Holiday Dinner Made Easy: A Practical Primer for Preparing a Healthy Meal
Thursday, 01 December 2011 20:53 | Written by Dottie DeHart
Mindstream Academy's Executive Chef Brandon Franklin was kind enough to share practical advice to help you cook smart and putting some thought into your menu—should the task of prepping something delicious fall into your hands!
Franklin promises that you don’t have to abandon great-grandma’s super-secret stuffing recipe, but promises that you can make other substitutions that don’t sacrifice taste in the slightest. Here are some starting points:
• Roast a skinless, boneless turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. This way you’ll avoid the less healthy skin and dark meat.
• Use whole wheat bread in your stuffing. And if the recipe calls for butter, cut the amount in half, and use unsalted, organic butter. Or, just skip it altogether, and use a little chicken or turkey stock for moisture.
• When making the green bean casserole, use fresh or frozen green beans. Canned green beans have a higher sodium content. If you use fresh beans, be sure to wash them, boil them for two minutes, and place them in ice water to cool. Same butter rules apply for the casserole as for the stuffing.
• When it’s time for dessert, your best choice is a pie made with pure pumpkin. If you’re close to full capacity, skip the crust.
• Make your own cranberry sauce. Whether you love it or hate it, this is a holiday favorite. Making the sauce yourself is quick, simple, and will save you a lot of unwanted calories and excessive sugar. Below is one of Franklin’s favorite recipes:
Chef Franklin’s Calorie-Light Cranberry Sauce:
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup water
• 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons raisins or currants
Bring sugar and water to a boil in stainless steel pan. After water has come to a boil, add cranberries, and wait for boiling to continue. Reduce to simmer, and boil cranberries for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add lemon zest and raisins or currants. Cool in fridge for one hour and serve.
About Mindstream Academy: Mindstream Academy is a full-service boarding school on a pristine 43-acre horse farm in South Carolina for teens and tweens who want to get healthy, fit, lose weight, take control of their lives, build self-esteem, and pursue a personal passion.