Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Healthy Thanksgiving Day Recipes – Don’t Choose Between Health and Flavor!

heatlhy thanksgiving dinnerThanksgiving. This highly-anticipated day marks the beginning of the holiday season—the time of year when we usually fall off the wagon and overindulge on fattening food and drink. With so many delicious recipes out there that seem to appear in endless quantities at our dinner tables, it’s understandable that we may indulge here and there. Just remember—everything good comes in moderation. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then, but make an attempt to maintain healthy meals at least 80% of the time. In the spirit of giving and moderation, here are a few recipes to help you cut unnecessary calories from your Thanksgiving menu without cutting the flavor or fun!

Healthy Turkey Recipes

Your turkey doesn’t need a full tub of butter to be moist, nor does it require brining days in advance for flavor. Try out this recipe instead: Cornbread-Crusted Turkey.

This recipe calls for healthier ingredients such as low-sodium chicken broth and skinless turkey fillets to cut down fat and excess salt. It also includes carrots and sage for an extra boost of flavor.

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Side-dishes can be your biggest enemy if you’re not careful. Traditional side dishes can be filled with sugar, butter and cream, but if you’re willing to branch out, here are a couple of suggestions for lighter, healthier options:

Sweet Potato Casserole
Just putting a slightly healthier spin on a classic. This still contains butter and sugar, so watch your serving size and enjoy!

Mashed Cauliflower (instead of mashed potatoes)
Here, we’re simply substituting a high-fiber vegetable like cauliflower for the potatoes. This shaves off calories and carbs while adding more nutrients. Cauliflower is a nutrient powerhouse, loaded with more calcium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K than a comparable amount of white potatoes.

Lemon-Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Leave the unhealthy add-ons to baked potatoes at the door. Stick with lemon and garlic for seasoning with this delicious recipe that totals about 69 calories per serving.

Mock Sour Cream
If you do decide you want to add the sour cream to your mashed potatoes and other sides, here’s a tip for making a healthier version (only 11 calories per TBSP)!

Greek Yogurt Subsitutes
Both low- and non-fat versions of Greek and traditional plain yogurts can play a part in a healthy diet by improving bone health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adults. One of Greek yogurt’s primary benefits is it delivers higher protein and less sugar than the regular variety. Six ounces of Greek yogurt can deliver as much protein as three ounces of lean meat. As a result, Greek yogurt promotes the sense of fullness with fewer calories than many other protein sources. Check out these ways you can incorporate Greek yogurt into your favorite recipes this holiday!

Healthy Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Thanksgiving desserts are often people’s favorite part of the holidays, and rightfully so. Homemade Thanksgiving pies are the ultimate comfort food. What’s not so comforting, however, is the amount of bad fat in most desserts. Here are a couple of healthy takes on some favorite desserts:

Diabetic Friendly Crustless Pumpkin Pie
If you’re living with diabetes, you know that finding a good diabetic-friendly dessert recipe can be a challenge. Try this one out and let us know what you think in the comments below.

New York Style Cheesecake
The ingredient choices here help this to be a better option than a traditional recipe. However, remember, this is still a dessert with calories and fat. Even though it is a better decision than traditional fare, be sure to watch your portions and keep this to an occasional treat.

Chat with Us!

Healthy Holiday Eating ChatJoin Dr. Gina Lundberg, Clinical Director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, on December 9 at noon for a live web chat on Heart Healthy Holiday Eating. Dr. Lundberg will give advice on how to enjoy the season while maintaining a healthy heart, ingredients to avoid if you’re worried about weight gain and more. You can still enjoy tasty and satisfying holiday fare without blowing a button, or even worse, negatively affecting your heart health. Join us for all the tips!

Pin with Us!

You can find all these recipes and more on Emory Healthcare’s Pinterest page! All recipes are Emory MD-approved and delicious! We also want you to share YOUR recipes with US! Just message or tweet us @emoryhealthcare and we’ll add you to our Healthy Recipes community board!

