garlic

1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil

2 tablespoons water



  1. Remove all the leaves from one bunch of basil and place into a blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.
  2. Spoon into a jar, top with a lil olive oil to cover and store in the fridge.

This makes approx 3/4 cup of pesto and will keep for 1 week. Pest can be frozen & is a great addition to scrambled eggs, healthy homemade pizzas or pasta dishes.


  1. Preheat a skillet pan or barbecue plate on high and lightly grease with a little olive oil.
  2. Lightly coat the asparagus with olive oil, ensuring to coat all sides. Season well.
  3. Place the asparagus spears onto the preheated skillet pan or barbecue plate and cook, turning occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until tender.

Remove to your serving plate, and drizzle with the fresh pesto. Gentle mix to ensure the asparagus is well coated. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Healthy Orange Glazed Carrots

Carrots are not only good for your eyesight, as I’m sure you’ve been told, they are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.

This is a great healthy Christmas side dish to enjoy for its taste & health benefits.


½ kg organic carrots

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon picked fresh dill leaves

Healthy Orange Glazed Carrots


  1. Peel & cut each carrot in 2.5cm chunks on the diagonal, topping & tailing each one.
  2. Combine the carrots and orange juice in a large saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the carrots. Add the butter and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 20 minutes. Top with fresh dill and serve warm.

Green Beans with Tomatoes

Beans are a great source of fibre & a delicious accompaniment to any meal.


1/2 onion, peeled & diced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

750g washed & trimmed green beans

1 tin of crushed organic tomatoes

½ cup of filtered water

fresh Basil leaves

Salt & Pepper

Green Beans with Tomatoes


  1. Cook 1/2 chopped onion in a pot with 3 tablespoons olive oil over a low heat form approx 5 minutes, or until onion are translucent & slightly caramelised.
  2. Add the green beans, tomatoes, water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Partially cover and simmer, 35 minutes.
  3. Transfer to your serving plate & top with torn fresh basil leaves. Serve warm.

Healthy Christmas Cake

I am a real sucker for Fruit Cake & this is one of my all-time favourite Christmas recipes. I found this a couple of years back & it’s from the amazing Healthy Chef – Teresa Cutter.

I have adapted it slightly for my families’ taste, please feel free to do the same.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! We usually serve ours with vanilla bean custard. 


600 g mixed dried fruit or a mix of the following (I use sulphate-free raisins, apricot, dried dates & figs)

1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or paste

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

zest and juice from 1 organic orange

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 organic eggs

2 cups ground almonds

50 g pecans chopped

Healthy Christmas Cake


  1. Preheat your oven to 150 C / 300 F, fan forced.
  2. Prepare a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper lining the sides and the base.
  3. In a large bowl, combine dried fruit, spices, vanilla, orange zest + juice, olive oil and eggs.
  4. Add the almond meal and pecans and mix through.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin.
  6. Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for approx. 1 &1/2 hrs. Depending on the oven, check after an hour so as not to burn. Check with a skewer to see if it comes out clean, if not bake for another 30 minutes.

    If the cake looks like it’s over-browning, use foil to cover the top.

  7. Cool in the tin. Once cooled store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.


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