Looking for some healthier options for holiday meals? Waldo County General Hospital’s Journey to Health is offering free hands-on cooking classes from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Home Economics Room at the Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave., Belfast.
On Thursday, Nov. 7, the topic will be ‘Healthy Thanksgiving Sides” and on Thursday, Nov. 14, it will be “Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts.”
Space is limited so please register for one or both classes by Nov. 4. You may email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 930-2514.
Would you like to enjoy Maine-grown organic fruits and vegetables all year long? Learn how you can with “kitchen shares.”
Based on the Community Supported Agriculture model, with kitchen shares you receive a share each month that includes an assortment of nine items from Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen. She purchases farm-fresh fruits and vegetables from more than 40 Certified Organic Maine Farmers during the harvest season and then creates small batches of pasta and pizza sauces, condiments, jams, pickled vegetables, marinades, dressings and dry mixes.
There are currently pick-up locations in Bangor, Belfast, Blue Hill, Deer Isle, Ellsworth, Freeport, Portland, Rockport, Unity, Waterville and Yarmouth. And others can be added with a minimum of five shares per location.
The cost of the November to April kitchen share is $300 if you pick up and $390 for mail orders in Maine only.
Head of Romaine lettuce, chopped up
Mix together 1pkg frozen sweet corn, 1 can low-sodium black beans, rinsed, ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, 1 TBL cumin, 1 TBL lemon juice, 1 TBL lime juice
Low-fat sour cream
Chopped red pepper
Mix together in a jar:
Juice of 4 limes.
½ cup cilantro
1 TBL honey
¼- ½ cup olive oil
1 TBL vinegar (preferably apple cider vinegar)
Add a Pico de Gallo layer
Eliminate the black beans and top with chicken or shrimp
2 cups canned low sodium white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Blend the beans, lemon juice, sesame seeds, vinegar, mustard, and water in a food processor until smooth. Add the basil and cilantro and pulse very briefly.
Makes two servings. 272 calories per serving.
1 box white cake mix
I know that not everyone feels this way, but I personally love to attend and throw holiday parties. The holiday music twinkling in the background, those festive fashions, and time to visit with people you don’t see often — what’s not to love?
Some might also think that a holiday party is not the place to highlight health. I beg to differ. What makes a party special is the people, the conversation, and the dancing (if you’re lucky) — not the high-cal desserts or greasy finger foods. It is possible to throw a healthy holiday party that will please most of your guests. (I say “most” because there are always a few people who are impossible to please, no matter what!)
That said, here are my top 10 tips for throwing a healthy holiday party. Adopt as many as you like — the more the merrier!
1. Offer no- and lower-calorie drinks galore so your guests have lots of healthy options. Here are a few to try:
* Holiday tea
2. Serve fruit and vegetable trays. For appetizers and dinner, I use the 50% rule: I try to cover 50% of the food table with fruit and vegetable dishes. Here are some winter options for your fruit and veggie arrays:
* For fruit trays or fruit salads, try apple slices (spray with lemon juice to prevent browning), orange slices or wedges, melon cubes, grapes, canned pineapple, and cherry or grape tomatoes.
3. Keep dips and spreads as light as possible by substituting nonfat sour cream, light cream cheese, light or low-fat mayonnaise, and low-fat yogurt for the more caloric versions.
4. Look for ways to add beans to your dishes to beef up the fiber and plant protein, which will help your guests feel fuller faster. It’s easy to use beans in salads, casseroles, and appetizers. One of my favorites is a light 7-layer dip that features canned, nonfat refried beans.
5. Serve whole grains or whole-grain blends. You can use half whole-wheat flour in nut breads, muffins, and even cookie recipes. You can use whole-wheat blend pastas, whole grain crackers, and whole wheat (or whole wheat blend) dinner rolls. Check the ingredient list and the fiber grams on the nutrition information label for the rolls and crackers to make sure you are getting a product with at least half whole wheat and more fiber.
6. Serve lean meats and fish. There are lots of festive meat options that are lower in fat (and saturated fat) and high in protein. Try cooked shrimp served with cocktail sauce, roasted sliced turkey breast, lean ham, and sliced lean roast beef. Grilled or broiled salmon filet makes a great appetizer when served with whole-grain crackers.
7. Dish up lighter (or littler) desserts. Let’s be honest: it wouldn’t be a holiday party without holiday desserts. So make it easy for your guests. Serve light desserts when possible, and offer dessert trays with bite-size samples. When serving up desserts, think about portions that are two to four bites — just enough to taste and enjoy. Your guests can always have more! You can use cupcake papers to hold bite-sized portions (small-sized cookies and even cake or pie can be cut into petite portions). You can also use mini cupcake pans to make bite-sized cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and cheesecake. Also, keep dessert embellishments light when possible (try light vanilla ice cream, fat-free or lite Cool Whip, etc).
8. Encourage physical activity at the party. It depends on the type of party you’re having, but possibilities include:
9. Offer light condiments on the buffet. Try spicy mustard, light or low-fat mayo, barbecue sauce, cranberry sauce, fruit chutney, relishes, and so on.
10. Have an appetizer and dessert party or a dinner/buffet party instead of serving appetizers AND dinner AND dessert). When faced with too many food options, most people will eat too much. And while we’re at it, go ahead and banish candy dishes from the party. As long as you have other food on hand, you won’t need them. People can have candy any time of year.
BONUS TIP: Have small plates out at your buffet or dessert/appetizer table to encourage people to serve themselves smaller portions. But I’m warning you, some people will still pile every possible morsel onto their small plate. I’ve seen people at a holiday reception stack dozens of cookies onto their small plates, creating a Christmas tree of cookies.
2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup Grape-Nuts cereal or any high fiber whole wheat cereal
¾ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2/3 cup apple juice
¼ teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange apple slices in a 9” x 9” baking dish, then sprinkle with cranberries.
In a bowl, mix cereal, oats and cinnamon, then stir in brown rice syrup. Spread evenly over apples.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix apple juice and cornstarch or arrowroot, then pour evenly over other ingredients.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until apples are tender.
On Friday, Oct. 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Food for Life instructor MiMi McGee will explore how a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grain, and legumes can increase survival rates for those individuals diagnosed with breast cancer. She will provide information on how various foods and other factors affect breast cancer risk, prevention, and prognosis. The findings are drawn exclusively from scientific studies and updated as new research becomes available. The goal is to provide breast cancer patients, survivors and those at high risk for breast cancer with information to help them prevent and survive breast cancer.
You will also get to enjoy cooking demonstrations, taste healthy delicious dishes and share your experiences in a supportive group setting.
The free class will be offered . in the Education Center at Waldo County General Hospital.
To register, call Barbara Crowley at 930-2650 or email: email@example.com.
by Lael Hazan