Eat Well for the Holidays

Helping you eat well to live well

The holidays are filled with family, friends, and occasions for potential overindulgence. We believe in helping you eat well to live well. But, that doesn't mean sacrificing a great tasting dish. Heather Klug, Registered Dietitian with Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, shares some fun and healthier recipe alternatives to add to your holiday spread this year.

Festive Spinach Dip

1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts, sliced
1 package Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1-1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
½ cup shredded carrots
1 round loaf of rye, pumpernickel, or sourdough bread (optional)
Whole grain crackers (Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Crunchmaster, etc..)
Raw vegetables (carrot sticks, celery, jicama, bell pepper strips)

  1. Thaw spinach in refrigerator the day before and squeeze out water well (Put thawed spinach inside a few paper towels, fold over, and squeeze until liquid no longer drains.)
  2. Combine all ingredients and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.
  3. Serve in hollowed out loaf of bread for more appeal. Use a round lid as a template. With a sharp paring knife, cut around the lid ¾ of the way down.  Be sure to not go all the way through.
  4. The top and inside bread can be cut into cubes for dipping.
  5. You can also serve with whole grain crackers, cocktail rye bread, mini toasts and colorful raw vegetables.  Makes 3-1/4 cups, 4 Tbsp. per serving.

Nutrient value per serving (dip only): 40 calories, 3 g fat, 163 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrates

Orange Whipped Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 medium to large)
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup light butter
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/8 teaspoon ground ginger

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into ¾-inch chunks.  Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot and add  water to barely cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Serve hot.  Makes 10 (1/2 cup) servings.

Nutrient value per serving: 159 calories, 2 g fat, 53 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrates

Cranberry Waldorf

1-1/2 cups chopped cranberries
1 cup chopped red apple
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup seedless grapes, quartered
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons white sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 ounces lowfat vanilla yogurt

  1. Combine all of the ingredients.  Toss to coat.  Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  2. Stir just before serving.
  3. Garnish with frosted cranberries and mint leaves if desired.  For frosted cranberries, wet cranberry and roll in sugar.  Makes 9 (1/2 cup) servings.

Nutrient value per serving: 102 calories, 3 g fat, 29 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates