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Healthy Recipes of the Month

Healthy Recipes for the Holidays

Eating well during holiday season is a bit like walking up a down escalator while everyone else is going down the right way—and they're gorging on delicious-looking bonbons at the same time. You're already struggling just to stay on track yourself, and now you have to contend with all those happy faces, most definitely bound for even more treats that you can't have.

The recipes we've gathered here will help you stay the course without missing all the fun. Some are easy weeknight choices, others are dressed-up enough for a special get-together. Of course you can have some of what they're having too, but these great sides, entrées, and (yes!) desserts will help you stay focused—and feel a lot better.

Butternut Squash Soup with Chestnuts

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cook shallots, carrot, celery, tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add squash, water, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer, covered, until squash is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaf.
  3. Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Thin soup if desired and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle soup over chestnuts in bowls.

Yield: 6 (first course) servings

Nutrition Facts:

Rosemary-Ginger Chicken

Chicken is a classic candidate for roasting. In this version, start marinating the chicken at least two hours before cooking. When prepping the ingredients, grate the lemon rind before squeezing the fruit for juice. Cutting the backbone of the chicken makes it easier to lay flat for even cooking. Adding a small amount of water to the pan prevents drippings from burning and giving off an unpleasant smell. -Recipe by Gwen Ashley Walters


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water, and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Place chicken, breast side down, on a cutting surface. Cut chicken in half lengthwise along backbone (do not cut through breastbone). Turn chicken over. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

  2. Combine rosemary and the next 10 ingredients (through juice). Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin and over surface of chicken. Cut a 1-inch slit in skin at the bottom of each breast half; insert tips of drumsticks into slits. Place chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 425°.

  4. Place chicken, breast side up, on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Add water to pan to a depth of 1/4 inch. Place rack in pan. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 180°. Remove from oven; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 5 minutes, and discard skin.

Yield: 4 per serving (serving size: about 4 ounces)

Nutrition Facts:

Roasted Variegated Potatoes With Garlic and Rosemary


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves). Place potatoes and garlic in a saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Drain immediately; pat dry.
  3. Combine the chopped rosemary, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; add potatoes, tossing to coat. Arrange potatoes and garlic on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Separate the garlic head into cloves, and discard skins; serve with potatoes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 potatoes)

Nutrition Facts:

Spiced Winter Fruit

Topped with low-fat vanilla ice cream, this also makes a simple elegant holiday dessert. Quince, which is in season in the winter months, is a yellow-skinned fruit that looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear but turns pink when cooked; cooking mellows the tartness. (If you can't find quince, just use 2 additional apples or pears cut into wedges.)


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add quinces; cover and cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar mixture, pear, and apple; cover and cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper; garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

Note: This dish will hold up for up to 3 days if refrigerated in an airtight container. To serve, reheat over low heat.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Nutrition Facts:

Recipe Source:

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