Eat Well And Be Merry: One-Hour Healthy Holiday Meal
BOSTON, Mass. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - With all the great holiday food, it might seem impossible this time of year, but we're making it easier to fight festive fat. Here's a healthy holiday meal you can make in an hour.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found while most people only gain a pound this time of year, for many, that pound is never lost and accumulates every holiday season.
"We're having fun. We're with family and friends, and we tend to splurge,'' registered dietician and former chef Tracey Burg tells Ivanhoe.
Tracey Burg is showing her class how to cook up a holiday dish that may break some unhealthy traditions.
"You can cut back on fat, cut back on salt, and you can stay healthy throughout the holidays but still have fun," said Burg.
Sear a lean pork loin that's been rubbed in salt-free seasonings and pepper. If you don't like pork, try chicken. While it cooks, start your sauce. Add apple cider, corn starch and anti-oxidant-rich cranberries, which Burg calls, "heart-healthy, immune-boosters."
Top it off with ground ginger, an anti-inflammatory that's good for arthritis.
"My family loves this! This is probably what I'll be doing for Christmas this year," Burg tells Ivanhoe.
Using canola oil instead of butter, cook up some dark leafy greens like Swiss chard.
"They're also loaded with folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber," Burg explained.
Throw in some toasted walnuts for a boost of healthy fat, protein and omega-3s. Serve the pork and Swiss chard with fiber-packed roasted squash and whole grain parmesan rice pilaf.
"All together this is going to be about 400 calories," said Burg.
Burg says if you want to stick with your favorite family recipes and still cut fat and calories, try making the ones that call for heavy cream with 1 percent milk or evaporated milk.
Here are some holiday recipes to make a quick and healthy meal for family and friend:
Roasted Acorn Squash (Serves 4)
1 acorn squash
Vegetable oil spray
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut the acorn squash into quarters. Remove seeds. Place on a baking pan. Spray with vegetable oil spray for 8 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife.
Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories: 43 Carbohydrates: 11 g
Total Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
Saturated Fat: 0 g Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 143 mg Protein: 1 g
Roast Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce (Serves 8)
2 pounds pork loin roast
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. Mrs. Dash Seasoning®
2 tsp. oil
2 tablespoons onion, minced
2 cups apple cider or apple juice
½ cup fresh cranberries
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Peel garlic cloves and cut into small pieces. With the tip of a sharp knife make slits in the pork loin. Stick the garlic pieces into the slits.
3. In a small bowl mix the pepper, Mrs. Dash® seasoning, dried thyme. Rub the mixture over the pork loin.
4. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil then sear the meat on all sides until browned, about 5-8 minutes.
5. Place pork loin in a roasting pan and cook for 1 hour or until the thermometer reads at least 145 degrees.
6. Remove roast from pan. Let roast sit for 10 minutes.
For the sauce: In a small bowl mix the apple cider with the cornstarch. Add the onion to the sauté pan that was used to brown the pork, and cook for 2 minutes until slightly browned. Add the apple cider mixture, cranberries, and spices to the pan and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the cranberries begin to split. Serve with the sliced roast pork.
Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories: 168 Carbohydrates: 9 g
Total Fat: 7 g Cholesterol: 73 mg
Saturated Fat: 1 g Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Sodium: 62 mg Protein: 23 g
Parmesan Brown Rice Pilaf (Serves 6)
2 tsp. olive oil
¼ cup onion, minced
1 cup brown rice
2 ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. fresh thyme (or ½ tsp. dried thyme)
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1. In a medium sauce pot, heat oil and sauté onion until soft (but not brown) about 2 minutes. Add rice and sauté for another 2 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Cover. Simmer for 35 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
3. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Serve.
Nutritional Facts: ½ cup per serving
Calories: 147 Protein: 4g
Fat: 3g Fiber: 2g
Sat. fat: 1g Cholesterol: 5mg
Carbohydrate: 24g Sodium: 253mg
Swiss Chard with Toasted Walnuts (Serves 4)
1 ½ pounds red or green Swiss chard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
2 tablespoons water (or more if needed)
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted*
1. Wash the chard and strip the leaves off the stalks.
2. Coarsely chop the greens.
3. In a large skillet or stockpot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add greens and stir to coat with oil. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover, and cook until greens are wilted and soft, about 5 min. Add more water if necessary.
5. Season with the soy sauce and pepper.
6. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.
*NOTE: To toast walnuts: heat walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat until slightly browned with a nutty aroma. Remove from heat.
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