Since Hanukkah is different than Christmas, the Jewish people can really end up putting on some unwanted pounds due to the duration of the holiday. Depending on your particular celebration, of course, you may only celebrate on certain days. But some Jewish families like to celebrate for all eight nights.
If you want to eat healthier, then having a couple of reliable and healthy Hanukkah recipes in your back pocket would be ideal. For your next holiday meal, try these two dishes and wow your family with flavor without packing on the fat and carbs.
Healthy Hanukkah Recipes to Try
Super Simple Roast Chicken
Because of the kosher “laws” of Jewish cuisine, kosher chickens are bereft of the proverbial add-ons that send other chickens to market in a hurry. The natural upbringing of the chicken gives it a great flavor, and having a simple roasted chicken for a holiday meal can really be healthy.
For this chicken recipe, we’ll need: 1 5-7-pound roasting bird; 1 small onion; 1 head of garlic; 2 tablespoons of olive oil; 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper; 3 sprigs each of fresh tarragon and thyme.
The preparation of this chicken couldn’t be simpler. Cut the onion in quarters and bust off about 8 cloves of garlic from the head and crush them slightly. Now, take these veggies, along with the herbs, and stuff them inside of the chicken.
On the outside of the chicken, rub it down with the olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper on it.
Set the oven to 400 degrees and roast for an hour and a half, or until you have an internal temp of 155 (after resting the chicken on the counter for 10 minutes, it will continue to cook and reach 160).
The herbs and aromatic veggies permeate the chicken from the inside, and the olive oil really crisps the skin up well. It’s a fantastic bird that’s fantastically simple to prepare.
Basque Veggie Rice
This rice goes perfectly with the chicken recipe. Along with some rye bread, you’ll have a complete healthy meal that takes no time at all to prepare.
For the rice, we’ll need: 2 tablespoons of olive oil; red pepper flakes; a medium onion; 3 cloves of garlic; 2 peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes (canned version if you prefer); 1 medium zucchini diced up; 1 red and green bell pepper diced; 1 teaspoon paprika and dried thyme; 3 cups veggie broth; 1 ¼ cups brown rice; parsley for garnish.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, the thinly sliced onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, the bell peppers, the pepper flakes, and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Next, add in the tomatoes, zucchini, paprika, thyme, salt/pepper, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once everything is cooked and incorporated, add in the rice and stir to coat. Now, add in the broth (save ½ cup; not enough is better than too much, because you can always add in later) and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for around 40 minutes, checking after 20 to see how things are coming along.
Once the rice is tender, garnish with the parsley and serve while hot alongside that wonderful chicken.