Enlightened State

25 Easy Meals You Won't Feel Guilty About

FoodMorgan VanekComment

For me, holidays are all about eating.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the traditions and ambiance and all of the other stuff, too, but if I'm being honest, the food has always been the main event for me.  That's why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It's a time when I can sit and enjoy the company of my family over a delicious meal.  Plus, there's no bittersweet feeling as the evening winds down - Christmas, another food-centric holiday full of warm fuzzies, is right around the corner.  

But between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, there are so many celebrations.  The weeks between these two holidays usually include planned and impromptu gatherings of various friends and co-workers, as well as the traditional family parties.  Indulging in so much rich food makes me feel sluggish and bloated, and I have to be careful about my diet from day to day. 

Unfortunately, the generous spreads at all of these festivities make my weeknight salads look a little sad and forlorn, and I've been known to indulge in a few extra cookies after dinner to pump up that holiday feeling.  Hey, at least I burn some calories while I dance to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree in my living room, am I right? 

Another struggle I run into is that I am so busy during the holidays that I hardly have time to cook.  Most of the time, I'm willing to spend a few extra minutes in the kitchen to enjoy a really delicious meal, maybe trying my hand at an exotic Indian dish or a complicated Thai soup.  But at the end of the year, I have to devote every spare minute to shopping, crafting, and preparing for a seemingly endless number of holiday parties and traditions.  

And speaking of not having much to spare, money can also be an issue during this time. But as I'm on my way home from Target for the fifth time in a week, I often succumb to the temptation of take-out pizza or Chinese food.  I know it's cheaper to cook at home, but at 10 p.m. on a Thursday, with an evening of gift-wrapping ahead of me, it's hard to muster up the energy to prepare a healthy meal.  

This year, I compiled a list of 25 easy meals ahead of time so that I'm never caught off guard at dinner time - and I'm sharing them with you!  To make things even simpler, plan out your meals for the week and set aside a few hours to cook them in batches so that you never have to answer the call of the drive-thru.  These healthy meals will satisfy your taste buds and keep your energy up, which is so crucial during this time of year.  

These tasty recipes will keep you nourished and healthy throughout the holidays, without the stress.  So sit back, relax, and rest assured that you can still indulge in a second glass of eggnog at the company holiday party - I won't tell anyone!


Do you have any easy recipes that you go back to again and again? What is your favorite holiday food tradition?