Tag: holiday

Overnight Bread Pudding

by in Robin's Healthy Take, December 24, 2012

bread pudding
Bread pudding is warm comfort food that can be served for breakfast, brunch and even dessert (my boys enjoyed decadent chocolate bread pudding at recent dinner buffet). And because it’s incredibly easy to prepare, you should keep a good “wow them” recipe in your arsenal.

This recipe is particularly great for the holidays because the season often brings overnight guests – with this version, you can prep ahead and bake the bread pudding the next morning while the coffee is brewing. The cinnamon-laced, moist French bread is embellished with mixed dried berries; I chose a blend of cherries, blueberries and cranberries because I like their sweet and tart chewiness. You could easily use just one variety of berry or use raisins or currants. You can even add semi-sweet chocolate morsels.

Regular bread pudding can have over 500 calories, 20 grams of fat and 700 mg of sodium per serving. By choosing fat free milk and fat free sweetened condensed milk, and by swapping 2 egg whites for 2 whole eggs, I was able to shave 100 calories and 300 mg of sodium per serving and I got the fat down to just 2 grams per generous portion.

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Sweet Cranberry-Glazed Carrots

by in Healthy Holidays, December 23, 2012

carrot salad
A Christmas meal isn’t complete without a “sweet” element — but who says the sweet stuff is just for dessert? This year, add some sweetness to your dinner table and have a not-so-traditional side dish: cranberry-glazed carrots. It’s as simple as taking cranberries and carrots and combining them together for one delicious dish.

Including orange juice and zest is also a way to kick up the flavor – in a way even the kids will enjoy! To ensure this dish is not-too-sweet, add  fresh mint to help bring balance.

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Roasted Pecan Broccoli

by in Healthy Holidays, December 22, 2012

broccoli with pecans
Veggies don’t have to be hard to cook or hard to eat. This Christmas, add some extra nutrition to your holiday dinner. This roasted pecan broccoli is a colorful, quick and easy dish to whip up.

Broccoli is delicious and something I always stock up on. More importantly, it is loaded with nutrients that are good for your overall health. Broccoli has been known to help fight against certain cancers and strokes. An added bonus: broccoli is low in calories, so eating more of it during the splurge-happy holidays isn’t likely to affect your waistline. The pecans in this recipe offer a bonus too: they contain disease-fighting nutrients and antioxidants. Plus, pecans hold multiple good-for-you fatty acids that are essential in an everyday balanced diet. So go ahead, let this roasted pecan broccoli side dish be the healthiest decision you’ll make all December.

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35 Vegetarian-Friendly Holiday Recipes

by in Healthy Holidays, December 22, 2012

lasagna
Looking for tasty vegetarian recipes this holiday season? From appetizers to mains to desserts, these 35 recipes will leave everyone (including meat lovers) begging for seconds.

The Criteria
The terms “healthy” and “vegetarian” may seem synonymous but that’s not always the case. All the selected recipes meet our healthy criteria for calories, fat and saturated fat. In addition, in order to meet the nutrient requirements of a vegetarian, a variety of recipes that include whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies were selected.

Although there are various types of vegetarians, we stuck to the basics. These recipes don’t include any meat, poultry, fish or seafood.  Some do include dairy and eggs and would be appropriate for a lacto- or lacto-ovo-vegetarian.

Appetizers

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The Veggie Table: Festive Holiday Beverage Comparison

by in Healthy Holidays, The Veggie Table, December 21, 2012

hot cocoa
‘Tis the season for festive holiday drinks like eggnog and hot cocoa. But if you’re avoiding dairy, whether for dietary, ethical, or food allergy reasons, you don’t need to feel left out this holiday season. Each year a new crop of festive holiday “milk” beverages pops up on grocery store shelves with sweet selections like nog, chocolate mint and pumpkin spice. Keep in mind that while festive beverages are delicious, they’re not necessarily nutritious. All three beverages contain added sugar, making them refreshing to sip on for an occasional dessert, or a flavorful ingredient to use in baked goods. I rounded up three different drinks to try this holiday season:

Rice Dream Rice Nog: While typical eggnog has a rich, thick consistency, this Rice Nog was quite thin. Rice milk has the watery consistency of skim milk, so if you’re looking for a creamy nog substitute, this isn’t it. The flavor is sweet and slightly spiced, so I enjoyed it most to sweeten my morning mug of pumpkin spice tea in place of my usual almond milk. Half a cup delivers 80 calories, 1g of fat and 11g of sugar which is a drastic reduction compared to traditional nog’s 180 calories, 9g of fat and 21g of sugar.

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Gluten-Free Ricotta-Onion Pizza

by in Gluten-Free, December 16, 2012

pizza

The traditional Christmas meal varies from family to family. Some gather around the table for variations of spaghetti, while others eat ham, but what is there for those families who want to stray away from the conventional meal? Surprise your family with an unexpected meal and put your own spin on traditional Christmas recipes by whipping up a guilt-free pizza your kids are guaranteed to enjoy. It’s flavorful, healthy, and after you get your hands on it – made with 100% TLC.

Typically, pizza is a big no-no on the “what to eat” list for people with a gluten intolerance because of its flour dough and other gluten-filled ingredients. But when you make your own (and stock up on gluten-free pizza dough), alas Christmas – or any other time you get a craving – becomes the day you can enjoy this merry indulgence.

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32 Diabetic-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.

Appetizers

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Healthy Swaps: Holiday Cocktail Party

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, December 13, 2010

cocktail party

Typical holiday cocktail parties are overflowing with alcohol and high calorie foods, but you can be festive while watching your figure. These 5 swaps will save you a whopping 1000 calories at your next shindig.

Healthy cocktail party swaps »

Healthy Eating for Holiday Shopping

by in Dining Out, Healthy Holidays, December 8, 2010

holiday shopping

It’s the heart of the holiday shopping season: Malls are flooded, parking lots are jam-packed, and your inbox is overflowing with e-coupons. Whether you’re hitting up the food court or doing your shopping online, keep these tips in mind.

You wouldn’t fall for an overpriced sweater deal, so don’t fall for these food traps while you’re out shopping. Plus, how to keep your appetite at bay while you’re bargain-hunting.

Dos and don’ts for healthy holiday shopping trips »

12 Days of Healthy Holiday Gifts: Homemade Vanilla Extract

by in 12 Days of Holiday Gifts, Healthy Holidays, December 1, 2010
Dana's Homemade Vanilla Extract

Starting today, we’re serving up a new healthy gift idea every day for 12 days!  First up: from-scratch vanilla extract your friends and family will love.

Using high-quality, pure vanilla extract can make all the difference in baked goods and whipped cream, but the good stuff can get pricey! You can make some that’s beyond better for a fraction of the cost.  This gourmet-caliber extract makes an ideal hostess gift or stocking stuffer for anyone who loves to cook.

Make homemade vanilla extract »