Comfort Foods: Substitution is the Name of the Game

Mahed Cauliflower Substitute for Potatoes When it comes to favorite comfort foods, mashed potatoes, mac’n cheese, and ice cream tend to top everyone’s list. Their rich, creamy texture tastes great but the calories can add up quickly since they are usually high in fat and carbohydrates. How can you have a favorite comfort food and watch your calories? Let’s talk substitution.

Using mashed potatoes as an example, simply substitute a high fiber vegetable like cauliflower for the potatoes in the recipe. This shaves off calories and carbohydrates while adding more nutrients. Cauliflower is a nutrient powerhouse, loaded with more calcium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K than a comparable amount of white potatoes.

Nutritional Breakdown Before Substitution:

Here is the breakdown for one serving of regular mashed potatoes (with butter and cream) from a popular cooking website.1 (We actually cut the serving size in half since what they listed as a serving was enormous!) Mashed potatoes:  1 serving =  ¾ cup, 400 calories, 35 grams fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber.2

Nutritional Breakdown After Substitution:

However, you can substitute steamed cauliflower for the potato and add additional ingredients that boost flavor and cut the fat. Per serving, you save 200 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 10 grams of carbohydrates!

This substitution allows you to keep a favorite comfort food on the menu. Experiment with other recipes, using ingredients that cut calories and boost flavor. Check out this website for ways to reduce calories while still enjoying your favorite foods3. Unfortunately, cauliflower ice cream just doesn’t sound that good.

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (Serves 3)

1 medium head cauliflower
½ cup diced onions
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ to ½ cup 2% milk (any type of low-fat, non-dairy milk would work too)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut stem and leaves off cauliflower. Wash and drain trimmed cauliflower. Cut into large chunks and boil or steam on stovetop for approximately 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is soft. While cauliflower is steaming, sauté onions in oil in small skillet over medium heat until transparent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Add steamed cauliflower, onion mixture, butter and ¼ cup milk to food processor or blender. Process on high until all ingredients are combined and smooth. Can add additional milk if desire thinner consistency. Season as desired. Serve immediately or cool in refrigerator, then reheat in microwave.

Nutrition per serving: Portion size: ¾ cup, 200 calories, 10 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber

1FoodNetwork.com Mashed Potato Recipe
2USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory

Less is More to be Thankful For

For many of us, Thanksgiving is one of the most meaningful and special holidays of the year. We all get to spend time with our family and loved ones, gathered around a table, sharing stories and reconnecting. Thanksgiving also brings around some of the best (and most!) food of the year. We often over indulge during the holiday season, which is the reason many of us vow to make New Year’s resolutions to lose the winter weight. But, Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

We’ve prepared a line-up of Thanksgiving recipes that bring as much nutrition as they do flavor and variety to the table. Check out or Thanksgiving dinner menu below, full recipes for each item are available on our website by using the links below:

Pomegranate Berry Cup RecipeDessert – Pomegranate-Berry Crème Cups

Both pomegranates and fresh berries bring lots of antioxidants and nutrients to any dessert, the benefits of which range from fighting cancer to preventing heart disease. Try our Pomegranate-Berry Creme Cup recipe in place of one of the traditional Thanksgiving pies to save calories and add a dessert to the menu that’s as tasty as it is nutritious!

Cornbread Crusted Turkey RecipeMain Course – Cornbread-Crusted Turkey

This recipe is great for Thanksgiving, but also consider incorporating it into your dinners year round! It calls for healthier ingredients such as low-sodium chicken broth and skinless turkey fillets to cut down fat and excess salt. It also includes carrots and sage for an extra boost of flavor. Try incorporating other healthy vegetables such as sweet potato.

Healthy Cornbread RecipeSide dish – Good-For-You Cornbread

This healthier twist on the classic cornbread recipe means you can have your comfort food and eat it too! With only 178 calories per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about adding this good-for-you cornbread as a Thanksgiving side item.