Why angst over your holiday dinner menu when help is just a mouse click away. Last year, we hosted the PBS special, RECIPE RESCUE. In it, we worked with a family to create a healthy and delicious holiday feast. Click here to watch our cooking videos and print recipes for Rosemary Roasted Turkey, Spinach Mashed Potatoes, Cheesey Broccoli Casserole, Maple Pecan Carrots, and Chocolaty Coconut Party Torte.
We’ve had lots of fun creating new recipes with our Cuisinart GR-4 Griddler Panini maker. Desiree H. of Philadelphia is the winner of our latest giveaway for the Griddler and we’re sure she’ll have fun experimenting with it as well. Here’s one of our favorites to get you started Desiree! For those of you who do not yet own a Panini maker, just cook it in a skillet with a heavy pot on top to flatten the sandwich a bit. Enjoy!
Tuna & Artichoke Panini
Makes 4 servings
One 6-ounce can light or albacore tuna, drained and flaked
One 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
½ cup preshredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
¼ cup olive tapenade
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread (about 5 x 2 ½ inches)
Preheat the Panini grill on high heat. Combine the tuna, artichoke hearts, cheese, and olive tapenade in a bowl and set aside. Lightly brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Place 4 slices of bread on the work surface, oiled side down. Divide the tuna mixture evenly between the bread. Top with the remaining slices of bread, oiled side up. Place sandwiches in the Panini press and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Slice each sandwich in half and serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
240 calories, 14g fat (3g saturated, 0.2g omega-3), 660mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 17g protein, 15% calcium
This morning, we watched a segment on the Today Show featuring tips for avoiding holiday weight gain. The Today guest suggested that one of the best ways to curb your holiday cravings is to eat before you go to a party. We’ve heard this advice numerous times and every time, it makes us chuckle. We prefer to go to a party hungry, saving up our calories for the fun foods that await us! After all, eating and enjoying a delicious variety of appetizers and treats is part of what the holidays are all about.
While we don’t recommend gorging on platefuls of Brie cheese and rich chocolate fudge, we would never advise anyone to deprive themselves either. Here are a few tips to help keep weight gain in check during the holiday season:
- Increase your exercise (walk, walk, walk!): It will help reduce your stress level and burn off extra calories.
- Start your party nibbling with low-calorie choices: Fill up first on things like shrimp cocktail, veggies with hummus or lowfat dip, and fruit. Once you feel satisfied, enjoy a tiny taste or two of the more caloric options. Then, move away from the food table!
- Beware of beverages: The calories from beverages can add up before you know it. Stick with water or seltzer (we like the lemon and lime flavors), choose lowfat eggnog if available, limit party punch to one glass and watch your alcohol consumption.
Life is short. So get out there and enjoy eating and drinking (in moderation!) with family and friends over the holidays. Cheers!
Every year without fail, we both make our favorite sweet potato casserole recipe for family holiday gatherings. It’s always a huge hit but requires a lot of ingredients and results in a sink filled with dirty dishes. Since we love sweet potatoes — as do our kids — we decided to take our tried-and-true recipes and simplify them quite a bit. What we came up with is this simple veggie side dsh you and your famiy can enjoy any day of the year. All you’ll need is a pot, a bowl, and a potato masher!
Smooshed Sweet Potatoes
Makes 4 (almost 1/2 cup) Servings
1 pound sweet potato (about 2 medium)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch ground pepper
Pinch ground ginger
Cook the sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water for 20 to 30 miutes or until tender. Let cool. When you can handle the sweet potatoes, peel them and then mash with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the orange juice, brown sugar, butter, salt, pepper, and ginger until well combined. Season with additional salt, pepper, and ginger to taste.
Nutrition Information per serving: 120 calories, 1.5g fat (1g saturated), 110mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 2g protein, 110% vitamin A, 30% vitamin C