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Make your Christmas even merrier this year by preparing these simple dishes for breakfast, brunch, dinner and dessert. Feel free to mix and match the recipes from any of these three menus, of course. What's important is that they all taste wonderful, and their quick preparations should leave you time to relax and enjoy the day with friends and family.
Eggs Benedict by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
It's that decadent combo of eggs, hollandaise and English muffins. If you plan ahead, you can prepare it in minutes, even before presents are opened.
Per Serving: 270 calories, 3g saturated fat, 26g carbohydrates, 18g protein, 3g fiber
Flank Steak Thinly Sliced Over Argula with Garlic and Lemon Oil by Diane Morgan
With basic, fresh ingredients, a steak salad is a great choice for brunch: It won't leave you stuffed before a more hearty dinner.
Per Serving: 288 calories, 5g saturated fat, 2g carbohydrates, 31g protein, 1g fiber
Mushroom and Artichoke Lasagna by Judith Finlayson
Try a lasagna that will satisfy both carnivores and vegetarians. You can make it ahead of time — and in bulk, if you're feeding a large group.
Per Serving: 492 calories, 14g saturated fat, 43g carbohydrates, 28g protein, 9g fiber
Whole Wheat Carrot Cake by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
This is a scrumptious carrot cake, despite its slightly healthy spin (there's still a cup of butter, after all!). The whole wheat flour doesn't change the flavor, but adds fiber.
Per Serving: 692 calories, 21g saturated fat, 84g carbohydrates, 12g protein, 5g fiber
Cinnamon Pancakes With Apricots by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
Beloved by both kids and adults, pancakes are hard to beat for a sweet kickoff to Christmas morning.
Per Serving: 107 calories, 3g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 1g fiber
Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
Both the eggplant and the goat cheese bring a little heft to the salad, which you can serve with fresh bread.
Per Serving: 154 calories, 2g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 7g fiber
Marinated Pork Loin by Penelope Casas
The pork requires just a handful of herbs and spices (and a bit of olive oil and white wine), and marinates for 24 hours before cooking.
Per Serving: 256 calories, 4g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 31g protein, 1g fiber
Apple Pie by Tina Davis
Finish off your feast with an all-American classic, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Per Serving: 137 calories, 3g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 2g fiber
Fresh Fruit Parfait by Lauren Groveman
Since there's nothing to cook, a light parfait can be a quick fix in the morning or can be made the night before.
Per Serving: 170 calories, 1g saturated fat, 36g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 4g fiber
Leek and Bacon Gratiné by Michele Urvater
Gratiné is a crustless quiche you can serve for breakfast, brunch or dinner. You can throw in extra veggies for more crunch and color.
Per Serving: 252 calories, 11g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 2g fiber
Chicken With Thyme and Lemon by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
Lemon and thyme add flavor, while the wine, olive oil and butter keep the chicken perfectly moist.
Per Serving: 681 calories, 14g saturated fat, 4g carbohydrates, 52g protein, 1g fiber
Pecan and Maple Tart by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
A tart is a delicious change from the usual holiday pies. To save time, use a prebaked tart shell.
Per Serving: 519 calories, 8g saturated fat, 56g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 3g fiber