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  • Healthy Holiday Substitutions to Keep You on Track

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    It is quite easy to lose sight of our healthy journey during the holidays, whether it's to lessen your sugar intake or to lose some weight before the next year. Treats are in abundance, and all so easy to reach for. And we GET IT! We've been there (and sometimes we lose out to our urges too), but we want to stress that no one receives a carte blanche pass for terrible eating habits just because it's the holidays. Have a cookie, enjoy a piece of pie, but in considerable moderation. It's about learning to eat better and fuel our bodies in ways they crave. So we've worked with Health and Lifestyle Coach Jonell Morrison-Steckman to bring you healthier versions of holiday favorites: pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, stuffing, and baked potatoes. Some of these simple substitutions could have you feeling better, lighter, and keep you on track for your journey to your best self. 

    Loaded Cauliflower Mash Bake
    Ingredients:
    4 slices turkey bacon
    6 C cauliflower florets
    3 cloves minced garlic
    1/3 C buttermilk
    1 tbsp whipped butter
    2 tbsp fresh chives
    1/4 C shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
    salt and pepper to taste

    Cook the turkey bacon in a skillet until crisp, then set aside on a paper towel until cool to crumble. Fill a large pot of water, bring to a boil, and add cauliflower and half the minced garlic. Boil for about 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Drain and return to pot. At this time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is warming, add buttermilk, butter, salt, and pepper to the cauliflower and puree with a hand blender. If you don't own a hand blender, place all these ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Mix in the chives, remaining garlic, and transfer mixture to a casserole dish. Top with the cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts, approximately 7-9 minutes. Serve warm! 

    Green Bean Casserole
    Ingredients:
    4 Laughing Cow LIGHT French onion wedges
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 C white onion, diced
    1 C sliced mushrooms
    1/2 C fat-free chicken broth
    2 tsp almond flour
    2 tsp cold water
    1/4 C almond milk
    2 cans of no-salt added green beans
    salt and pepper to taste

    Topping:
    1 cup crushed Corn Flakes

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray your baking dish with non-stick spray. Heat the Laughing Cow wedges in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Stir and set aside. In a large pan, sauté the onion for about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and chicken broth. Simmer a few minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the almond flour and water. Once mixed, add to the chicken broth in the pan to thicken the mixture. Add melted cheese and almond milk to the pan and mix well. Remove from heat and add in green beans. Pour entire mixture into the baking dish and spread topping before baking for 15-20 minutes. 

    Cauliflower Rice Stuffing
    Ingredients:
    1 tbsp unsalted butter
    1 C diced celery
    1 C diced mushrooms
    1/3 C diced yellow onion
    2 oz chopped walnuts
    4 C riced cauliflower
    1/2 C fat-free chicken broth
    1 tbsp fresh sage
    1 tbsp fresh rosemary
    salt and pepper to taste

    Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. add celery, mushrooms, onion, and walnuts. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the onions become fragrant. Add cauliflower rice and sauté an additional 2-4 minutes. Add in chicken stock and seasonings. Mix well. Cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed (approximately 12 minutes). 

    Crustless Pumpkin Pie
    Ingredients:
    2 C roasted pumpkin (see instructions below)
    1/4 C unsweetened cashew or almond milk
    2 egg whites
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 packet of Stevia
    1 C walnut halves

    Directions to prepare pumpkin:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil. Cut the pumpkin pie pumpkin in half and spoon out the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into wedges and spray wedges with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool and then peel the skin off the pumpkin. 

    To make the pie:
    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray your baking dish with non-stick spray. Add your roasted pumpkin to the blender with all ingredients except the walnut halves. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into the baking dish and place in oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and distribute walnut halves on top. Bake for an additional 25 minutes and then serve. 

    *You can also do this recipe with individual ramekins for each guest instead of a pie plate or baking dish for a more personal touch. 
     
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