By Natalie Bickford, MS
The holidays are all about gathering together with friends and family accompanied by plenty of delicious, festive food and drinks. If you’re hosting, you shouldn’t be stressed and working away in the kitchen while everyone else is having a good time. That’s why we like to keep things simple and uncomplicated with lots of prep-ahead options.
We’ve come up with a Run Fast Eat Slow inspired menu for you to follow or use as a guide if you’re hosting this year. A lot of the items can be prepped ahead so that you have plenty of time to relax and be with your loved ones.
Mix it up this year and try hosting a Holiday brunch instead of dinner. Check out our post for menu ideas!
Run Fast Eat Slow Holiday Dinner Menu
RFES = Run Fast. Eat Slow.
RFCFES = Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.
Lemon Gingerade (RFCFES, p. 230)
A warming, bright drink that will get your digestive system ready for all of the delicious food you’re about to eat! It also happens to be a great mixer for a homemade whiskey ginger!
*Prep a day ahead! Serve cold or hot.
You can’t have Christmas without a good selection of red wines.
If you’re feeling ambitious, make mulled wine! My family always makes glühwine, a German mulled wine with orange, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It’s served hot and will make your house smell like Christmas.
Apple-Ginger Cider (RFES, p. 39)
A great non-alcoholic drink to warm your soul after a snowy Christmas day run!
Don’t Get Beet Hummus (RFES, p. 73) + Green Goddess Tahini Sauce (RFCFES p. 178) served w/ crudite + pita chips
The vibrant red beet hummus + green goddess sauce combo will keep things festive, colorful and delicious! Double or triple up on the Green Goddess Tahini Sauce to have extra to serve with your dinner!
*prep the day before
Charcuterie Board with cured meats, cheeses, red + green grapes and Maple Turmeric Nuts (RFCFES, p. 200)
Go to your local farmers market, grocery store or meat market and grab a selection of cured meats (prosciutto, salami, mortadella, etc...) and a mixture of soft and hard cheeses. Including red and green grapes add festive colors and are delicious with cheese.
Our Maple Turmeric Nuts are a major crowd pleaser and a great addition to a charcuterie board. Don’t forget crackers!
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken (RFES, p. 129) or Miso Butter Salmon (RFCFES, p. 155)
Take your chicken up a notch by stuffing it with a cheesy feta and spinach mixture and wrapping it in crispy bacon. It looks beautiful sliced and served on a platter.
Miso Butter Salmon is another amazing option that requires less prep and effort, but is just as delicious. The miso honey butter makes the salmon salty, sweet and luscious.
DIY Grain Salad (farro + roasted brussels sprouts + raw fennel + toasted pecans + goat cheese + Apple Cider Vinaigrette + pomegranate seeds)
We love the DIY Grain Salad because it can be adapted with each season and let’s you get creative. This combination of brussels, fennel, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate is perfect for the Holiday table.
*Make it look extra beautiful by serving it on a big platter sprinkled with some reserved brussels + fennel, plenty of goat cheese, pecans and pomegranate seeds.
*cook the grains and make the dressing the day before for quick assembly!
Mashed Yams with Sage Brown Butter (RFES, p. 165)
These sweet and savory mashed yams are the perfect starchy addition to your holiday table. Major bonus that It can easily be made ahead and reheated the day of.
*prep ahead and reheat in the oven before serving
Simply Roasted Cauliflower (RFCFES, p. 159) served with a side of Green Goddess Tahini Sauce to top it with
Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables to roast. When roasted they become creamy, caramelized and super addicting. Have a bowl of the Green Goddess Tahini Sauce on the side to drizzle on top of the cauliflower for a burst of fresh herb flavor.
Flourless Almond Torte (RFES, p. 184) w/ Sauteed Pears (RFES, p. 186) and whipped cream
This cake is a stunner topped with seasonal fruit and whipped cream. Most cakes are very labor intensive, but this one is full-proof and comes together super speedy to whip up.
*make the Sauteed Pears a day ahead
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (RFCFES, p. 207)
Can't have Christmas without cookies! These ones are guaranteed to please both kids, adults, and Santa.
*Make a double batch a day ahead and freeze the extra dough in a log. That way if you run out, you can slice it up and bake a fresh batch!
Minute Mug Cakes (RFCFES, p. 214)
This is the last minute dessert that you make in 5 minutes tops when a friend stops by for an unexpected visit. Shalane and Elyse are eating Mocha Madness Mug Cakes in the photo above.
Need holiday gift ideas for your coworkers, teachers, coaches and neighbors? Check out our edible holiday gift guide!
Also, if you haven’t heard, our Meal Planner is launching right before Christmas — the perfect gift for your foodie runner friends! We've got a few autographed copies left on our site or you can order from Amazon or anywhere books are sold.
Natalie is a nutritionist and personal chef in Portland, OR who specializes in women's health and sports nutrition. She loves creating simple, nourishing meals and recipes to fuel your life. Find Natalie at nataliecooks.com.
Photo by Alan Weiner.