I LOVE taking awesome, tasty recipes and “tweaking” them to make them healthier for my family. I was trying to think of a recipe that I could or have tweaked and I am struggling. Our holiday menu is rather straight forward. Turkey, white potatoes, carrots and turnip, stuffing, squash, salads and pie. Each of these items can be slightly tweaked to increase the nutritional value, but I don’t really have recipes for anything other than the pies, and I really don’t tweak them that much because my family especially my extended family (My Father and brother) are not that open to trying new foods 😦
What I can do is list a few ideas on how you can take these traditional old fashion foods and PUMP THEM UP!
The turkey – its already pretty healthy. I aim to find a locally grown turkey that is raised on vegetable feed, free range and void of antibiotics.
Mashed Potatoes – This is one area that I love to alter. If it were up to me I would serve sweet potatoes. But my Dad already gives he a hard time about my eating. If I served him sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving or Christmas I would hear non stop complaints. How I can tweak them without much notice is through the little things: leave the skins on (smashed potatoes, use butter sparingly, use 2% or skim milk instead of cream. Some people boil them in chicken broth for a tasty improvement that doesn’t add much fat or calories.
Carrots and Turnip – A weird combo to many but we love them mashed together with a little butter (I still use butter as I feel that it is the more natural choice over margarine).
Stuffing – This is an area where you can also pump up the nutritional value without anyone really knowing – use whole wheat bread and reduce the salt by adding organic whole herbs diced up over the packaged stuff. My mother in law tweaks her dressing by adding tons of fruits and veggies like onions, celery, carrots and apples.
Squash is a delicious and healthy veggie to enjoy at the holidays and all fall long. I steam it lightly then bake it in the oven with a little coconut oil, a drizzle of maple syrup and some cinnamon and nutmeg. Maple syrup and honey are more natural options than refined white or brown sugar and a little goes a long way with flavour.
Salad – the options are endless with salads, try to stick to vegetable or fruit and vegetable based choices. Marshmallows and canned fruit with whipped topping is NOT a salad people!! Dark leafy greens, with tomatoes, cucumber and peppers is one of my personal favourites. A salad goes a long way to fill your plate with veggies as well.
LASTLY, comes dessert. Pie can be crustless or made with crusts that have a percentage of whole wheat flour. Most pies are also heavy on the sugar, ask yourself – can I cut down on the sugar and still maintain flavour? The answer is quite often yes. Or search Pinterest for a healthier dessert option. Try to avoid anything that is created with heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk or faux whipped toppings. They are loaded with fats, sugars and who knows what else!!!!
I truly believe NATURAL food is best. I also know that food makes a holiday special.Although it takes significantly more time, cook from scratch; not only will your meal taste so much better but you can control the salt, sugar and fat.
I try not to STRESS too much or my choices, but try really hard to keep my portions in check. I also try to avoid copious amounts of dessert left overs.
Do you have any special good for you holiday recipes? Do you tweak your cooking?
#proudtobeme Day 18
I am proud of my _______ (insert job ethic).
I am proud of my flexibility at work. Being an educational assistant is a TOUGH job. I work with students who really have a tough time understanding concepts, they need things shown to them is a different manner. Every single day I need to come up with interesting ideas to help them do that. I need to be flexible in that I never know what challenge the teacher will have me to over come.
What part of your work ethic are you most proud of??