December 2, 2017

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Happy December!

Staying healthy during the holiday season may seem tough but, with our simple healthy eating tips, you can still enjoy the special holiday foods that you like to eat! Instead of feeling guilty for enjoying your favorite holiday dish, make some simple substitutions to decrease the fat, calories, and sodium in your recipes.

When baking, try substituting whole wheat flour for half of the called for all-purpose flour. Whole grains are full of nutrients like dietary fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium). Instead of topping off your holiday pies with whipped cream or ice cream, try using low-fat or fat-free yogurt to reduce the total amount of fat and calories with your desserts. Dairy products, such as yogurt, have calcium as well as important nutrients like potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

When making savory recipes that call for seasonings such as garlic salt, celery salt, or onion salt, try replacing salt with just the herb seasoning. These herb seasonings include garlic powder, celery seed, onion flakes, or use finely chopped herbs like garlic, celery or onions. By removing the salt from these seasoning, you are significantly lowering your sodium intake while still maintaining flavor.  Americans often consume almost double the amount of the recommended sodium recommendations a day. According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, a healthy adult should not have more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, which is equivalent to only one teaspoon of salt per day!


Skillet Green Bean Casserole


  • 1 pound haricots verts (French green beans)
  • 2 (1-oz.) slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 6 Tbsp.), grated and divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

How to Make It

Step 1 – Preheat broiler to high.

Step 2 – Cook beans in a large saucepan filled with boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge beans into ice water; drain well.

Step 3 – Place bread in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Stir in parsley, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cheese.

Step 4 – Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 8 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in stock, milk, and sherry. Bring to a simmer; cook 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining 4 tablespoons cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add beans to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly with breadcrumb mixture. Broil 2 minutes.