Healthy Holiday Recipes

Try these 4 festive (but not fattening) dishes.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD

These recipes created by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, lead nutrition instructor at The Art Institute of New York City, will spice up any holiday gathering.

Tricolor Stuffed Peppers

6 colored peppers (red, green, and yellow), washed and cored
1/2 cup brown rice
6-8 dried apricots, sliced
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
6-8 pre-roasted and peeled jarred chestnuts, thinly sliced (optional; you may substitute pecans or almonds)
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
6 basil leaves for garnish

  • Cook brown rice per directions on package. While rice is cooking, wash and core peppers.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray Pam or similar cooking spray on a baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, mix cooked rice, apricots, cranberries, chestnuts, silken tofu, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  • Evenly divide the brown rice mixture among the 6 peppers.
  • Place peppers on baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F until outside of peppers are soft (about 30-40 minutes).
  • Garnish with basil leaves.

Yield: 6 peppers

Per serving: 124 calories, 1.1 grams fat, 4.6 grams protein, 26.6 grams carbohydrate. Calories from fat: 7%

Chicken With Apricot Jam

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/2 jar apricot jam
1/4 cup soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (can use black, white, or both)
2 scallions, cleaned and sliced for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray Pam or similar oil spray on a baking dish.
  • Put Pam, salt, and pepper on chicken breast. Grill on each side until cooked through.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine apricot jam and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour apricot mixture evenly over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Garnish with sliced scallion.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 379 calories, 21 grams fat, 39 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrate. Calories from fat: 49%,

Date and Bulgur Stuffing

1 cup bulgur (buckwheat)
3 cups boiling fat-free chicken stock
12 pitted dates, chopped
2 small turkey sausages, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped celery
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Put bulgur in a large bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling chicken stock over it, and let sit 15 minutes. Drain out excess liquid.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and saute onions until soft and translucent. Add chopped garlic and chopped turkey sausage and saute until brown.
  • Pour skillet mixture over bulgur and mix.
  • Add chopped dates, chopped celery, chopped parsley, chopped thyme, and lemon juice. Mix to evenly distribute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place in a baking pan and coat with Pam or similar oil spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 213 calories, 8.5 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrate. Calories from fat: 36%.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Stuffing

1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
1 cup water
1 large leek, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
3 medium sweet potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cilantro (or ground parsley)
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the brown and red lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until lentils are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add sweet potatoes in the last 5 minutes.
  • In another medium saucepan, add wild rice and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-35 minutes, until rice is fork tender.
  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and add leeks. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add garlic, mushrooms, cumin, and ground cilantro. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • In a large bowl, combine rice, lentils, and saucepan mixture. Mix well.
  • Place in a baking pan and coat with oil spray. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 170 calories, 5 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrate. Calories from fat: 26%

Recipes provided by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, nutrition instructor, Art Institute of New York City; © 2005 Toby Amidor.

Published December 16, 2005.
Medically updated December 1, 2006.

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