Your Guide to a Grain Free Holiday Dinner

ONE week until Christmas!!!! Y’all I thought I had everything under control, but truth be told…I’m feeling a bit frazzled. I tried to stay organized and keep my to-do list organized, my tasks to a minimum, but per usual I booked our family calendar to the brim doing #allthethings. I take full responsibility for orchestrating our crazy {yet very Merry!!} weekend.

We spent Saturday morning at a magical Santa event, squeezed in a couple errands then raced to our kids’ holiday piano recital. This was immediately followed by my daughters’ Nutcracker dress rehearsal & performance. We all crashed HARD Saturday night!!

We woke up the next day to bake holiday treats for neighbors, teachers {and us!}, wrapped presents, ran way too many errands {with a million other Austinites} and squeezed in some soccer in the glorious sunshine! It was fun, but there was not a day of rest in sight! Can you relate??! It’s the most Wonderful Time of The Year!

I promised to dedicate some down time this week to getting our holiday menu nailed down! The goal is to make ONE trip to the store and spend the rest of the holiday week away from a check out line. Are you with me?! Without further ado, here is my Grain Free Christmas Eve dinner menu!!

Christmas Eve Dinner

I aim to keep Christmas Eve dinner a bit on the lighter side. We really pull out all the gluttonous stops on Christmas morning so I make sure our Eve meal isn’t too rich.
It’s usually comprised of a healthy appetizer, salad, fish or a lean beef and veggies.

overhead view of crudite tray
Take Two Tapas


Besides a veggie platter I usually set out a salad, something warm out of the oven & a mix of healthy homemade dips. I’m loving this festive, tasty Avocado, Pomegranate Seed Dip by fellow IIN Graduate, Drew Martino. The color combination is perfect for your table, and you can whip it up in minutes! {Do not make this ahead of time! The avocado will turn brown instead of a Grinch like green}.

Pomegranate Avocado Dip – Integrative Nutrition Recipes
Drew Martino

Next up is Boom Boom Shrimp from Whole Foods!!! Y’all this is in the freezer section, there is no need to defrost it, you can toss it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for 25 minutes and be done. AND it’s gluten free, AND my kids love it! Enough Said!! An Appetizer win!

Image result for boom boom shrimp whole foods

If you have a little more time to combine ingredients, these Sweet Potato and Wild Caught Salmon Poppers are so yummy!!

Last appetizer up is Prosciutto Wrapped Dates! I like this recipe by The Recipe Runner . I skip the cream cheese as it overpowers the goat cheese in my opinion. If dates aren’t your thing, you could swap dates for figs and it’s equally delicious!! Don’t skip this balsamic drizzle topping. It makes the dish!!

Prosciutto Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates - Recipe Runner

Last up is this gorgeous Christmas wreath salad by goodhousekeeping. It makes a beautiful centerpiece, and is almost too pretty to eat! However, it’s so delicious that you won’t feel bad after your first bite! The dressing is divine y’all!!

I also really love this festive Brussels Sprout Salad by Delish


As I said, we usually do a prime rib roll (bone out–it’s easier for me to estimate the amount of meat for serving!) or a fish dish. The fish dishes are a little less involved and require less prep {and babysitting!} so that’s usually my preference. However I totally get that beef is a favorable choice on Christmas Eve! Especially among my Mom and kids!

My Dad is really the master of making tender, melt in your mouth beef. Thankfully he’s shared his knowledge and passed down his marinating and seasoning tricks! One day I’ll get him on video for a Happy Dinner tutorial! Of course he’s never written a recipe in his life! (ha) so when I need something printed I really love this Fool Proof Oven Roasted Prime Rib recipe by Chef Alli . The seasoning is simple and the cooking time is expertly laid out. I aim for medium temperature.

Slice of prime rib resting on a platter beside the standing rib. This picture shows the medium-rare interior of the roast.
Chef Alli

Fish dishes are really easy y’all! Don’t let them scare you! You can pull off a restaurant quality meal in 20-40 minutes with most fish fillets! For that reason I think these recipes are perfect for Christmas Eve. Sea Bass is a holiday favorite in our home!

Roasted Sea Bass with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, and Salsa Rustica

Roasted Sea Bass with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, and Salsa Rustica
Justin Walker

Trout With Almond-Parsley Butter

Trout with Almond-Parsley Butter Shira Bocar
Chris Simpson

Fool Proof Sides

There is a lot going on during Christmas Eve. Last minute errands, wrapping, building toys, prepping dinner and getting yourself and your kids dolled up!! For that reason I keep extra sides super simple!

Trader Joe’s Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Whole 30 approved Mashed Sweet Potatoes from Trader Joes!

The only ingredient here is sweet potatoes!!! Find them in the freezer section. They are ready in no time and only $2.49 per bag. Get two bags and combine with coconut milk, ghee and a touch of maple syrup + pecans for a yummy side dish! No recipe needed!
Riced Cauliflower is another super simple side dish that requires almost no work, no recipe and literally goes with everything!!!

If you have the oven space, I really love this Honey Oven Roasted Broccoli Recipe by Evolving Table. For some reason our kids love broccoli, so it’s a veggie that lives on our dinner rotation. Especially around the holidays! Gotta get in those nutrients before the sugar rush!

Honey oven roasted broccoli in a white bowl with garlic on the side.
Evolving Table

After dinner we get cozy in our Christmas jams, light a fire, make hot chocolate {spiked with this for adults!} and pop Cappello’s Cookie Dough in the oven for Santa {and us!}.

Cappello's Cookie Dough, Chocolate Chip

We read A Night Before Christmas and try to get the kids to bed early! Then the real fun begins!! Playing Santa! Our kids are still “believers”, so I’m really trying to hold on to the magical holiday spirit! I know it’s fleeting and won’t last forever.

Wishing y’all a Very Merry Christmas Eve Dinner! Enjoy this last week of all the Merry Things!

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Oh hey there!

Welcome to Happy Dinner! I’m Cortney, a Holistic Health Coach, wellness entrepreneur, wife and Mama of two, here to make holistic health simple and engaging!

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