Cooking with Raina: Healthy Cooking this Thanksgiving

Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating From Dietitan Raina Childers

  1. Focus on weight maintenance vs. weight loss during the holidays. Keep weight goals realistic this time of year.
  2. Be physically active each day. Busy holiday schedules can bump us off our activity routines. Keeping our bodies moving can help relieve stress, regulate appetite and burn extra calories from holiday eating.
  3. Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties. If you arrive famished you are more likely to overeat and choose higher calorie items.
  4. Make a plan of action. Practice how to handle comments from family and friends that encourage you to participate in unhealthy eating or drinking. It's much easier to deal with a difficult social eating situation if you've already planned for it.
  5. Lighten the calories in traditional holiday recipes. There are lots of ways to reduce calories by reducing fat and sugar content of certain dishes.
  6. Enjoy good friends and family. Although food can be a big part of the season, it doesn't have to be the focus. Share laughter, cheer, celebrate and give thanks and try to relax.
  7. Choose your beverages wisely. Alcohol is high in calories. Limit  your intake        to 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per occasion.
  8. Maintain perspective: Overeating one day won't break your eating plan. It takes days of overeating to gain weight.  If you over indulge, put it behind you. Return to your usual eating plan the next day without guilt or despair!

Healthy Holiday Menus

1 ½ cup of Curried Sweet Potato Bisque*
3 ounce Roasted Turkey Breast
1 cup of Pine Nut Topped Green beans*
½ cup of mashed potatoes prepared with skim milk and reduced fat margarine
1 serving of Pumpkin Mousse Pie*
Total calories- 877
*Recipe Provided by Raina Childers, MS, RD, LD

Pine Nut Topped Green Beans

  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto, cut into ribbons
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beans, return to a boil, and simmer until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain.
  • Heat ½ teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Prosciutto; cook, stirring, until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  • Wipe out pan; heat the remaining olive oil. Add beans, garlic, sage and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, lemon zest and the prosciutto. Season with lemon juice, the remaining salt and pepper.
Yields: 8 servings
Nutrition Information: 99 calories, 5 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrate, 264 mg Sodium

Low Calorie Hot Spiced Cider with a Twist

  • 12 pgk Alpine Spiced Cider Sugar Free Drink Mix mixed with 12 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½  teaspoon nutmeg
  • Zest of one orange
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • In a large saucepan add all ingredients. Heat over medium heat until bubbling. Then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain and serve.
OR: Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Really makes the whole house smell good! Strain and Serve.
Yields: 12 - 8oz. cups
Nutrition Information: 24 calories,  4 grams carbohydrate, 0 gram protein, 0 grams fat.

Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Ingredients: Crust
  • 35 small gingersnap cookies
  • 2 Tablespoons raisins
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons canola oil
Ingredients: Filling
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 2 pints (4 cups) frozen low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 9-inch deep dish pie pan with cooking spray
  • To prepare crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisings in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of the prepared pan.
  • Bake crust for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  • To prepare filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended.
  • Spoon mixture into the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
  • Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20-20 minutes before serving.
Yields: 10 servings
Nutrition Information:  Calories: 232, Fat: 6 grams, Carbohydrate: 42 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Sodium: 179 mg

 Sweet Potato Bisque with Curry

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 5 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes (about 3 ½ pounds)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3- 10 ounce cans low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups plain fat-free yogurt, divided
  • Heat oil in Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté 2 minutes.
  • Stir in Curry and Allspice; cook 1 minute.
  • Add potato, water, salt and broth
  • Cook 25 minutes or until potato is tender
  • Place ½  of sweet potato mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth
  • Pour pureed mixture into a bowl and process remaining sweet potato mixture.
  • Return all pureed mixture to stock pot and bring to a boil; remove from heat
  • Add 1 cup yogurt, stirring until well blended
  • Top each serving with 1 Tablespoon of yogurt
Yields: 7 servings (1 ½ cups each)
Nutrition Information:  Calories: 258, Fat: 2.9 grams, Protein: 8 grams, Carbohydrate: 51 grams, Fiber:  6 grams, Sodium:  289 milligrams