This is the time of the year to enjoy holiday recipes! However, many of them are so heavy, the guilt sets in before the celebration is over. Nutritional guidance program, Guiding Stars, has hundreds of recipes that makes healthy choices easy as … a pie! Their recipes make throwing a party with healthy food choices fun. Here’s a Holiday Party Menu they’ve put together:
Holiday Everyday Punch
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh blackberries
1 can (14.5 ounces) Pitted Tart Cherries, such as Oregon brand, with juices reserved
1 bottle Langer’s Cranberry Açai Plus Juice, chilled
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 3-5 limes, juiced)
1 liter Lime Seltzer Water, such as Polar, chilled
In a medium pot, combine the raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and the sour cherries, including the liquid they’re packed with; if you’re using frozen fruit, be sure to add all of the liquid released during thawing to the pan. Place the pan over medium heat, bring to a low simmer, and reduce the heat to keep the fruit just barely simmering. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes or until everything is soft. While still warm, pour the fruit and juices into a fine mesh strainer, pressing the berries with a spoon but not pushing the pulp through the mesh. Set the bowl aside to cool, leaving the strainer atop it to collect any last drips of juice. You’ll end up with somewhere between 1 and 2 cups of juice; this juice can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for a month.
To serve, combine the berry juice, the bottled juice and the lime juice in a large punch bowl and stir. Just before service, add ice and pour in the seltzer. If desired, serve the punch with a bowl of fresh berries that your guests can add to their serving.
Tip: To avoid watering down the final product with ice cubes, make a punch cube: before adding the seltzer and lime juice, pour about 1 ½ cups of the punch into a round plastic bowl or food storage container. Add a few fresh berries into the container and freeze until solid. Use your punch cube to keep everything nice and cold during service.
Roasted Winter Squash & Mozzarella Quesadillas
6 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 ½ cups red peppers
1 tablespoon garlic, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 dashes salt
2 dashes pepper
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, fat-free, shredded
6 8-inch whole wheat tortillas
½ cup green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
6 tablespoons onion, diced
¾ cup tomatoes, diced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix the butternut squash, red pepper, and garlic with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread vegetables on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes until they are cooked and slightly caramelized.
3. While the squash mixture is cooking, combine the diced tomatoes and onions. Add 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Set aside to be used as salsa.
4. Spread out tortillas on parchment-lined baking sheets. Place ¼ cup mozzarella on one-half of each tortilla. Distribute roasted squash mixture evenly on top of the cheese, followed by green onions and remaining cilantro. Fold tortillas in half to form quesadillas. Place in a 200 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve quesadillas with fresh salsa on the side.
Apple Crumb Squares
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup apple-juice concentrate, thawed
3 medium tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch square or 7-by-11-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
. Whisk oats, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Work in the oil and apple-juice concentrate with a fork or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
. Press 2 cups of the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange apple slices over the crust in three overlapping rows. Mix the walnuts into the remaining oat mixture. Sprinkle over the apples and pat into an even layer.
. Bake until the top is golden and the apples are tender when pierced, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
. To serve, cut into 8 pieces and place on dessert plates. The squares are best served the day they are made.
I am a mom of two, host of #MomInspirations twitter parties, home chef and foodie, certified personal trainer and weight management specialist, traveler and adventurer, planner and organizer. Still waiting for my naptime break!