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Food & Recipes

Down Home for the Holidays

Atlanta chef Joe Truex offers healthy versions of the holiday dishes he grew up with.
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Roast Pork Loin With Wild Mushroom Fricassee

Makes 8 servings


            1          cup kosher salt

            1          gallon water

            1          2 ½-pound boneless pork loin roast, well-trimmed

            4          large garlic cloves, pressed

            4          tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried

            ½         tsp black pepper

            1          cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

            1          cup button mushrooms, quartered

            1          cup oyster mushrooms, stemmed

            1          cup cremini mushrooms, quartered

            4          ounces (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil

            2          ounces (1/4 cup) good quality low-sodium soy sauce

            2          Tbsp ground black pepper


1.         Make salt brine by dissolving kosher salt in water. Place pork loin roast in saltwater brine until ­covered, and refrigerate 24 hours. Remove roast, discard brine, and pat roast until dry.

2.         Preheat oven to 400ºF. Rub garlic and rosemary all over pork roast, and season with black pepper. Place pork, fat side down, in a large skillet, and sear over medium heat until golden. Turn over, and sear the other side until golden. Remove from pan.

3.         Toss mushrooms with olive oil, and season with soy sauce and pepper. Place mushrooms in the bottom of a roasting pan, and put the pork roast on top of the mushrooms. Roast pork 30 to 40 minutes, until thermometer ­inserted into center of pork registers 155°F. Remove from oven, and set aside for 10 minutes.

4. Remove loin from pan, slice, and arrange in a serving dish. Spoon mushrooms and sauce over the top, and serve. 

Per serving: 341 calories, 29 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 24 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 69 mg cholesterol, 1 g sugar, 736 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 63%

Green Bean Casserole

Makes 8 servings

"Green bean casserole -- it doesn't get any more Southern holiday than that," Truex says. "This recipe keeps all the creamy goodness the classic dish brings, but without the fat and calories."


            1          pound fresh green beans

            3½       ounces raw walnuts, soaked (preferably overnight but for at least 30 minutes)

            1          Tbsp tahini paste

            1          cup nondairy milk (such as rice milk; use dairy milk if preferred)

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