Holidays and Food are Like a Marriage Made in Heaven

pumpkin pie

Visions of tasty dishes bring feelings of warmth and joy. The last thing we think of is health and nutrition. But did you know that those wonderful dishes are loaded with nutrition? Sweet potato casserole, smooth butternut squash soup, roasted chestnut stuffing, garlic potatoes, toasted almonds and green beans, sweet pumpkin pie, and let’s not forget that beautiful roasted turkey, provide you with tons of nutritional benefits such as protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, Vitamin A, C and E, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and potassium, just to name a few. Squash, carrots and sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of   nutrients such as carotenoids. In regard to those orangey vegetables, you need a source of fat to absorb those important carotenoids, so add a healthy margarine like Smart Balance® or olive oil for flavor and health. These nutrients protect against a whole host of chronic diseases, build bones and boost our immune system. So don’t avoid these marvelous dishes; enjoy them in moderation.

Avoid unwanted weight gain by not overeating and enjoy the natural flavors of the various foods without adding salt. Taking a nice relaxing walk after dinner will help to help you digest and burn off some of those calories!

Try these nutrient-rich recipes:

Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Toss together the potatoes, oil, and thyme, and sprinkle with salt. Dump the potatoes out on a baking sheet and roast until tender and crisp on the edges, 30 to 40 minutes.

Roasted Butternut Squash Puree with Goat Cheese

  • 2 pound butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup torn sage leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ounce soft mild goat cheese

Heat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub lightly with olive oil and put the sage leaves in each squash cavity. Rub in a bit of salt and pepper. Turn upside down in a pie pan and roast for about an hour or until very tender. Let cool for five minutes, then scoop out the flesh and puree with the goat cheese.

(Recipe by Faith Durand)