Count Your (Food) Blessings!
Are you tired of hearing about all the foods you shouldn’t be eating…especially around the holidays? Then keep on reading and rejoice! Our holiday meals are loaded with nutrients that nourish and heal us. Of course that doesn’t absolve us of using common sense at the holiday table…reasonable portions of the many high calorie foods just make sense. So fill your plate with the green salads, green beans, broccoli, baked squash and sweet potatoes and go easy on that stuffing and pecan pie! Happy Holidays!Roasted Turkey
- Skinless turkey breast is one of the leanest sources of animal protein. Four ounces is only about 150 calories and has 1-2 grams of fat.
- Turkey is a good source of B-vitamins which support a healthy metabolism, maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, enhance the immune system, and promote cell growth.
- Turkey is a very good source of selenium, a potent anti-oxidant which helps prevent cell damage.
- Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protects cells from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals.
- They contain a cancer-fighting antioxidant called ellagic acid which has antioxidant, anti-mutagen and anti-cancer properties.
- Some research studies show they help prevent bacteria from adhering to the cells lining the bladder, reducing the risk of infection.
- A phytochemical called proanthocyanidine may help prevent plaque formation on teeth, protecting us from periodontal disease.
- These little mini “cabbages” are a powerhouse of nutrients. Now many people think they don’t like this much maligned vegetable…but that’s probably because they haven’t had them properly prepared. My husband was adamant about avoiding this veggie, but once he tasted the recipe below, he was a convert!
- Plant phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts enhance the activity of the body's natural defense systems to protect against disease, including cancer.
- They are an excellent source of vitamin C, important for healthy teeth and gums, wound healing, cancer protection, and possibly protection against rheumatoid arthritis.
- They are rich in fiber which helps support a healthy gastrointestinal tract, makes you feel full, and aids in cholesterol control.
- One cup of Brussels sprouts contains almost 100 mg folic acid, a B-vitamin essential for proper cellular division.
- They are an excellent source of vitamin K, necessary for normal blood clotting and synthesis of proteins found in plasma, bone, and kidneys.
- The deep orange flesh of these veggies means high levels of carotenoids -- an assortment of compounds in the vitamin A family offering powerful anti-oxidant protection against chronic disease and the ravages of aging.
- Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses. They're an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
- Pumpkin is a good source of fiber, beta carotene, potassium, and two antioxidants called lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin. Lutein helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and beta-cryptoxanthin helps fight arthritis.
- Winter squash come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes but they have one thing in common—they are all high in carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
- Apples contain a long list of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants and support heart health. One of these is called quercetin which is found in high amounts in the skins. Since apples have some of the highest pesticide residues, I recommend buying organic apples. That way you can feel good about not having to peel your apples.
- Apples are low in calories but high in fiber and flavonoids (these help prevent inflammation and the clumping of blood platelets and help regulate blood pressure). One particular flavonoid called phloridzin may play an important role in supporting lung health.
- Have you ever added chestnuts to your stuffing? Well, here’s good news! A half-cup of plain chestnuts provides about 150 calories with only 1 gram of fat and they're a great source of potassium, vitamin C and fiber (5 grams per half-cup!). They’re also good roasted and peeled and serving as an appetizer.
Adapted from Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati
Cut about 12 ounces of Brussels sprouts in half vertically.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Place the sprouts cut side down in the pan.
Add 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth. When the broth comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook about 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue to cook until the broth evaporates and the sprouts are golden brown on the bottom (~5-10 min).
Remove from the heat and 1) sprinkle with a little bit of kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and parmesan cheese OR 2) sprinkle with a little bit of kosher salt and stir in 1-2 T maple syrup until it coats the veggies. Either way they are yummy!
Enjoy! Serves 4