Eat healthy to avoid high-calorie foods
by Joanne Henning Tedesco —
The holidays are a time when we tend to push our diets aside and indulge in high-calorie and high-sugar foods, but there are many other healthy choices that we can include with our holiday meals.
Local farmers’ markets have wonderful winter vegetables and fruits — sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, squash, pears and apples. Remember to grab some fresh ginger to settle the stomach.
Pear and Lime Jell-O® Salad
- 1 package lime Jell-O
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup pear juice, frozen
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 3-ounce package cream cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 2 cups diced canned pears
Freeze pear juice. Dissolve Jell-O in hot water; add frozen pear juice and vinegar. Pour half of Jell-O mixture into glass bowl. Allow it to thicken in refrigerator. Mix the cream cheese and ginger; dilute with Jell-O. When the other half of the Jell-O is almost set, whip it with a mixer and fold in cream cheese and pears. Pour over first mixture and chill.
Ginger and Carrot Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 2 pounds carrots (10 to 12), sliced
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup plain yogurt (not nonfat)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Warm olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Raise heat to medium-high; stir in carrots and broth; cover and bring to a simmer. Remove cover and reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer until carrots are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove soup from heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in lime juice and yogurt; season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled, garnished with lime wedges, if desired. Yield: 8 cups.
Warm Pear with Cinnamon Ricotta
- 1 small pear, halved and cored
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat broiler or toaster oven. Place pear on a baking sheet; broil 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Combine ricotta and cinnamon in a small bowl. Top warm pear with ricotta mixture. Yield: 1 serving.
Apple Stuffed Squash
- 1 Baby Blue Hubbard squash, halved
- 4 to 5 Cortland or McIntosh apples, cored and diced
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Fill the center of the halved squash with the remaining combined ingredients. Place in pan atop another pan (double boiler) with 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 400 F for 45 minutes.
Purple Sweet Potato Parsnip Mash
- 2 purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Boil parsnips and purple sweet potatoes until tender; drain. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve. Yield: 4 servings.
Raw Cortland Apple Pie
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 pitted medjool dates
- 4 cups Cortland or McIntosh apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- •uice of 2 lemons
- 3 pitted medjool dates, soaked
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pulse crust ingredients in a food processor until just combined; do not let mixture turn into a paste. Coat apples with lemon juice. Combine soaked dates (discard water) with the cinnamon and pulse in food processor until smooth. Cover the apples with the filling. Drizzle with maple syrup and cinnamon.
Sources: Steve Napoli, owner of Snap Top Market, bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.
Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.