Be jolly without the jiggle! With all the great holiday food, it might seem impossible this time of year, but we’re making it easier to fight festive fat. Here’s a healthy holiday meal you can make in an hour.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found while most people only gain a pound this time of year, for many, that pound is never lost and accumulates every holiday season.
“We’re having fun. We’re with family and friends, and we tend to splurge,’’ said registered dietician and former chef Tracey Burg.
Burg is showing her class how to cook up a holiday dish that may break some unhealthy traditions. (Full recipes at the end of this article.)
“You can cut back on fat, cut back on salt, and you can stay healthy throughout the holidays but still have fun,” said Burg.
Sear a lean pork loin that’s been rubbed in salt-free seasonings and pepper. If you don’t like pork, try chicken. While it cooks, start your sauce. Add apple cider, corn starch and anti-oxidant-rich cranberries, which Burg calls, “heart-healthy, immune-boosters.”
Top it off with ground ginger, an anti-inflammatory that’s good for arthritis.
“My family loves this! This is probably what I’ll be doing for Christmas this year,” said Burg.
Using canola oil instead of butter, cook up some dark leafy greens like Swiss chard.
Burg explained that “They’re also loaded with folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.”
Throw in some toasted walnuts for a boost of healthy fat, protein and omega-3s. Serve the pork and Swiss chard with fiber-packed roasted squash and whole grain parmesan rice pilaf.
“All together this is going to be about 400 calories,” said Burg.
Burg adds if you want to stick with your favorite family recipes and still cut fat and calories, try making the ones that call for heavy cream with 1% milk or evaporated milk.
Roasted Acorn Squash (Serves 4)
1 acorn squash
Vegetable oil spray
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.