Christmas Meal alternatives

Well it's that time of Year where we all face the prospect of completely falling off the bandwagon not only when it comes to fitness but also with our nutrition.

It's hard to eat well when you're attending christmas parties, family get togethers and the house starts to fill up with christmas treats. What you can do though is try to stick to what we feel is the best nutrition rule, the 80/20 rule. 

Eat well 80% of the time and if you fall off the bandwagon make it only 20% of the time. So whilst you are trying to eat well 80% of the time, here's some healthier christmas options that just might help!

Lentil and Cranberry Stuffed Butternut Squash Christmas Day meal

Lentil Stuffed Butternut Squash

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup of brown rice
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder (depends how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup quick lentils
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 200 C

2. Over a low heat, sauté onion until translucent. Add the rice, stirring frequently about 3 mins. Add garlic, curry powder, cumin, salt and pepper, stir for 1 minute.

3. Add vegetable broth and lentils. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, stir and cover. Cook for around 40 minutes, adding more broth if needed to the lentils. The mixture is done when the lentils are nice and tender but there is very little liquid left and ingredients are quite dry.

4. Remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries and pecans. Add more curry powder if you feel it needs it, (only of you added 1tsp at the start)

5. Meanwhile prepare your squash by cutting the stems off the ends and halving lengthways. Scrape the seeds out with a spoon and brush the insides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut side down on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes until tender and golden around the edges. 

6. When ready to serve, spoon the ´pilaf´ in to the squash halves. 


Chestnut crusted Salmon Christmas Day Dinner Meal Alternatives

Chestnut and Pepper Crusted Salmon

One of our Christmas faves and a great alternative to all that meat and heavy sauces so prevalent at Christmas time!


  • 80g chestnuts
  • 4 tbsp fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs 
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10g fresh parsley
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 750 g salmon fillet
  • 2 lemons quartered
  • pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 220C/430F 

2. Cut an X in to the side of each chestnut (stops them exploding in the oven)

3. Put them on a baking tray and roast in oven for 15-20 mins or until shells have pulled back from cuts you made and the inside is softened.

4. Meanwhile, process your breadcrumbs,  peppercorns, and mustard seeds. Pulse briefly until well combined but still coarse. Add parsley and pulse again. 

5. Take cooked chestnuts out of oven and wrap in clean kitchen towel and squeeze the to break the shell. Let them sit for 5 mins before peeling to remove and shell/pith.

6. Add peeled chestnuts to blender and pulse until they're coarsely  chopped. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and juice of lemon and pulse until it forms a coarse paste. Set aside.

7. Lay your salmon on an oiled baking tray skin side down, oil and salt the flesh side of the salmon.

8.Crumble the crust mixture on top of the salmon to cover it evenly. Place Lemon wedges around the salmon.

9.Roast for around 20 mins until salmon is cooked through.

So whatever your plans are for this Christmas, stay strong, eat sensibly and remember to keep up your fitness routines over the holiday period whenever you can!

The Nailah Team



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