By David Grotto, RD, LDN aka “The Guyatitian”
Nobody likes a party pooper. Especially one of them there high and mighty, judgmental nutrition-types who would never be caught eating your triple-fudge holiday death bars (until nobody was watching) if their life depended on it. Maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to parties anymore?
Truth be told, I (and most of my colleagues) stopped being the food Gestapo a long, long time ago. We realized that for good habits to be sustainable, diets must include your favorite foods (healthy or not), especially around the holidays. Of course, our mission is to prove to you that “healthy” and “favorites” can co-exist as one. Well, tasting is believing, my friend. So for this blog post, I give you three holiday recipes that my family loves and craves.
Sharon’s Simple Berry Sauce*
Serve over pancakes, waffles, French toast, Thanksgiving turkey or anything that you want to taste “berry-good”!
Prep time and cooking time: 35 minutes
1-10 ounce package frozen mixed organic berries
¼ cup agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Place frozen berry blend. Agave syrup, vanilla extract and salt into a sauce pan. Cook over low heat until frozen berries are defrosted. Bring to boil. Let simmer, uncovered until sauce becomes think – about 20-30 minutes.
Calories: 95; Fat: 0gm; Cholesterol: 0gm; Saturated fat: 0gm; Trans fat: 0gm, Sodium: 75mg; Sugars: 21gm Protein: 0 gm; Fiber: 1 gm; Total carbs: 24gm
Roasted Carrot Butternut Soup*
A terrific first-course to welcome autumn into your home!
Servings: 12 (6.37 oz-wt.)
Prep and cooking time: 60 minutes
1 lb Fresh Baby Carrots
1 lb Fresh Butternut Squash-Cubes
1 ½ cup Fresh Vidalia Onions-Chpd
4 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1 each Fresh Garlic Cloves
6 each Cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon Fresh Thyme
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg-Whole Grated
6 each Fresh Peppermint Leaves
1 teaspoon Dried Whole Bay Leaves
In 375 F oven – roast carrots and squash until tender. In a large stock pot, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add squash, carrots, chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove bayleaf and thyme. Using a food processor, blend until very smooth. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve in wide bowls. Garnish with single cinnamon stick – fresh grated nutmeg and floating mint leaf.
Calories: 80; Total Fat: 3g; Protein: 3g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Total Carbs: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Cholesterol 8mg; Sodium: 56mg
Cherry Oatmeal Bake*
We love starting off Thanksgiving morning with a hearty bowl or oats with eggs in it. Really helps keep you from over-eating at the main event!
Prep and cooking time: 50 minutes
½ cup Dried tart cherries
½ cup Quick oats, uncooked
¼ cup Agave syrup
½ teaspoon Salt
2 cups Skim or soy milk
¼ cup Egg substitute or two eggs, whipped
½ teaspoon Almond extract
Combine cherries, oats, agave syrup, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in milk, egg substitute and almond extract. Spray four-10 ounce custard cups with a non-stick cooking spray. Divide mixture evenly between the cups. Place filled cups on baking sheet. Bake in preheated, 350°F oven, for 30-40 minutes or until the centers are slightly soft. Serve warm.
Calories: 210; Total Fat: 3.5g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 330mg; Total Carbs: 39g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 27g; Protein: 7g
* Recipes excerpted with permission from 101 Foods That Can Save Your Life Bantam Books 2007.