Light, Festive Dinners

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

No matter what holiday you celebrate during late fall and winter, family and friends tend to gather around the table to share food, fun, and laughter. Well, that's what one hopes. Traditionally, people eat turkey or ham at Thanksgiving. For those who celebrate Christmas, well, there's some variation. Some people, especially Brits like me, eat turkey; others enjoy a nice piece of beef tenderloin or a ham; and others prefer fish. There are no hard and fast rule, unless you must observe a strict diet for religious reasons, as you might for Hanukkah. The key thing is to serve food with love and in the spirit of the season. And if you need to watch what and how much eat then here are some options to help keep you on track.

Roast Turkey Breast - Fiona Haynes
Roast Turkey Breast. Fiona Haynes

Roast Turkey Breast

Usually it's just a few of us around the table at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and so cooking a whole turkey doesn't make much sense, especially as most of us happen to prefer white meat anyway. We want to enjoy turkey for a day or two and then be done with it. A turkey breast allows us to do just that. Plus, our much-preferred white breast meat is much lower in fat than the leg and thigh meat. More »

Herbed Roast Chicken - Fiona Haynes
Herbed Roast Chicken. Fiona Haynes

Simple Herbed Roast Chicken

If your gathering is relatively small, then a simple herbed roast chicken might be just the thing. Or, if you have space, you can roast two chickens at once. Breast meat is leanest, of course, but thigh meat is succulent and delicious, and its richness means you are likely to eat less of it than you would white meat. More »

Pork Tenderloin With Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce - Fiona Haynes
Pork Tenderloin With Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce. Fiona Haynes

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

With pork tenderloin said to be as lean as skinless chicken breast, despite strictly being a red meat (though the marketing campaign of a few years ago described it as the "other white meat"), this makes a great alternative to poultry, which often takes center stage on low-fat menus. Serve this delicious, quick-cooking, succulent pork tenderloin with a tart and flavorful cranberry pomegranate sauce. More »

Broiled Salmon With Lemon Sauce - Fiona Haynes
Broiled Salmon With Lemon Sauce. Fiona Haynes

Salmon With Lemon Sauce

Chock full of omega 3 fatty acids, which the body needs but can't manufacture, salmon should be included in all our diets, including low-fat ones. And during the holiday season, salmon makes a particularly delicious treat, especially on a Christmas Eve menu. More »

Quinoastuffedpeppersmed1.jpg - Fiona Haynes
Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers. Fiona Haynes

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

These quinoa-stuffed peppers make a nice low-fat meatless entree or side dish. Quinoa is a wonderful option for those who can't eat gluten, plus it makes a nice change from rice or meat-filled peppers. More »

Carrot and Butternut Squash Puree - Fiona Haynes
Carrot and Butternut Squash Puree. Fiona Haynes

Holiday Side Dishes

Holiday meals are notoriously fat- and calorie-laden, especially the side dishes, with all their added cream, butter and sugar. These holiday side dishes are a good deal healthier. More »

Low Fat Potato Latkes - Fiona Haynes
Low Fat Potato Latkes. Fiona Haynes

Low Fat Potato Latkes

You don't have to wait for Hanukkah to enjoy potato latkes. These low fat latkes are delicious any time. Serve with light sour cream (or fat free Greek yogurt) and apple sauce. More »

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