While Christmas isn't celebrated nearly as much as Easter in Greece, it is still a holiday filled with traditional dishes and time with family and friends. If you have Greek roots or a just looking to serve up some traditional Greek recipes for you Christmas gathering on a calorie budget, here are a few dishes to choose from.
Lahanosalata, or cabbage salad, is a popular Christmas dish as cabbage is often growing in the garden in the winter time and is plentiful during the Christmas holiday. This simple salad is loaded with fresh cabbage which is extremely low in calories. It is then seasoned with garlic, salt, lemon juice, and is tossed with olive oil which is prominent in Greek cuisine. Go easy on the olive oil, and this becomes a healthy and low calorie salad that you can indulge in on Christmas.
Lahanodolmathes, or stuffed cabbage rolls, are one of the stars of the greek Christmas feast. Choose lean ground beef to prepare the rice stuffing, and these tasty little rolls really become quite healthy and relatively low in calories. Other ingredients in these rolls include carrots, onions, celerly, and yes lots of cabbage!
Rizogalo, or rice pudding is a special treat for the Greek holiday table. It is sweetened with just a bit of sugar, and so remains somewhat lower in calories than some other traditional desserts. This rice pudding can't be put together in just a few minutes, so be sure to allow enough time to cook and stir the pudding to the proper consistency.
Keftethes, or Greek meatballs, make a wonderful appetizer, easy to pop in your mouth and make for a wonderful Christmas dish. The recipe simply calls for ground beef, but if you opt to use a lean ground beef for the recipe, you will help to keep the dish lower in calories. This recipe from the about.com guide to Greek food also uses a baking method for cooking the meatballs instead of frying them in order to make them a little healthier. This, of course comes in handy when you are looking to enjoy a low calorie Greek Christmas meal.
Riganatha can be easily compared to the italian appetizer, bruschetta. It is a basically the Greek versions! Start with thick slices of sourdough, Italian, or French bread and top it with olive oil, tomatoes, and feta cheese as well as oregano. The bread is first grilled and them topped with the flavorful toppings, sliced, and served as a tasty appetizer for your Christmas gathering.