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Healthy Recipes of the Month

A Little Side Action

We all look forward to holiday meals for the chance to enjoy our family's favorite long-standing recipes. Mom's turkey stuffing. Aunt Ida's green-bean casserole. Grandma's secret gravy. But you can keep things fresh year after year by experimenting with a few new sides. Add them to the holiday table, or use them to spice up leftovers. Peruse a few of these options, and let us know what you think.

Balsamic-Glazed Oranges

These orange slices, drenched with a richly flavored syrup, are the perfect partner for dark-meat such as beef or chicken thighs or drumsticks.


Cooking Instructions:

Combine sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook mixture until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 1 minute), stirring constantly; remove the mixture from heat. Divide orange slices evenly between 2 salad plates. Drizzle each serving with 1 tablespoon vinegar glaze. Garnish with chopped mint, if desired.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Butter

Use your microwave to make this easy side dish for roast chicken, turkey, or pork; you can prepare it while the roast is standing.


Cooking Instructions:

Pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave potatoes at HIGH for 10 minutes, rearranging the potatoes after 5 minutes. Wrap potatoes in a towel; let stand for 5 minutes. Scoop out pulp; discard skins. Combine pulp, milk, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl; mash.

Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, softened butter, pecans, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Top each serving with pecan mixture.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup potatoes and 1 tablespoon pecan mixture)

Nutrition Facts:

Chipotle Black Beans

You'll love the versatility of this recipe. Match it with highly seasoned dishes such as beef or pork fajitas, or use it to add zip to a menu with broiled salmon, sauteed catfish, or a vegetarian roll-up. You can substitute regular salsa for the chipotle salsa if you prefer.


Cooking Instructions:

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa and beans; simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Nutrition Facts:

Tangerine-Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

As a sweet ending to a heart-healthy holiday menu that won’t leave you feeling like a scrooge, enjoy this dessert recipe.




Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°, and spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. For cookies: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat sugar, butter, and zest with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until blended. Reduce speed to low, and beat in the flour mixture just until blended.
  4. Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes on cooling racks.
  5. For glaze: Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle glaze evenly over cookies. Let cool until glaze is set.

Yield: 25 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

Nutrition Facts:

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