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Healthy Holiday Foods?

Last post 11-18-2012 3:08 PM by gayla50. 34 replies.
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  • 11-11-2012 5:52 PM

    Healthy Holiday Foods?

    Let's share ideas on some healthy holiday foods that can be made for upcoming holiday gatherings, parties, potlucks & events and our own dinner tables! Anyone taking a more health conscious cooking attitude & approach this year? Please share how you'll be making some healthy holiday foods happens.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 11-11-2012 6:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    I am really enjoying working with seasonal squash right now.

    Yesterday I made a really easy and delicious stuffed acorn squash with brown sugared black beans. Cut the acorn squash in half, steam or bake and stuff with warm cooked black beans tossed with some brown sugar.

    Stuffed squash in general is a beautiful treat. A crowd pleaser here is acorn or butternut squash stuffed with quinoa pilaf with dried fruits and nuts or seeds...dried cranberries, currants, assorted colored fancy raisins or dates work well and pinenuts, pumpkin seeds or your reserved squash seeds! They mix/taste good with cooked quinoa.

    More squash and pumpkin used in yummy light bisque soups or seasonalwinter root vegetable vegan soups are always a delight... especially when served in a happy pumpkin!

    Another simple and yummy dish to serve and share is roasted or carmalized brussels sprouts & seasonal apples with toasted chesnuts, pumpkin seeds or pecans.

    This year for the Thanksgiving holiday specific, we will be taking a healthier spin on the classic creamy green bean casserole dish and classic candied marshmallow yam dish. We are going to go the whole-food-fruit/veg roasted route and make trays of roasted veggies without sauces or processed/packaged toppings added. Green beans/mushrooms/red bell peppers with fresh sliced onions as a topper... Fresh cut yams with tropical fruit... This will be our balance between our other two classic sides that are a splurge - Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes and my special sage & sausage stuffing. I fear anything beyond those two classics done not so healthy and we will be in food comas all weekend long, lol. Balance and compromise is ideal here this year for personal plate building during our Thanksgiving meal... These are the plans so far but wanted to share the ideas.

     

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 11-12-2012 9:32 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    BargainBinge:
    Anyone taking a more health conscious cooking attitude & approach this year?

    Holidays are a time where we don't focus on that and have a time of merry and plenty.

    I don't think our food choices are the worse though, a little carb heavy maybe. There is always too much sugar with desserts and candy though. It looks like we will have less of that this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 11-12-2012 9:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    Brandy, my dear friend if we didn't focus on some kind of balance here I am sure no one would make it out the front door and I would have an emergency-living-room of folk-in-food-comas.

    There will be enough butter used to grease them out the door... what happens after that? I am not sure.

    LOL

    So 50/50 it is and if you want a healthier plate, make one, a junkier one, make one, a mix, make one. I am also working with dietary needs/preferences that need to be respected so this route is very mindful. Not everyone can splurge or go all out so it's nice to have healthy yummy dishes to offer as well. Everyone is important!

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 11-12-2012 9:52 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    BargainBinge:
    There will be enough butter used to grease them out the door... what happens after that? I am not sure.

    Oh my! I really needed a good laugh this morning, thank you so much.

    My idea of all out for Thanksgiving is usually turkey, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, corn on the cob, stuffing, rolls and pies. There are more courses and more carbs and sugar than my usual dinner line up.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 11-12-2012 10:45 AM In reply to

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    Sounds yummy, will Pops approve? cut you some slack? Surely I hope with a fine line up like that! I miss eating corn off the cob so bad!!! Enjoy a cob for me. Thankfully I can spoon eat corn cut off the cob, I love corn. What kind of stuffing do you make?

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 11-12-2012 11:01 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    BargainBinge:
    Sounds yummy, will Pops approve? cut you some slack?

    Probably not. We had everything almost all bought and the menu changed. He and mom are finally making Gumbo so we are doing a non traditional dinner.

    All the food stuff is not wasted, we have Christmas menu almost ready instead.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 11-12-2012 11:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    Brandy:

    BargainBinge:
    Anyone taking a more health conscious cooking attitude & approach this year?

    Holidays are a time where we don't focus on that and have a time of merry and plenty.

    I don't think our food choices are the worse though, a little carb heavy maybe. There is always too much sugar with desserts and candy though. It looks like we will have less of that this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Totally agree with you, Brandy, on the focus of the holiday. I just generally don't worry about health-consciousness much on Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas week.

    But my recent diabetes diagnosis, plus some other family members with health issues, have forced me to make a few--just a few!--alterations to my usual menus. I'm making my sweet potatoes with less butter this year, and substituting brown sugar Splenda in for the usual regular brown sugar (going to do that with my pumpkin pies, too, I've done that before and the taste is almost identical!). I'm also making my mac and cheese with Dreamfields pasta instead of regular, to reduce those carbs a good bit. And I'm going to offer a big bowl of fresh fruit salad, plus a very plain steamed green vegetable, probably broccoli, so that people have a couple of extra healthy choices along with the mashed potatoes and gravy.

    Another thing I plan on doing this holiday season is step up my exercise a bit more (just a bit, wouldn't want to shock my body or anything! Ha ha!). A few extra walks, a few extra minutes here band there on the elliptical, and some stretching exercises in front of the TV a few nights a week during the season, will hopefully help reduce the damage all the holiday food will wreak on my system.

    "The business of life is the acquisition of memories." --Mr. Carson
  • 11-12-2012 11:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    Thanks for sharing LoveDay because I, like you, will be making some healthier alterations as well to respect health needs. I had to tally up the menu and see what I could keep traditional and what I could spare to healthify better... sounds like you have done the same. Enjoy.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 11-12-2012 11:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Healthy Holiday Foods?

    We used to do the regular Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams and rolls. We changed it up a bit when Mom and father-in-law were diagnosed diabetic a few years ago. Mom now makes her yams using splenda, rolls are now whole wheat rolls when I can find them or homemade when I can't, we added a green salad and fruit salad to kind of balance things out a bit. Desserts are split into sugar-free and regular so that everyone has their favorite and no one is left out.
    Riley
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