Have a Healthy Holiday Break
With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s quickly approaching, everyone is already thinking about their New Year’s resolution. Let’s be honest, “being healthier” is always on everyone’s list. Why wait for the New Year when one can practice their healthy eating and recipes during this holiday season?
APPETIZERS AND SIDES:
When it comes to a holiday dinner, we are all guilty of loading our plate with too many sides and end up giving left over scraps to the dog under the table. Many people are guilty of this because they do not want to offend a family member by not trying their side dish. Overloading one's plate can be fixed by taking a “no thank you serving”. A no thank you serving is about half to a fourth of the amount you would take for a full serving. This prevents your plate from becoming too overloaded.
Appetizers and sides are also known to be full of unhealthy ingredients such as butter, marshmallows, and loads of cheese. One can still enjoy these sides by substituting the unhealthy ingredients with healthier ones!
Below is an example of a healthy version of an artichoke spinach dip that comes right out of my family recipe book!
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup reduced-fat grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
14 ounces canned low sodium artichoke hearts (drained)
-Hand mix the cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt with a wooden spoon.
-Add the chopped spinach and artichoke hearts.
-Grease a baking dish with olive oil and add the mixture.
-Top with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
-Bake at 400°F until golden brown on top and hot in the middle, about 20-25 minutes.
For many American families, a standing rib roast or roasted goose are popular main dishes for a holiday dinner. Unfortunately, both of these types of meat are known to be high in fat. Here are some tips to reduce the amount of fat in these dishes:
Standing Rib Roast:
- When preparing the roast, trim the outer fat off of the roast before cooking.
- Cook the roast on an elevated grate do the meat does not sit in the fat juices.
While cooking, elevate the goose so the meat does not sit in the fat juices.
Before eating, remove the skin, this is where most of the fat of the bird is located.
Instead of eating with gravy, serve with a homemade orange or cranberry marmalade.
After dinner, when everyone is cozy-ing up by the fire, the smell of freshly baked cookies draws everyone back to the kitchen for their final treat of the night. For those who are trying to be healthier, they may opt out due to the high sugar and fat content of holiday deserts. Thankfully, there is a solution for those who are more health-minded. There are many bloggers out there who have developed great healthy cookie recipes that will complete the perfect holiday dinner. See below for the recipes.