When you think about healthy eating during the holidays, your mind may turn to tofurkey instead of turkey, rice cakes instead of biscuits, and wheat grass shots instead of sweet tea. But this isn’t Vegan Day International; you don’t have to eat like a bunny to eat healthier during the holidays.
In this article, we’ll talk about a few cooking methods and switch-outs that can leave you eating a lot healthier without having to sacrifice on your favorite dishes or the flavor inside of them.
Whether you’re fixing a huge turkey or a prime rib, there are a few cooking and prep methods you can do to ensure you’re cutting down on fat and calories.
- The dark meat and the skin of the turkey are rather fatty, but the white mean is lean, mean and full of protein.
- Turkeys are really cheap around the holiday season, and it doesn’t take a lot of work (just a sharp knife) to remove the breast from the bird.
- If you’re looking for something to add some pizzazz to your holidays, try pounding out a turkey breast, stuffing it with cranberries, walnuts, dried oranges and some sage, tying it up and making a roulade.
- With a prime rib, you can remove that huge cap of fat, inject some garlic cloves and caper berries into the meat, and slow roast it for a powerful punch of flavor without the added fat.
Use this same methodology for cooking duck, chicken, lamb, or any other main course protein. Knock out some of the fat, add some good flavors and spices and grill or bake your meat.
For sides, the idea here is to cut back on the salt, butter and milk/cream. By using substitutes here, you can keep the same flavors without adding calories, you might even find yourself losing weight.
- Replace a mc ‘n’ cheese (that you make with a ton of butter, cream and high fat cheddar cheese) with some whole wheat elbow noodles, skim milk and low-fat cheese. The depth of flavor in the pasta will make up for the lack of fat, so you won’t lose any flavor in the dish and it will be a lot healthier.
- There are tons of side dishes that we eat during the holidays. Be sure that you’re always looking for substitute ingredients whenever possible.
- Avoid adding extra fats and sugars to provide flavor and instead look for alternate ingredients, herbs and spices, etc, you can use in order to make them tasty. Check also our Thanksgiving recipes.