All Posts In Healthy Holidays

5 Ways to Navigate Food Allergies During the Holidays

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, November 21, 2016

Have you ever hosted a holiday feast and genuinely enjoyed the gathering as much as your guests did? It can be a reality — with a little help from your friends. During the holidays, many of the top food allergens — especially gluten, dairy, eggs and tree nuts — appear throughout the meal. This year, we’re turning the tables on guests and preparing them with these five easy tips to make this season’s holiday feast fun, and safe from allergies, for everyone.

1. Be prepared.
Avoid anxiety by giving the host a heads-up about any food allergies or intolerances the moment you receive the invitation. Ask if you can bring your favorite dish or dessert. It’s an opportunity to share not only the gift of food, but also your personal food memories and family traditions.

2. Be generous.
If you approach the gathering from a place of gratitude rather than just focusing on the food, your experience will shift. How often do you get the chance to be with those you love or meet charming new people? Think of everyone you get to spend time with, the laughter and the all-too-rare, real-life interactions. Invaluable. Read more

Healthy Sheet Pan Thanksgiving Dinner

by in Healthy Holidays, November 20, 2016

The words “quick,” “easy” and “Thanksgiving” typically don’t go together, but rules are being broken with this streamlined sheet-pan turkey dinner. It’s got all the elements of a typical Thanksgiving dinner, without the hours of prep and stovetop cooking. This dinner is just about the best thing to happen to hungry, time-starved cooks. Take a large baking sheet, add turkey, seasonings and vegetables, then roast until the meat is juicy and the vegetables are crispy and browned. Did I mention that cleanup takes less than two minutes? Throw away the sheet of parchment paper and place any leftovers in the fridge. Done and done.

If your meat section doesn’t have skin-on turkey breasts available, ask at the butcher. Most places that grind their turkey meat in-house use this type of cut to do so and should be able to supply you with a small breast portion. If you decide to use a breast that still contains the bone, you will likely need to increase the cooking time till done. Read more

Holiday Recipes for Even the Pickiest Lil’ Eaters

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, November 19, 2016

You are amped up for holiday meals, but your little ones might not be so thrilled. The fun and excitement of the holidays doesn’t always transfer to the dinner table, unless it’s covered in chocolate. Here are some kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing recipes to include in those sometimes controversial holiday menus.

 

Appetizers
Instead of fried junk, opt for sippable soups and veggiecentric snacks. Add a little kick of spice for the grownups and dial down the heat in a smaller batch for little ones. Even picky eaters tend to love briny olives and other finger foods.

Recipes to try:

Simple Chicken Soup

Citrus Marinated Olives

Parsnip Chips

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce Read more

3 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, November 18, 2016

Truth: Thanksgiving can be stressful—if you let the multicourse holiday feast rule you. We’re convinced the day will be better if you actually have time to enjoy your guests and your showstopping meal, including dessert. This year, we’re cooking up dessert at least one day ahead of the big day. No reason to wait to make these healthy-but-no-one-will-ever-know-it, rich desserts that’ll deliver sweet success.

Pumpkin Tiramisu with Gingersnap Crunch
Serves 16

4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chilled dairy-free coconut or almond creamer
4 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature
One 7-ounce package ladyfinger cookies
1 1/2 cups freshly brewed espresso, at room temperature
Gingersnaps, coarsely crushed, for sprinkling

In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat in the pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin spice and salt until smooth, about 2 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the creamer until it holds soft peaks; gradually beat in the mascarpone and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the whipped mascarpone cream until just combined.
Submerge each ladyfinger into the cooled espresso and line the bottom of a 9-inch square glass baking pan. Spread half of pumpkin filling on top; sprinkle with gingersnap crumbs. Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers and pumpkin filling. Chill, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Make-Ahead Tip: You can make the tiramisu up to 2 days ahead of time; store in the refrigerator. To serve, sprinkle gingersnap crumbs over it.

Per serving: Calories 120.1; Fat 6.5 g (Saturated 2.9 g); Cholesterol 99.1 mg; Sodium 74.2 mg; Carbohydrate 13.8 g; Fiber 0.4 g; Sugars 4.0 g; Protein 2.65 g Read more

7 Lighter Takes on Essential Thanksgiving Sides

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, November 17, 2016

Is there anything more necessary than a generous scoop of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving? A slice of hot buttered cornbread is nice, too. Some would even say it’s the green bean casserole that really makes the meal special. Personal preferences aside, we can all agree that the sides are the best part of Thanksgiving — next to the smorgasbord of pie, of course. And since we only get to enjoy this celebratory feast one day each year, why not dig in to the indulgent dishes that are so representative of the holiday?

