(Family Features) The holidays are the best time to share delicious meals with family and friends. However, overindulging in rich entrées and sweet treats can quickly sabotage healthy eating habits. Offer guests the best of both worlds by serving an array of healthy, tasty options at your next holiday gathering.
Simple Ingredient Swaps
Add nutritional value to festive recipes by using healthier versions of traditional ingredients. For stuffing, casseroles and toasted sandwiches, replace white bread with whole grain bread, such as Roman Meal. Cooking with whole grains adds taste, texture and fiber to your favorite dishes. Enter the Roman Meal Healthy Holiday Sweepstakes this November and you could win $1,000 or free loaves of bread. Visit www.facebook.com/RomanMeal for details and official rules.
Sensible Pre-meal Snacks
Appetizers and salads are a great way to curb overeating. Guests who nibble on fresh, light fare are less likely to stuff themselves with fat and calorie-laden dishes at mealtime.
This recipe for Butternut Squash Whole Grain Crostini offers a full spectrum of fall flavors. Enjoy sweet maple syrup, earthy butternut squash and sharp feta on top of toasted bites of Roman Meal bread. Or, serve Fall Harvest Fruit Salad with Whole Grain Croutons right before a meal. Your guests will love the combination of spicy cinnamon, sweet pears and apples.
Recipe: Fall Harvest Fruit Salad with Whole Grain Croutons
- 4 slices Roman Meal bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups pears, thinly sliced
- 3 cups apples, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cranberries, sweetened, dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted
- Trim crusts from bread slices and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place bread cubes on foil-lined baking sheet. Let stand for 2 hours or overnight.
- Place bread cubes in medium bowl; drizzle with butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Stir gently until evenly coated.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once, or until crisp. Cool completely.
- Combine pears, apples, cranberries and lemon juice in serving bowl. Top with nuts and cinnamon-sugar croutons. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Butternut Squash Whole Grain Crostini
- 8 slices Roman Meal bread, toasted or grilled
- 2 cups butternut squash, broiled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 32 fresh basil leaves
- Cut each piece of toast into quarters for a total of 32 pieces.
- Combine squash, cheese, maple syrup and thyme in medium bowl.
- Top toast quarters with about 1 tablespoon squash mixture each. Top with fresh basil leaves.