Merry Makeovers: Healthy Holiday Foods
No matter what traditional treats are on your table, keep your feasting healthy with these buff buffet strategies.
Healthy Holiday Foods: Italian continued...
Leaner eat: Prepare vegetable lasagna (keep the cream -- hey, it's a
holiday! Frezza says) and enjoy one piece instead of two. Or make lasagna the
American way with lean ground beef, part-skim mozzarella, and low-fat ricotta
cheese and skip the cream.
Traditional treat: For the holidays, fish (usually trout) is boiled
but then cooked in artery-clogging butter and served with (again!)
Healthier eat: Grill, broil, or sauté the fish in a little olive oil,
and serve with lemon juice or a lemon juice vinaigrette instead of mayo.
Traditional treat: Italian holiday desserts such as zeppole and
struffoli are filled with nuts, figs, or sugared sweets. Panettone is sometimes
stuffed with ice cream and served with chocolate sauce.
Leaner eat: Make a cheesecake using low-fat ricotta cheese, or end
the meal with sorbet or fresh fruit salad with lemon.
Healthy Holiday Foods: German
Traditionally, German families share a hot drink and a slice of stollen, a
holiday cake, on Christmas Eve or gather over a meal of sliced pork roast,
rolls, ham hock-flavored sauerkraut, and cookies.
Traditional treat: Lebkuchen, the German word for gingerbread, is a
tradition, as are pfeffernusse -- spice cookies made with molasses, allspice,
Leaner eat: "With the gingerbread and darker cakes and cookies,
try subbing half the flour with whole-wheat flour to increase the fiber,"
says Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, a personal chef, owner of Dining Cents in St.
Petersburg, Fla., and an ADA national spokesperson. German food tends to be
traditionally low in fiber, which makes it easy to overindulge (fiber fills you
up faster and makes you feel full longer).
Traditional treat: A yeast-bread fruitcake, stollen is made with eggs
and butter and studded with dried fruits, citron, nuts, and occasionally
marzipan, topped with powdered sugar.
Leaner eat: Try using an egg substitute to cut cholesterol, Krieger
says. Cut the amount of fruit the recipe calls for by a third or a half, she
says, and chop it up so you have more pieces. Toasting the nuts is a great way
to increase their flavor, so you need a smaller amount of this high-calorie
Traditional treat: Germans celebrate the holidays with mulled red
wine -- or glühwein -- with cinnamon and cloves.
Leaner eat: Make mulled cider instead. You save the calories not only
from the alcohol in the wine, but also from the added sugar. (Since cider is
naturally sweet, you can use less.)
Traditional treat: Typically eaten on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day,
pork roast is a moderate-fat meat. But goose, another Christmas Day treat,
stuffed with apples and dried fruit, tends to be high in both fat and
Leaner eat: Enjoy your roast, but limit your portion of meat to 6
ounces or less, with a few small spoonfuls of the flavorful stuffing -- and
you'll save fat, calories, and cholesterol, Krieger tells WebMD.