When cooking during the holidays, it can be hard to keep track of the nutrition (or lack thereof!) in your tasty treats and holiday helpings. With these 5 healthy holiday recipes, you can indulge in flavor without overloading on the calories!
- Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup is a nice first course for your holiday meal. In a large covered saucepan cook 3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash, 2 cups thinly sliced carrots, and ¾ cup thinly sliced leek or chopped onion in 1 Tbs hot butter over medium heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 cans of reduced-sodium chicken broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly. Pour vegetables into a blender in small batches and blend until smooth. Return to stove top and add ¼ tsp ground pepper & ground nutmeg. Return to boil, stir in ¼ cup half-and-half or light cream. Remove and serve once soup mixture is heated thoroughly.
- Vegan Garlic and Parsnip Gravy boasts only 35 calories per serving! Now you can have your favorite holiday topping with less guilt! Preheat oven to 350°F and roast garlic clove for approx. 1 hr. Let cool slightly, then squeeze garlic from husk. Place 1 medium (3 ½ oz) parsnip, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick slices on baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake until soft (approx. 30 minutes). Combine ⅓ cup blanched slivered almonds with ½ cup boiling water and let sit for 30 minutes. Add roasted garlic & parsley, 4 tsp liquid aminos, 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth, ½ tsp fresh thyme, ¼ tsp black pepper. Place all ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer 3 minutes. Add more broth if gravy is too thick.
- Smashed Potatoes - boil either golden Yukon potatoes or red potatoes with a pinch of salt until tender. Arrange in a single layer on cutting board or baking sheet and let cool. Using a meat tenderizer, gently “smash” the potatoes. Lightly oil a griddle over medium/low heat and sear potatoes in skillet (3-5 at a time) turning once until potatoes crisp. Add fresh rosemary while grilling. Transfer potatoes to a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, pepper and place in oven at 200°F to keep warm.
- Green Beans with Olive-Almond Relish - a tasty update to your green bean casserole. Steam fresh green beans until barely tender (approx. 8 minutes). Combine green beans with 2 tsp prepared green-olive tapenade, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 2 tsp lemon juice. Top with almond relish (¼ cup sliced and toasted almonds).
- Roasted Beef Tenderloin - skip the turkey and go for a tender savory roast beef instead. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine 1 Tbs olive oil, ½ tsp rosemary, garlic, black pepper & thyme, and 1 ½ tsp salt. Mix well and rub over beef tenderloin. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in skillet and sear both sides of tenderloin until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine 5 chopped and peeled carrots and 1 lb red potatoes with 1 tsp rosemary, salt & ¼ tsp pepper. Transfer potato/carrot mixture to an oven safe dish and top with tenderloin and pour ⅓ cup reduced sodium broth over all. Place dish in oven and cook 20 to 25 minutes (or until internal temp. of beef is 130°F). Remove beef from dish (cover with foil to keep warm) and continue baking potato/carrot mixture for another 10 minutes. Combine all and serve.