The annual holiday season brings family gatherings, traditions, parties and a never-ending supply of food and treats. Special foods enhance events, but too much indulgence can lead to overeating and extra pounds. Because the holidays span more than one month from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, additional calories can add up.
No one wants to totally eliminate their favorites during the holidays. Enjoying food in moderation and using portion control is a good way to approach the abundance at this time of year. Another way to control calories is to reduce fat and sugar where possible in some items. To get started, we’ve identified a few healthy holiday meal recipes that may become favorites!
- 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
- 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 6 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1-ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, grated and divided (about 1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well-blended. Add 4 ounces (1 cup) mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan; stir well. Spoon mixture into a broiler-safe 1 1/2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Preheat broiler to high (leave dish in oven). Broil dip for 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. pieces
- 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
- 1 (12-oz.) package peeled diced butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Place russet potatoes in a large bowl; cover with water to 1 inch above potatoes.
Place Yukon Gold potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. When water reaches a simmer, drain russet potatoes, and add to pan with Yukon Golds. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Drain.
Using a potato ricer, rice potatoes over pan. Stir in butter until melted. Gently stir in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, salt, and black pepper.
While potatoes simmer, bring chicken stock, sage leaves, and butternut squash to a simmer; cook 15 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons stock; drain squash. Discard sage. Place 2 tablespoons buttermilk, 2 tablespoons stock, and squash in a blender; blend until smooth. Add squash mixture to mashed potatoes; swirl with spoon.
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup cranberries
- 2 tbsp chopped walnut
Preheat oven to 425°. Place a jellyroll pan in oven for 10 minutes.
Trim off the tough end of the beans. In a medium bowl, place green beans, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
Arrange green bean mixture in a single layer on preheated baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top of the beans.
Bake about 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. To serve, transfer roasted green beans to serving dish and top with cranberries and chopped walnut.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled
- 1¼ teaspoons poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-pound stale whole-grain bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add sausage, poultry seasoning, pepper and salt; cook, stirring, until no pink is visible, 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add bread, apple and broth; stir to coat well. Cover and cook on High for 2 hours.
Tip: If using fresh bread: Preheat oven to 275°F. Spread bread on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool before using.
- 3/4 cup regular oats
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Dash of salt
- 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Anjou pear (2 large)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pastry shell
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare streusel, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
For filling, combine pear, cranberries, 2/3 cup brown sugar, and cornstarch in large bowl; toss well to combine. Spoon pear mixture into pastry shell; sprinkle streusel over pear mixture.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until bubbly and streusel is browned. Cool at least 1 hour on wire rack.
- Cooking spray
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup egg substitute
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups low-fat peppermint ice cream (such as Edy’s/Dreyer’s Slow-Churned Light), softened
- 3 cups frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 8 peppermint candies, crushed
Preheat oven to 350°.Coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottom of each pan with wax paper.
Combine cocoa, water, and butter, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cool.
Combine sugars in a large bowl, stirring well until blended. Add egg substitute; beat 2 minutes or until light and creamy. Add cocoa mixture, and beat for 1 minute.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to bowl; beat for 1 minute. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans. Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 2 hours.
Spread ice cream in an 8-inch round cake pan lined with plastic wrap. Cover and freeze 4 hours.
To assemble cake, place one cake layer, bottom side up, on cake pedestal. Remove ice cream layer from freezer; remove plastic wrap. Place ice cream layer, bottom side up, on top of cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer.
Combine whipped topping and peppermint extract, and stir until blended. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Freeze until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before slicing.
Fill your belly with the above recipes and let us know which one was your favorite! Stay Fueled.