Fix a Low-Fat Holiday Feast

Want to avoid gaining unwanted pounds during the holidays?

Short of taking a long vacation to a remote island where we have to gather and cook all our own food, many of us have given up hope for a realistic answer to this traditional dilemma. Don't lose heart! Follow these delicious and easy guidelines to slash the fat and calories in traditional holiday favorites. Don't tell anyone you've improved the recipe and they'll never notice. (Except when they don't need to let out their belt at the end of the meal!)

To begin, we at the Food channel have put together a delicious menu for a low-fat Christmas feast. This menu will look festive, taste great and won't go over your fat limit in one mouthful:

A Light and Bright Christmas

  • Fresh Spinach Salad
  • Pork Tenderloin with Plum Chutney
  • Healthy Scalloped Potatoes
  • Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
  • Glazed Baby Carrots
  • Spiced Apple Crisp


Substitute, substitute, substitute
If your family just has to have your grandmother's pecan pie, make it! But make it healthy using these substitution guidelines:

When a recipe calls for: Use instead:
Chocolate 3 tablespoons powdered cocoa mixed with 1 tablespoon oil
Eggs (2 whole) 1/4 cup cholesterol-free egg substitute, or 4 egg whites
Solid shortening 1/3 less vegetable oil
Whole milk or cream Evaporated skim milk
Sour cream Low- or nonfat sour cream or nonfat yogurt
A buttered pan Nonstick cooking spray
Basting with butter or drippings Baste with wine, fruit juice or bouillon
Buttered bread crumbs Crushed cereal
Chocolate chips Raisins
Sausage or ground beef Lean ground turkey or chicken, or textured soy protein

Stack the Deck in Your Favor
When you are the hostess, have a wide variety of low-fat, healthy food choices available. Intersperse your new lower-fat creations and the revised family recipes with such naturally healthy and delicious foods as raw vegetables and pretzels spicy bean dip, an assortment of fresh fruit served with a yogurt dip, salsa served with baked tortilla chips

Remember the reason for all these holiday festivities: to celebrate the season with friends and family. Along with healthy, great tasting foods, make sure to serve plenty of cheer, warmth, friendship and joy.

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