There are just a handful of days and dinners left of 2014, and we’d like to invite you to join us in making every one of those remaining 5 nightly meals a nourishing meal. Below, we’ve rounded up some healthy recipes for your holiday leftovers to get you started. Pick out a few according to what you might have stocked in your fridge. Then make a game-plan for how you’ll ring out the rest of the year in good health and good eating. Cheers!
Our Top Turkey Pick: Mexican Turkey Stew via Cooking Light
If you’re tastebuds are tiring of the classic seasonings of American holiday food, this one’s for you. Flavored with chili powder, this soup will reinvent your turkey into a stew you’ll want to make all winter.
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
Decked out in lights and ornaments, your Christmas tree is capable of doing more than just stand pretty. The same goes for that evergreen proudly stretching its branches in your backyard.
Those needles your tree displays are chock full of vitamins A & C, with a minty, fresh, and pine-like flavor. And you better believe they are edible.
Not sure what pine tastes like? Go ahead and grab a needle from the tree and find out. All pine needles are suitable to eat, though you may find that you enjoy the flavor of some types over others. Just steer clear of any trees you believe may have been sprayed with pesticides.
We suggest chewing on their ends, almost like a stick of gum, or steeping them into a tea, the most common way pines are consumed. Here’s a recipe to get your started. Once you create the simple tea, add a little honey and drink as is, or use the vitamin tonic to flavor soups, breads, and sauces, or any other recipe you in which you might add a liquid.
It’s a great way to try something new, and really put your holiday tree to use – especially when you’re about to send it out the door at the end of the season. However, if you’re feeling a bit dubious about Pine Needle tea, we’ve put together a collection of other wintertime tea tonics for boosting your health and keeping you warm. Check out a few of our favorites below!
“They’re like French fries but without as many of the calories and fat,” said LifeVest member Laura Meier.
Bingo. Laura’s description of rutabaga fries sounded great to us, and it didn’t take us long before we set out to discover its truth.
Since joining the program, LifeVester Laura is over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds, and now has a new goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long run.
“We’re going to keep encouraging each other and thinking smarter so we can remain feeling good,” says Laura who set out on her journey to health in partnership with her husband. “You have to think long-term. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Why go back when you could feel good for life?”
Laura told us she loves finding new ways to transform some of her favorite recipes into healthier versions. It keeps her feeling both satisfied and excited about continuing on.
She has always loved french fries, and we do too, so we were thrilled to hear about her latest version that enables her to remain on the right track toward her goals.
Rutabagas have just 1/2 the calories and 1/2 of the carbs that potatoes contain. So, inserting them into the standard oven-baked fry equation sounded like a genius idea to us.
Often mistaken for a turnip, the root veggie has that same sweet bite of a turnip with the starchiness of a potato. This makes them perfect for slicing up into flavorful fries, ones that luckily come without too much detriment to your diet.
At just 65 calories per cup, the winter veggie (in season Oct. – March) has become no small fry in our recipe book. Rather, thanks to Laura, it’s our new fry-making go-to.
We were thrilled with the crispy results upon our first batch, and are excited to experiment with other spices and herbs. We’d encourage you to do the same after first trying the chili powder version below.
As Laura shares, “It makes us, especially my husband, think we’re having a burger and fries.” She serves her ruta-fries alongside turkey burgers with lettuce swapped for the bun, a combo we can get behind.
Let us know in the comments, how do you make your favorite comfort foods healthier? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to transform some of your favorite recipes, and thank you to Laura for sharing this idea with us!
Put your carved jack-o’-lantern on your porch, but please pass along its seeds to your plate! Those tiny ovals will obtain an irresistible crunch upon roasting, meaning they have no place in the trashcan.
They’re also scary good for you. Legend has it that jack-o’-lanterns originated as a means to ward off evil spirits. However, we’re starting to think it’s the pumpkin seeds that deserve most of the credit for scaring off death. You see, pumpkin seeds contain a solid 150mg of magnesium per ounce. Research shows that meeting the recommended daily value of magnesium (442mg/day) is highly associated with a reduced risk of death. (That’s a 34% risk reduction for overall mortality, 59% reduction in cardiovascular death & a 37% reduction in cancer death, according to this study. Woah!)
In addition to that magical magnesium, pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. This all makes them an incredibly satisfying snack — especially when you add a little salt and curry powder to the mix.
We’ve got the recipe below that shows you how to do just that, so get ready to go save your seeds and take them to the table.
In a video-gone-viral, Michelle Obama says, “Turnip for what?” We’re responding to that question with this roundup of healthful turnip-central recipes.
The late autumn crop is particularly low in calories among the root vegetable kingdom – just 34 cals per cup vs. 116 per cup of diced potatoes – and is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. This makes it a great filler and addition to lighten up traditional starchy dishes, like Turnip Mashed Potatoes (swap 1/2 the potatoes with turnips), and some of the recipes you’ll find below.
Both the turnip’s greens and bulb can be eaten. Each provide a nice bitterness that pairs well with sweeter veggies, meats, and spices. See for yourself as you turnip some music and your stove, and dive into one of the recipes below.
Fall has fallen upon us, which means sweater, sweet potato, and soup season have all officially arrived! We love all three, especially that latter one, which we encourage you to add into your eat-clean-toolbox.
With the temps cooling down, it’s easy to slide away from light summer fare into heavier winter territory. However, jumbo sweaters are no excuse to add another layer to your diet or your tummy. Luckily with an arsenal of soup recipes on-hand, you can stay warm and satisfied without needing to take that path.
This particular recipe from our food blogging LifeVester Grace calls on an array of hearty harvest veggies to create a soup that’s both robust, yet light. That’s exactly the combination we recommend employing to stay slimming down and feeling good all throughout the season.
Perfect for both Meatless Monday and late October days when you want something a little warm and brothy, head on over to Grace’s blog for the recipe.
Then, as you continue to add more soup recipes to your eat-clean-toolbox, please share them with us! We’re suckers for soup, and would love to hear what’s filling your bowl.