Healthy Dinner Ideas for the Holidays

Healthy Dinner Ideas for the Holidays

Coq Au Vin Is An Elegant Dinner Idea

During the holiday season, I often find myself looking for dinner ideas that are elegant, healthy and easy to make, without much fuss. One classic French dish that I love is Coq Au Vin, chicken braised in wine, onions, mushrooms and bacon. Although not difficult, the traditional preparation of Coq Au Vin uses butter and bacon, and takes a bit of time as the onion and mushroom garnishes are cooked separately.

I found a quick and easy Coq Au Vin recipe, lightened it up a bit, and then added deeper flavors to achieve the richness of the traditional dish. Then, I put together an elegant, healthy, and easy dinner menu to go with Coq Au Vin. Served with Assorted Tartine, Creamy Mashed potatoes, Roasted Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes, Sugar-and Spice Roasted Winter Squash, and ending with Pomegranate Poached Pears, Coq Au Vin would make an impressive dinner for guests over the holidays.

An Elegant Healthy Dinner Menu:

Assorted Tartine

Quick Coq Au Vin

Roasted Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Sugar-and-Spice Roasted Squash

Pomegranate Poached Pears

Here are the dinner recipes for this menu. Coq Au Vin and Pomegranate Poached Pears can be made a few days in advance, and the broccoli and squash can be cut-up ahead of time. The broccoli can be put into the oven during the last 15 minutes before the roasted squash is done (it will only take a few more minutes before the broccoli is done).

Quick Coq Au Vin

Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2010. Traditionally, chicken on the bone is used, and Coq Au Vin is served with braised onions and sautéed mushrooms. In this recipe, using boneless chicken breasts and cooking the shallots and mushrooms directly in the braising liquid saves time. I substituted organic, uncured turkey bacon (no antibiotics, nitrites, nitrates, or saturated fat) for pork bacon, so the dish had a nice smoky flavor without the fat. For deeper flavor, I browned the chicken well, and then braised it in the mushroom wine sauce, adding thyme and tomato paste, which are traditionally used in Coq Au Vin.

Printable Recipe


  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 4 slices turkey bacon, uncured, without nitrates
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 shallots, peeled, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine
  • 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, divided
  • 4 teaspoons flour
Read the whole recipe on Jeanette's Healthy Living