All Posts In Healthy Holidays

8 Tricks for Lightening Up Holiday Foods

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, December 13, 2012

We heart holiday food, but holiday food doesn’t always show love our waistlines. Use these simple tricks to lighten up your favorites.

#1: Baked Ham
Ham is a lean meat but when recipes call for one pound per serving the calories skyrocket to 760 and the fat climbs to 44 grams! Also, when you’re talking smoked or cured foods, the sodium can get out of control.

To lighten: Stick to 3 to 4 ounce portions and lessen the amount of salt added to flavor the ham or use lower-sodium versions.

Other tips to lighten up baked ham

Read more

Homemade Holiday Gift: Rum Balls

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Holidays, December 13, 2012

rum balls
These deliciously decadent chocolate-flavored balls have been a family favorite for decades. Whip them up this holiday season for the ones you love.

Food Safety Note
These rum balls have been modified from the version my mom made when I was younger. The original version calls for a raw egg (the batter isn’t cooked). To make these rum balls kid-friendly and adhere to prevent salmonella, I use a pasteurized whole egg and swapped in rum extract for the real stuff. This means the egg was heat treated to kill pathogens, though it looks like any other raw egg. Many markets carry them—look for the word “pasteurized” on the label.

Read more

Food Fight: Eggnog vs. Hot Cocoa

by in Healthy Holidays, December 11, 2012

egg nog and hot cocoa
Are these sippers on your holiday hit list? Find out which is the most sensible choice – it all comes down to how you make it.

A frothy combo of egg, cream and sugar, this classic libation is a gut-buster. Add a jolly splash (or two) of booze and the calories only get worse.

Homemade and lightened-up versions can dial back the fat and calories and highlight the healthy attributes of this seasonal treat. Use lower fat ingredients and eggnog has a lot to offer – namely good-for-you nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D.

Read more

32 Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Recipes

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, December 11, 2012

stuffed pork
Finding mouthwatering diabetic-friendly recipes can be a challenge but don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t possible! Whether you’re throwing a huge holiday shindig or having a more intimate affair, here are 32 diabetic-friendly holiday recipes from appetizers to desserts and every course in between.

The Criteria
In order to be diabetic-friendly, the recipe must contain a maximum of 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving (which equals two carbohydrate exchanges). In addition, all of these recipes are sensible in the calorie and fat department too.


Read more

14 Healthy, Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Holidays, December 6, 2012

gluten-free cake
Planning a holiday menu is stressful enough without having to worry about the special dietary needs of your guests. Choose from any of these holiday recipes and put any fears about gluten to rest*.

•    Edamame Hummus
•    Mini Pizzas made with Gluten Free Pizza Dough
•    The Shrimp Cocktail
•    Spiced Pecans

Read more

Family-Friendly Hannukah Fare

by in Healthy Holidays, December 6, 2012

potato pancakes
Hanukkah has always been one of my favorite holidays. Baked goodies, chocolate coins, and 8 days of gifts—what’s not to like during this festival of lights? As an RD and mom, I want to teach my kids healthy eating habits even on holidays (no need for fried EVERYTHING) and I also want to watch my own waistline. Here are some healthy, Hanukkah-licious recipes that are perfect for the entire family.


Read more

Dressing Up Thanksgiving Leftovers

by in Thanksgiving, November 23, 2012

turkey soup
Turkey Day leftovers are good on their own, but you can also transform them into something magnificent. Check out our easy, mouthwatering ideas for dressing up your Thanksgiving leftovers.


Use the turkey carcass, leftover dark meat and even leftover veggie sides to whip up this deliciously warming soup.
Recipe:Next Day Turkey Soup

Leftover turkey breast combines with beans, chili peppers, and jack cheese makes a mean chili.
Recipe:  Leftover Turkey Chili

Make a delish panini using turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
Recipe: Turkey, Dressing, and Cranberry Panini

Combine chunks of leftover turkey with celery, apple, grapes and pecans for a main-dish salad or light lunch.
Recipe: Waldorf Salad.

Read more

Which is Healthier: Pumpkin or Pecan Pie?

by in Thanksgiving, November 22, 2012

pumpkin and pecan pie
These super-popular Thanksgiving desserts are going head to head. With both having single pie crusts and packed with good-for-you ingredients, the competition is fierce. Which gets your vote?

Pumpkin Pie

According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should all be eating 2 cups of orange veggies each week. Pumpkin pie can help meet these recommendations plus that brilliant orange color provides the antioxidants vitamin A and lutein.

Fatty ingredients like traditional pastry crust, butter, cream cheese, half-and-half, or shortening can sabotage the nutritional value. Mountains of sugar from canned pumpkin pie filling and spoonfuls of sugary toppings can also send calories through the roof. Topped with whipped cream or a la mode, a slice can weigh in at close to 500 calories.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Tips:

  • Use gingersnap cookies for a lighter crust made without partially hydrogenated oils or make your own canola oil pie crust.
  • No need for mounds of sugar—let the sweetness of the pumpkin take over.
  • Steer clear of sugary or heavily-sweetened pumpkin pie filling. The canned pumpkin puree should have one ingredient; add your own spices from there.
  • Serve with one heaping spoon of freshly made whipped cream and fresh fruit like apples, oranges and pears.
  • Try Food Network Kitchens slimmed version.

Read more

Thanksgiving Day Breakfast

by in Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012

chocolate oatmeal
Although a turkey feast is approaching, it’s important to fuel up the morning of Thanksgiving. A well-balanced breakfast will give you enough energy to pleasantly chat with family and friends—no need to be agitated and hungry when you see everyone. Plus, eating breakfast can keep hunger under control and keep you level-headed and ready to make more reasonable choices when it’s time for the big meal.

Breakfast Goals
Quick and simple does the trick. With all the hustle and bustle of last minute holiday prep, there’s no need to slave in the kitchen. Your goal is about a 400-500 calorie breakfast which should include whole grains, fruit, and dairy. Make sure you get in enough fiber to hold you until the holiday meal.

#1: Oatmeal
Oats are a whole grain and they’re brimming with fiber and energy-boosting B-vitamins. Cook with skim or almond milk and top with fresh fruit, nuts and spices.

Recipe: Food Network Kitchens’ Hot Chocolate Banana-Nut Oatmeal (pictured above)

#2: Eggs
There are so many ways to enjoy this protein-rich breakfast favorite. For a fun holiday twist try my recipe which includes whole grains, eggs and dairy using only 5 ingredients.

Recipe: Eggs In a Basket

Read more

Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

by in Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012

quinoa-stuffed peppers
Meet the tastiest, most nutritious Thanksgiving appetizer around. This easy dish comes together in under an hour and makes delicious use of beautiful poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are mild chili peppers from Mexico, and their spiciness helps to bring out their taste. If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods you can always use bell peppers instead. Flax seeds and veggies offer meaty texture and flavor while quinoa and chickpeas pile on the protein. I added a touch of marjoram for garnish as it adds extra flavor, plus pretty flecks of color. Serve hot out of the oven or bake ahead of time and reheat before your guests arrive. If you have any extra cooked quinoa leftover try my tasty little Quinoa Bites, which make great hors d’oeuvres and are the perfect finger food for kids to munch on.

Read more