Then again, if you plan on having a lot of leftovers, you could be enjoying these dishes for a few days (or an entire week) after Thanksgiving has passed. That’s incentive to throw some healthier options into the mix. Here are the classic, comforting sides we all long for, with a few alterations to make each one less of a splurge. As it turns out, your healthiest Thanksgiving could be your most-traditional yet.

Mashed Potatoes (pictured above)
Food Network Kitchen prepares these Mock Mashed Potatoes using cauliflower in place of traditional Yukon Golds, which results in a creamy mash that will have everyone at the table fooled. Garlic and thyme add flavor depth while nonfat Greek yogurt and a little Parmesan bring in some dairy richness and tang.

Read more

DIY Healthy Halloween Treats

by in Healthy Holidays, October 26, 2016

If you’re spooked by the overwhelming amount of highly processed junk coming into your house this time of year, try making some of your own treats. While these are certainly sugary confections, you control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of sugar, which helps make things a little less scary. Here are two no-fail recipes that the kids can help create.

Festive Dark Chocolate Lollipops
Makes 12 lollipops

You can use premade lollipop molds, but it’s even more fun to pour chocolate pops freeform. These impressive treats literally take only minutes to make! Get the kids in the kitchen to help decorate.

5 ounces dark chocolate
Halloween sprinkles and other edible decor

Line a sheet pan with a nonstick baking mat and arrange lollipop sticks in a row about 6 inches apart. Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Pour a heaping tablespoon of melted chocolate over the top quarter portion of each lollipop stick. Decorate as desired and allow to set for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy immediately or wrap in plastic and use within 3 days.

Per serving (1 piece): Calories 63; Fat 4 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 8 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 6 g; Protein 1 g Read more

Healthy Rosh Hashana Menu Planner

by in Healthy Holidays, September 25, 2016

The Jewish New Year is a two-day celebration where it’s customary to dip apples in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. The evening feast includes delicious foods such as pomegranate to represent fruitfulness and a round challah to signify the cycle of the year. Here are several dishes you can make for a healthy, delicious holiday.

Planning Your Menu
With back-to-school in full swing and work commitments, it’s a busy time to prepare a holiday menu. Proper planning, however, can help you have a delicious holiday meal. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

• Select one or two healthy recipes and start preparing a few days in advance so you don’t get stuck in the kitchen pulling an all-nighter.
• Make a grocery list according to the flow of the market, which will help you save time when food shopping.
• If soup is on the menu, prepare it a few days in advance. If you prepare it a week or more in advance, store it in the freezer.
• Prep vegetables the night before. If you can recruit a few helpers to assist with the prep, that’s even better!
• If you still feel overwhelmed, ask each family attending to bring a dish. To ensure they bring a healthy dish, send them a preselected recipe (like one from the list below!). Read more

Patriotic Cheesecake Parfaits

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, July 3, 2016

Take all the great, rich flavor of cheesecake, layer it with summer’s best berries, then add a little crunch and a touch of chocolate, and you have what may just be the perfect summer dessert. Best of all, a great big, celebratory serving of this parfait clocks in at less than 400 calories. (This recipe can also be made to serve six instead of four. Just use smaller glasses and divvy the recipe up into six parfaits with less than 250 calories each. We pinky-swear it won’t feel skimpy!)

In honor of Old Glory, this version is red, white and blue, but you can certainly toss in other fruit as well. Each fruit layer may be made with a combination of fruits, or you can alternate to create red and blue stripes. The crumb layer may be made several days ahead and stored in a closed container at room temperature; the cheesecake layer may be made a day or two ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Wait until just a couple of hours before serving to assemble the parfait, to ensure the crumb layer stays crunchy.

Read more

6 Veggie-Packed Sides for a Lighter Memorial Day Feast

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and if you’re planning a picnic or cookout, it’s time to divide and conquer. In other words, touch base with friends and family soon to make sure you don’t end up with multiple renditions of coleslaw and potato salad crowding your spread. Sure, they’re classics, but mayonnaise-heavy dishes never seem to hold their shape in the heat — and they make for some pretty soggy leftovers the next day. If you’re delegated to bringing a side, you can ensure your dish stays fresh outdoors by deviating from tradition in favor of these lightly dressed salads packed with in-season produce.

Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella
This hearty panzanella is great alongside smoky grilled chicken. Check your pantry and freezer for the necessary ingredients before heading to the store; you may already have everything that you need, like frozen artichokes, black olives and whole-wheat bread. Toss it all together with some fresh tomato and basil from your garden.

Read more

7 Holiday Sides That Won’t Spoil Dessert — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Holidays, December 17, 2015

A holiday meal is a true marathon, with one mouthwatering dish after the next — and you won’t want to miss a single one. This year, avoid the mistake of overexerting yourself in the earlier rounds so that you’re out of the running by the time that luscious fruit pie or chocolate cake hits the table. Read more

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