SAN ANTONIO — Most of us expect to pack on the pounds during the holidays but that doesn't have to be the case.
One of the ways to eat healthy during the holidays is to enjoy the special homemade holiday dishes instead of the food we eat year round like mashed potatoes, bread, corn, and even the sweet drinks. There are other ways too.
"Let's say you want to make a dish that called for the entire pack of bacon. Okay use half the pack of bacon or instead of frying it we are going to use the air fryer," said Dahlia Gomez who is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with University Health. They came up with a healthy but tasty holiday meal starting with a roast chicken with rice stuffing. Gomez said, "A chicken can be healthy instead of deep frying it we are roasting it in the oven we are using plenty of spices to give it flavor."
A side of mashed cauliflower which is especially good for those with diabetes.
"Let's say you have a a cup of mashed potatoes with 45 grams of carbohydrates versus mashed cauliflower. You could have 10 grams of carbohydrates. So it's going to have less carbohydrates because it is a vegetable versus a starch," Gomez told us.
Sautéed brussel sprouts or green beans are healthier options instead of green bean casserole. Gomez added, "What makes it healthy instead of the green bean casserole where you use the high fat cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups, you are just sautéing it with a little bit of olive oil."
Finally the must have dessert of sweet potato cheesecake pie. Gomez said, "This recipe uses cream cheese sweet potatoes and Greek yogurt."
The cost for six people, 75 bucks. Gomez said, "The $75 is if you have to buy the salt, the spices, olive oil, the butter. But if you already have it in your kitchen that may be under $50 especially if you get the turkey for free from an organization."
At the bottom of this story are all of the recipes that go with this healthy holiday meal.
For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.
Roast Chicken with Pine Nuts and Rice Stuffing
Preparation time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Number of servings: 10
Serving Size: 3 ounces
- 1 whole chicken 2- 4 pounds
- 2 ounces clarified butter (see note)
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground all spice
- 1/3 cup basmati rice
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup sultanas( or black raisins or dried cranberries)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 fluid ounces of chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Pour half the butter into a large frying pan, add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until the onion is transparent , stir in the allspice
- Add rice and nuts to the pan , cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat , add the sultans , stock and 2 fluid ounces of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool
- Rinse the cavity of the chicken with cool water and pat dry inside and out with paper towels
- When the stuffing is cool, spoon into the cavity and tie up the legs of the chicken using strings. Place in a deep baking dish and rub salt and pepper into the skin
- Pour the rest of the butter over the chicken then add stock to pan. Roast for 2 hours and 10 minutes, basting every 20-25 minutes with juices from the pan. Rest the chicken for 15 minutes before carving.
- Note: To clarify butter, melt in a small sauce pan over low heat remove from the heat and let the milk solids drop to the base, use only the yellow liquid part of the butter. Throw away the white milk solid .
Total fat: 22g
Saturated fat: 8g
Source: Linda Ozenbaugh RD LD
Preparation time: 30min
Number of servings: 6
Serving Size: ½ cup
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cloves of roasted garlic
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well and transfer to a food processor.
- Add oil, garlic, and reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and puree until smooth. (or, mash cauliflower with a potato masher.)
- Season with salt and pepper and serve
Carbohydrate: 8 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 3 g
Total fat: 9 g
Sodium: 330 mg
No Crust Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Number of servings: 12
Serving size: 1 slice
1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese
½ cup light vanilla yogurt
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
½ cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg white
12 pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.
- Add yogurt and beat until smooth.
- Beat in mashed sweet potatoes, Splenda, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves until smooth.
- Add egg and egg white and beat until combined.
- Place on large baking dish. Top with pecan half. Bake 30-35 minutes or until set and knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool for one hour. Chill before serving.
Nutrient Analysis: One slice
Carbohydrates: 10 gm
Protein: 4 gm
Fat: 5 gm
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Potassium: 213 mg
Recipe Source: Ana Pacheco RD, CDCES
Modified from Diabetic Cooking Magazine