Healthy Holiday Party Planning on The Marilyn Denis Show

Miranda Malisani shares her favourite ways to stay healthy while still having fun and hosting fantastic fétes all thorugh the holiday season!

Serving Drinks

Offer a signature, guilt-free holiday drink. Miranda loves this honey pear and cinnamon cocktail.


photo credit: The Marilyn Denis Show

Honey Pear and Cinnamon Holiday Cocktail


3/4 cup boiling water
4 jasmine green tea bags
1/2 cup raw honey
1 organic bartlett pear, peeled and sliced
2 lemons, juice only
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 ounce premium vodka
2-3 ounces prosecco
Steep 4 tea bags in water for 5 minutes and then remove tea bags
In a blender add raw honey, pear, lemon juice, cinnamon and the green tea
Blend until smooth
Add to a mason jar and chill in the fridge
In a highball glass filled with ice, add 2-3 ounces of the blended mixture and top with vodka and/or prosecco.
Add a slice of pear and extra pinch of cinnamon when serving

Tip! Set the bar with tall, skinny highball glasses instead of short, wide tumblers.
In a recent study of college students, as much as 30 percent more liquor was poured into tumblers than highball glasses.

Serving Food:
First off, opt for smaller tables rather than one long table. One study found that dining with six or more people can cause you to eat 76 percent more, most likely because the meal can last so long.

Next, offer more nutrient-dense, lower calorie items on the buffet first (veggie platter, salad, soup (non-cream based) or begin your plated dinner with a salad or soup. when we are hungry we tend to eat the most of what is first put in front of us. We first want starchy carbs as it quickly satisfies our hunger. By consuming these lower calorie items first, we are able to make more wholesome choices and avoid eating too many carbs.

Lastly, rethink the casserole. Instead of drowning your veggies in cream, salt, cheese and too much butter, try a healthier version this year. Think single ingredients seasoned with anti-inflammatory, seasoning like ginger, turmeric and lemon include a healthier oil in the dish like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.


photo credit: The Marilyn Denis Show

Healthy Holiday Green Beans and Red Peppers

Serves 4


2 lb green beans
1/3 cup goat’s feta cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 lemon, juice only
3-4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Mince garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
Prepare green beans by washing and trimming the ends. keep the green beans whole while cooking to preserve nutrients.
Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2-3 inches of water and place prepared green beans inside and place a lid on top.
Steam, for 7-8 minutes or until tender. when they are tender enough to stick a fork through easily they are done.
Transfer to a bowl and toss in goat cheese, almonds, roasted red peppers and basil.
Pour dressing over top and gently stir to ensure all ingredients are covered.

Tip! Make your desserts mini in size. This way guests can taste more of them, but they will not consume as many calories. With those mini desserts, Miranda recommends her dark chocolate almond butter cups!


photo credit: The Marilyn Denis Show

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Makes 24


2/3 cup organic coconut oil
½ cup organic cocoa powder
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
12 tsp almond butter
Melt coconut oil on low heat and add cocoa powder, ma
ple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. stir until smooth. Pour 1.5 teaspoons of the mixture into mini muffin papers.
Freeze for 10 minutes.
Take ½ teaspoon of almond butter and flatten onto chocolate cups.
Pour a thin layer of the chocolate mixture on top of the almond butter to cover.
Freeze for another 10 minutes.
Remove and enjoy!

Tip! Be sure to include a large fresh fruit platter or a baked apples and pears with lots of cinnamon to encourage healthier choices.

After Dinner
Offer a welcoming food free space for guests with holiday activities. A great idea is to have a game where you can get them moving to help improve digestion, and curb the desire to overindulge. Also, having food out of reach can help your guests avoid mindless eating and will save 100-200 calories over the course of the evening.

A great game to play is Christmas Carol Pictionary; it works exactly like regular pictionary except it’s all with christmas carols!
It’s a sure way to get everyone and bonding both in the guessing of the carols and singing together.
Another fun game Miranda loves at parties is Santa Limbo! This is a fun twist on classic limbo, but with a pillow as a santa belly!

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