A Quick & Simple (but Healthy) December Meal Plan

December is a notoriously busy month for most of us. Between last minute gift-buying and holiday functions, shopping and baking, wrapping and decorating, there’s little time left for all the everyday chores of cleaning, cooking, and laundry. So it’s easy to skip meal planning and order pizza. Every once in a while take-out might be the sanity saver you need, but it’s hard on the wallet and one’s health. Having a meal plan in place can help tremendously during the busy holiday season. (If you need help putting together a meal plan, check out this post and this one.)

The meals I have selected this month are fairly simple, economical, and healthy. Many are crockpot meals that you can load up in the morning and forget about until supper time. Many are also warm and comforting because December can be a little crazy, and we need good wholesome foods to sustain and center us.

Seasonal Produce

I like to buy fresh produce that’s in season because (1) it’s usually on sale and (2) it’s at its nutritional peak, meaning it’s loaded with optimal vitamins and minerals.

In December, the following fruits and vegetables are in season:

 Apples     Kale

Beets      Lemons

Broccoli      Onions

Brussels Sprouts      Oranges

Cabbage      Pears

Carrots      Pomegranate

Cauliflower      Potatoes

Celery      Spinach

Chard      Sweet Potatoes

Cranberries      Turnips

Winter Squash

Buy bags of apples, pears, and oranges for snacks.

Roast butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower for delicious yet simple sides. Just cut up, drizzle with oil, season, and roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Saute greens like kale and chard in a little oil, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder for a healthy, antioxidant-rich side dish.

Holiday Plans

We spend Christmas Eve-Eve (Dec 23) with my family and then to Daniel’s family’s house for Christmas Eve, so I don’t do much cooking. We are home for Christmas Day, and it’s a family tradition to have homemade cinnamon rolls, eggs, and sausage or bacon. I’ve included some simple holiday meals for those evenings for you. We like to eat snack-y foods on holidays like 7-layer Mexican Dip, Shrimp Cocktail, cheese & meat trays with crackers and fruit, as well as sliders, but fix what your family fancies.

Even though December days can be downright dizzying, having a meal plan in place with some easy, healthy recipes will keep you grounded and give you peace at the end of the day when everyone is starving.

I hope you will find a new recipe or two on my December meal plan that your family enjoys. Feel free to print it out and pass it on to friends!

December 2017 Meal Plan

Follow me on Pinterest for even more amazing recipes!

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Photo by Andrew Walton @w_andrew_j (instagram) on Unsplash

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