Recipe Of The Month - October 2011
Healthier Holiday Feast Alternatives
Mashed Potatoes with a twist
One of my favorite things to do to make mashed potatoes healthier is use a mix of russet potatoes and yams or sweet potatoes. It becomes a more colorful and nutrient rich dish too.
- Peel and dice the desired number of potatoes, using 1/2 of each type.
- Steam until soft, drain water and then mash.
- Add just enough margarine or butter to add a bit of flavor (don't need much as they have more flavor than regular mashed potatoes), milk until the desired creaminess is reached and a pinch of salt and pepper for taste.
Having a variety of salads and vegetable options will lighten the "load" of your holiday dinner which will reduce the likelihood of feeling over stuffed like the turkey! Here are some simple salads that are tasty:
3 Bean Salad (makes about 3.5 cups)
- 1 can green beans, drained
- 1 can yellow beans, drained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup minced green pepper
- 1/2 up minced red onion
- 1/3 cup of salad oil
- 1/2 cup of cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Refrigerate before serving.
Creamy Broccoli Salad (makes about 5 cups)
- 1 large head of broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup of quartered mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of chopped red onions
- 1/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup of real bacon bits or cooked bacon crumbled
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp corn starch
- 1/4 cup light mayo
Blanch broccoli in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 2 min. It should be tender crisp. Drain hot water, run the broccoli under cold water and then drain again. Transfer to a large bowl and add remaining salad ingredients. Chill in fridge.
In a microwave safe bowl, whisk together egg, vinegar, water, sugar, mustard and cornstarch. Microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes, stirring every 30 sec. Set aside and cool. Blend in mayo and then chill until ready to serve.
Toss salad with dressing just before serving.
If pie is a must at your holiday dinner then consider this butter based pie crust recipe in place of a lard or shortening based crust.
Butter Pie crust
- 2.5 cups of flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of butter, chilled and diced
- 1/2 cup of water
- Combine flour and salt in large bowl
- Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
- Stir in the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms a ball
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs
- Sprinkle flour onto rolling surface and roll dough out. Divide dough in half.
- Roll each to fit a 9" round pie plate.
- Place crust on pie plate, pressing evenly into the bottom and sides.
Fill with desired filling and bake according to recipe directions. For a more nutrient rich pie choose real fruit fillings like berries, apples, strawberry/rhubarb and peach. Pumpkin pie is a good choice too.
If you are looking for an alternative to pie, try one of my favorites:
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup margarine or butter softened
- 4 cups frozen fruit (berries, peaches or any of your favorite combination)
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
Add all ingredients for the topping in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut in margarine so that the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the fruit to an 8 inch baking dish and mix with remaining flour and sugar. Pour topping on top of fruit, pat down lightly and bake at 400 for 35-40 min or until fruit is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
We can still enjoy all the delicious flavours of a holiday feast AND not consume enough calories to supply us with a weeks worth of calories by choosing a variety of vegetable and fruit based dishes and lighter sauces to accompany them.