Today on Good Day Sacramento, I share ways to make your holidays appetizers, meals and desserts, a little healthier!
Starting with a charcuterie board
Start with caprese bites made basil, mozzarella and California Grapes which are in season through January. Grapes are a heart healthy food; they have no fat, cholesterol and are low in sodium. Plus, they are super versatile –can be grilled, pickled or roasted. Next add your veggies, cheese, crackers and nutritious dips. I like salsa because its low in calories high in nutrition. I like the Fresh Cravings salsa because it’s refrigerated, not jarred and made with a short list of high-quality ingredients.
For the main course, serve pasta!
The Dietary Guidelines recommend you eat half your grains as whole grains and the other half as healthy enriched refined grains like Barilla pasta which is enriched with fiber, iron and B vitamins, and doesn’t have added sugar, fat or sodium. Plus pasta is the perfect canvas for your healthy holiday meals just add veggies, lean protein and a healthy oil.
Finally serve a dessert with benefits!
My favorite brownie recipe is made with a secret ingredient – canned beans! Canned beans are a a convenient and ready-to-use ingredient. I used the S&W Beans Heirloom series which are rare, colorful varieties exclusively grown by hand-picked farmers and available on Amazon and at Whole Foods. They add 6-7 grams of plant-based protein per serving, about the same amount found in one egg. For a festive touch, I drizzled a melted Peppermint Crunch dark chocolate bar by Endangered species chocolate. It’s a limited edition holiday bar also available in Caramel Spiced Apple and Fudgy peanut butter. You can find them at Raley’s, Sprouts and chocolatebar.com and 10% of Annual Net Profits go back to Wildlife Conservation.
- 1 15-ounce can S&W® Jacob’s Cattle Beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Lightly grease an 8 x 8 baking pan.
- In a food processor, blend beans, coconut oil and maple syrup.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, oats, baking powder and salt. Add to the food processor and pulse until incorporated.
- Pour batter into the baking pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool before slicing. Drizzle chocolate on top.
Healthy Holiday Pasta
- 1 box Barilla fettuccine
- 1/3 cup EVOO
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 12 oz. cooked shrimp
- 2 cups asparagus, chopped
- 1/4 cup grated cheese
- fresh basil to taste
- Cook pasta according to box instructions in a large pot on the stovetop. Drain and transfer back to the pot.
- Add oil to a large skillet and sauté onion until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and asparagus and continue cooking for another 4-5 minus or until shrimp is slightly charred and asparagus is tender. Trasnfer to the pot with pasta.
- Transfer remaining ingredients to the pot with pasta and toss to combine.