Healthy Holiday Recipes from the LV Community!Posted: December 9, 2014
LifeVest recently held its first virtual “potluck” featuring users’ favorite healthy recipe renovations! From veggie-filled sides to revamped casseroles to an array of convenient, make-ahead Crock-Pot meals, we received a hearty round of recipes to now display at our virtual table. We’ve selected a few of our favorites to share with you, so grab a seat with us and get inspired for your next holiday gathering. Also, we’d like to extend a warm thank you to our entire LifeVest community and all whom swapped a recipe with us!
Renovated Sweet Potato Gratin
1 1/2 cups of light cream
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Nutmeg, a few dashes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
5 oz. of gruyere and/or cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, optional
Preheat the oven to 375. In a saucepan, heat light cream with garlic, sage leaves and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a simmer (not boiling), and then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
In a casserole dish (or pyrex dish), make a layer of sweet potatoes, then add some onion and some kale. On top, add a light layer of shredded cheese. Repeat the layers a second and third time. Pour in the cream mixture and tap the pan to help it all settle.
Cover the dish with foil, put it on a cookie sheet in case it bubbles over, and stick it in the oven for 30-40 minutes. While it is cooking, in a small pan, heat up some butter and then add a few handfuls of panko bread crumbs, if using. Toast them for a few minutes. When there are about 10 minutes left in the oven, remove the foil and add the bread crumbs to the top. Crank up the heat to 425F.
When everything is bubbly and the sweet potatoes are fork tender, remove from oven.
A Lighter Corn Casserole
1 box corn muffin mix
1 can low salt whole kernel corn, drained
1 can low salt crushed corn
8 oz. light sour cream
2 tsp. Smart Balance margarine, melted
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into 11 x 7 pan with Pam or other cooking spray. Bake for approx. 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through at top turns golden brown. Remove from oven and enjoy.
Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 bag of brussels sprouts, ends removed, and halved
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, quartered
Olive oil, to lightly coat
Salt and pepper, to season
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic on top, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss until lightly coated with oil, and then season with salt and pepper, around the pan. Roast for about 30-45 minutes, until sprouts are soft and begin to caramelize.
Fresher Green Bean Casserole
2 lg. cups fresh green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
Handful of french fried onions
¼ skim milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Stir together all ingredients, and then place in a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
Butternut Squash Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium veggie broth
2 (15-oz.) cans pinto beans, drained (white beans are good too, for a creamier consistency)
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 med. butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Slivered almonds, handful
In a large pot, heat oil oil over medium high. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes. Add garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Add broth and the remaining ingredients, excluding the almonds. Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat. Cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Blend soup in blender or with an immersion blender to puree. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste, if needed.
Heat a small skillet over medium high. Add almonds and toast, until brown, stirring regularly. Serve soup in bowls, garnished with almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pro-tip: Toast the squash seeds and eat them while you cook!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1 lb)
2 cups chicken stock (the better the quality, the better the recipe)
1 1/4 cup (or 1 10-oz. can) red enchilada sauce
2 (14-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (15-oz.) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, peeled and diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt, to taste
Garnishes: Any combination of cilantro, tortilla chips, avocado, cheese, etc.
Add all ingredients (excluding garnishes) to a slow cooker, and stir/combine. Cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low heat, until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Serve warm, with optional garnishes like chopped cilantro, broken tortilla chips, diced avocado, shredded cheese, etc.
5 Other LifeVester recipe recommendations from around the web:
Balsamic Chicken – “One of my favorite low carb, low fat, high protein recipes!”
Slow Cooker Bacon Chicken Recipe – “Swap the bacon for turkey bacon. Also, no need to fry the bacon here!”
Crock-Pot Pumpkin Chili – “The pumpkin addition is my favorite part, and you can use a 15 oz. can of puree if you don’t have fresh. I add more beans, usually around 4-5 different kinds (red beans, black beans, white beans, garbanzo beans). I also add carrots and bell peppers, nutmeg and cinnamon.”
Accordion Potatoes – “Rather than mashed potatoes, we make this neat, and crispy display of potatoes. With this recipe, all you need is a little olive oil and fresh herbs.”
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna – “A favorite for when we’re serving a crowd, and made healthier with whole wheat noodles and skim ricotta.”
*All of the above recipes and links are courtesy of our active users in the LifeVest community.