Healthy Holiday Recipes

When holiday parties and gatherings fill your calendar, all the heavy dishes can leave you battling holiday weight gain. For a lighter twist on your traditional favorites, try serving up these tasty dishes.

Trimmed Spinach Dip

Try this lower fat version of your favorite spinach dip. By using nonfat yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and vegetables instead of chips, crackers or bread, you can reduce the calories substantially. So, dig in!

  • Two 10-ounce packages chopped spinach, defrosted, drained and cooled
  • 4 canned water chestnuts, quartered
  • ½ small onion, sliced
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated vegetable flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Nutmeg to garnish
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until finely chopped.
  2. Chill two hours before serving, for flavors to blend.
  3. To serve: Place dip into an interesting container made from food — a hollowed out red pepper, a seeded acorn squash or eggplant. Surround the food bowl with raw vegetables to dip — from celery and carrots, to broccoli, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

Yield — 2 ½ cups
Serving size — 1 tablespoon

Per serving:
Calories 9
Protein 0.8 g
Carbohydrates 1.6 g
Fat 1.6 g
Fiber 0.5 g

Marinated Ham and Fruit Kabobs

Trying to find another way to serve leftover ham? This colorful dish combines the sweet fruit flavors with the rich taste of ham. It looks great on the skewer, too.

  • One 15 ¼-ounce can pineapple chunks, juice packed, drained, reserving liquid
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of fully cooked ham, trimmed into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 medium plums, pitted and quartered
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  1. Drain pineapple chunks, reserving 3 tablespoons pineapple juice.
  2. Make marinade by combining reserved juice, vinegar, soy sauce, oil, honey and garlic.
  3. Take six 16-inch skewers and alternate the ham chunks, pineapple, green peppers and plums.
  4. Place kabobs on broiler pan and brush with marinade.
  5. Broil kabobs 4 to 5 inches away from heat, for 5 minutes. Turn, brush with more marinade, and broil 5 more minutes. Brush with marinade before serving.

Yield — 6 servings
Serving size — 1 kabob

Per serving:
Calories 215
Protein 20 g
Carbohydrates 22 g
Fat 6 g
Fiber 3 g

Frosted Lemon Cookies

Frosted Lemon CookiesIf you like to bake Christmas cookies, include this low-fat treat for guests watching their waistlines. Reduce calories further by substituting the sugar with the sugar replacement sucralose, brand name Splenda. It measures the same as sugar.

  • ½ cup margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup low cholesterol egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups powered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg substitute and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Combine flour and baking soda in separate bowl, mix well, and then add to the creamed mixture.
  5. Beat in lemon juice.
  6. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cookies light golden brown. Cool.
  8. Make icing in small bowl. Beat together the powdered sugar, water, lemon extract and food coloring. Spread on cooled cookies.

Yield — 3 dozen cookies
Serving size — 1 cookie

Per serving: 
Calories 36
Protein 1.5 g
Carbohydrates 6.5 g
Fat 0.5 g

Bon Appétit, mes amis!

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