In 2017, nutritionists discussed eating for a robust gut macrobiotia, eating more plants, and the benefits of healthy fats. All nutrition worthy goals! Expect me to continue these conversations. However, too often, we fail to mention the importance of satisfaction and social connections. I am a fan of the Meditteranean eating pattern for its emphasis on both physical activity and enjoying food with others.
This past weekend I hosted an oyster roast for family. It was a 3 hour long meal, mostly spent shucking and eating oysters around our kitchen island. It was relaxed. We laughed, sometimes hard, and the focus was more on coming together than on anything else. Rarely do I spend this kind of time at one meal (meals are usually 20 minutes max at our house). But this was different. Our gathering included 3 generations, and was my attempt to do what has been identified as a general longevity factor: building and maintaining solid relationships between family members: parents, siblings , grandparent and others. Interested in eating better in 2018? Stop fighting with food. Stop worrying about food. Embrace gathering around food to enhance bonds. Try integrating into groups that promote and suppport “healthy living” including : family, religious communities, and social groups. Remember, it’s not just about the food.
Winter greens topped with citrus and fennel makes a delicious salad for a healthier holiday .
It’s been called the most wonderful time of the year. But holiday stress is not uncommon. But do you feel anxious because you’ve battled all year long to reach health and fitness goals, and now you’re bombared with Pinteresty images of foods loaded with sugar and saturated fat? Reality check. While indulging on a few treats this season is perfectly normal and A-okay in my book, your primary intake should still consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, nuts and seeds, and low fat dairy. Here’s my attempt to compete with sugar plums and gingerbread.
Tear endive and red leaf lettuce into bite sized pieces and place in large salad bowl. Top with chopped radicchio, sliced fennel, sliced shallot, organge sections. In a small bowl, whisk together salt , lemon juice, vinegar, honey, mustard and canola oil. Pour over salad and gently toss. Sprinkle with pomegranaten arils and enjoy.
Fresh cranberries and raspberry liqueur come together for a delicious syrup that tops a light custard. Perfect for Friendsgiving, serve in mini dessert cups to give everyone a taste, elevate the party mood, promote togetherness, and make a healthier holiday.Disclosure: I received fresh cranberries from the Cranberry Institute. I was not expected to write this post. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.
Nothing raises the bar on staying fit and comitted to your health goals like the holidays. Stay calm and motivated by remembering my simple mantra:
Eat what you love, but pay attention to portion sizes.
Restricting delicious holiday foods is no fun, and for some people, it creates negative feelings that can lead to binge eating. Eating mindfully and enjoying some of your favorite foods is a healthier option. But let’s face it, keeping portions under control is easier said than done. This time of year, I especially like to use the ‘small plate’ style of dining. If hosing a Friendsgiving event, suggest your guests bring foods that make it easy to share with the entire gang. By encouraging everyone to get a taste of all Friendsgivings culinary creations, you elevate the party mood, and guarantee portions served start small.
IMHO nothing says Happy Friendsgiving better than fresh cranberries. Right now I want to give a HUGE shout out to the Cranberry Institute for sending me these beauties! This seasonal berry enhances the taste of a wide range of foods, is nutritious and adds a festive flair!
That said, here’s how I put them to good use in my ‘small plates” Friendsgiving culinary creation.This Cranberry N’Custard mini dessert is made in under 30 minutes, and can be done ahead of time. Cranberries and Chambord make a spectacular syrup that tops a light custard. Finished with a dollop of whipped cream, these minis brighten your serving table, and delight guests with seasonal taste all under 175 calories each.
To make the cranberry syrup: combine fresh cranberries, Chambord, 1/2 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, crushing cranberries with a wooden spoon against sides of pan, until all have burst and syrup thickens.
to make custard
In a medium saucepan, combine the egg, remaining 1/2 cupsugar and cornstarch. Beat with a whisk or electric beater set on low speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. (The mixture will appear dry at first, but will become liquid as you beat it.) Place the evaporated skim milk in a microwave safe measuring cup and heat 2 minutes on high until hot to the touch (this will reduce cooking time). Whisk the milk into the egg mixture while the pan is set over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. If the mixture looks curdled, keep beating with a whisk until the lumps are incorporated into the pudding. Immediately remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Allow to cool completely .Add one cup of vanilla nonfat yogurt. Can be made 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Fill mini dessert glasses three quarters full of custard. Top with cranberry syrup. Finish with a dollop of whipped cream.