The Skinny on Sides: Healthy Sides to Pack on Your Plate During the Holidays
Let’s face the facts – we live in a world where the holiday season, more often than not, leaves us feeling a little snug in our “skinny” jeans. I hope you’re sitting for this next part, according to research from the Calorie Control Council the average American “may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat” all from eating that beloved Thanksgiving meal and that’s not even counting leftovers and all of the subsequent holiday meals that follow. If you want to cut the calories and the fat this year and pack your plate with healthy, but still super delicious, fare keep reading – we’re sharing the some skinny but satisfying side recipes that are guaranteed to please your stomach and keep you in those skinny jeans straight through the New Year!
Sweet Potato and Apple Salad from Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa
5 cups cooked and diced sweet potatoes
2 cups diced apples
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
8 ounces fat-free sour cream
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate
½ Tablespoon vanilla extract
Optional garnish: Pineapple leaves and sliced fresh strawberries.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with pineapple leaves and sliced fresh strawberries.
Jalapeno Cornbread Stuffing from Shane Diet, Weight-Loss & Fitness Resorts
1¼ cups cornmeal
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thaw if frozen)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat pepper jack cheese
2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeño peppers
1½ tablespoons butter, melted
1½ tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups chopped onions, (1 large onion)
2 cups chopped celery, (4 large stalks)
2½ cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
Ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine cornmeal, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, corn, cheese, jalapeños, butter, honey, oil, and eggs in a small bowl and add to cornmeal mixture. Stir just until combined.
3. Spoon mixture into 9 inch round pan, coated with cooking spray and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned on top. Cut into 1 inch cubes or break up with hands and place in large bowl.
4. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the onion and celery mixture to the cubed corn bread and toss to mix. Slowly add broth, gently stirring until the corn bread is well moistened. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Place mixture in an 8×8 baking dish (coated with cooking oil), and bake for about 20 minutes.
Quick Tip! * For a more moist stuffing, cover the baking dish with foil; for crispier dressing, bake it uncovered.
141 calories | 4.8g total fat | 252mg sodium | 21g carbohydrates | 2.3g fiber | 5.8g sugar | 4.8g protein
Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Ginger from Shane Diet, Weight-Loss & Fitness Resorts
adapted from Bobby Flay’s Recipe
Serves 4, Serving Size: ½ cup
1 Tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 Tablespoon mustard seeds, preferably black (can also use sesame seeds)
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon ground turmeric
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (can use frozen cauliflower, thawed and dried with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to remove moisture)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Whisk the oil, mustard seeds, jalapeno, ginger, and turmeric together in a small bowl.
3. Place cauliflower on a cookie sheet or baking dish and toss with the flavored oil. Bake until lightly golden and just tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
82 calories | 5g fat | 44mg sodium | 4g protein | 3g carbohydrates | 1.7g sugar | 2g fiber
Savory Herb Gravy from Hilton Head Health
Serves 10, Serving Size: 2 oz.
2 cups reduced chicken, vegetable, or other stock, de-fatted, low sodium (start with 4-6 cups)
1 each bay leaf
1 each shallots, chopped
4 each peppercorns
1 Tablespoon rosemary, fresh, chopped
1 Tablespoon thyme, fresh, chopped
¼ cup half and half
2 Tablespoons corn starch Slurry (2½ Tablespoons of cold water mixed in)
¼ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon butter, unsalted, softened
1. To reduce stock, begin with two or three times the recipe amount. Simmer over low heat with all ingredients except for the last three. Simmer uncovered, until stock has reduced in volume to the amount the recipe calls for.
2. Strain out herbs, bay leaf, onion, and peppercorns.
3. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring stock down to a simmer
4. Pour half and half, corn starch slurry into simmering stock; whisking constantly until smooth gravy forms.
5. Season with salt and pepper. Pull off heat.
6. Last minute add softened butter, to create smooth texture in gravy.
Chef’s Note: If you want to create a better mouth feel for the gravy add 1 tablespoon of butter, this of course changes your calories but might be a more satisfying texture.N
46 calories | 5g fat
What are your favorite holiday sides? Share the recipes below!