Heart Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays, plus Recipes
Holiday Eating Tips
Prepared by Louise Spadaro, M.D.
Cardiologist, St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center
- Don't go to a party hungry. Eat a light snack before going out.
- Choose only the foods you really want and keep the portions small.
- Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items. Fill up on lower calorie, nutrient dense foods such as fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grain breads.
- Remember that there are a lot of “empty” calories in eggnog, beer, soda, and wine, so be careful to limit these.
- Drink plenty of water.
- When you arrive at a party, avoid rushing to the food. Go enjoy some conversation with friends and family first.
- Make just one trip to the party buffet and use a small plate – you’ll eat less.
- Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful.
- Hold your glass in the hand that you normally eat with to make finger foods less accessible.
- Contrast flavors, textures and temperatures for more satisfaction in your eating.
- Avoid grazing while you cook. Little nibbles can really add up!
- When you’re done, pop a mint or stick of gum in your mouth, get a tall glass of water and sip on it throughout the night, or position yourself away from the buffet table or food trays to keep yourself from overeating.
- Be realistic: trying to lose weight during the holidays may be a self-defeating goal. Instead strive to maintain your weight Forget the all-or-nothing mindset. Depriving yourself of special holiday foods or feeling guilty when you do enjoy them isn’t a healthful eating strategy. And deprivation and guilt certainly are not part of the holiday spirit!
- Be physically active every day. Take a walk after a meal if you can.
Heart Healthy Holiday Recipes
Courtesy of Richard Shlofmitz, M.D.
Director of Cardiology,
St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- 2 ½ pounds red bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped shallots
- 2 minced garlic gloves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 3 cups canned vegetable broth
- ½ cup low fat half and half
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Sliced fresh basil
- Char peppers in broiler until blackened on all sides and enclose in paper bag for 10 minutes
- Peel seed and salt peppers
- Heat oil over medium heat with shallots garlic and thyme for 3 minutes
- Add 3 cups broth and all but 4 slices of red pepper
- Simmer for 20 minutes
- Use hand blender until smooth then add half and half vinegar and pepper
- Add broth if necessary
- Garnish with red pepper strips and basil
- 1 whole turkey, cut into 8 pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 4 Idaho potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 red peppers 2 yellow peppers
- 4 yellow onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig tarragon and thyme
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Spread the turkey pieces out onto a large sheet pan, drizzle them with the olive oil, sprinkle them with a generous amount of salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
- Cut peppers and potatoes into 1-inch chunks; add tarragon, garlic and thyme; combine all ingredients and spread on sheet.
- Roast them at 375° F for 45 minutes. Increase the temperature to 425° F and cook until the breasts reach 155° F, and the other pieces 175° F in the thickest part (not touching the bone).
- Remove the turkey pieces to a platter to rest for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
- 2 acorn squash
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
- Cut each acorn squash in half
- Remove seeds
- Put teaspoon of maple syrup in each half cavity
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder ¼ teaspoon in each half
- Cover acorn squash loosely with saran wrap and put in microwave bowl
- Cook one half at a time in microwave, high setting, for 4 minutes
- Set aside to rest for 2 minute
Sesame String Beans with Garlic
- 1lb String beans
- 5 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Blanch string beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, followed by ice bath.
- Heat olive oil in pan, medium heat
- Add garlic, string beans and sesame seeds; salt and pepper
- Toss and plate
- 4 large good baking apples, such as Rome Beauty or Golden Delicious
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
- 1 tbsp margarine
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Wash apples. Remove cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom of the apples. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about 3/4-inch to 1-inch wide.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, currants/raisins, and pecans. Place apples in an 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Stuff each apple with this mixture. Top with a dot of margarine (1/4 of the tbsp).
- Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes until tender but not mushy. Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.
Next-Day Waldorf Salad
- 1 lb Cooked turkey cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 lb String beans cut in half (left over from last night)
- 1 cup Walnuts cut in half and shelled
- Leftover sweet and Idaho potatoes with onions peppers, cubed
- 1 cup Low-fat raspberry vinaigrette dressing
- 1 cup Dried cranberries
Mix all of the above, salt and pepper to taste, and serve on large platter.