Lessen the Holiday Calories with These Healthier Alternatives

By  - 6 months ago

The holiday season has come upon us, which means the agenda for the month is filled with family reunions, Christmas parties, and more festivities a.k.a. non-stop eating all day, everyday. To help you lessen the holiday weight gain, here are five alternatives you can opt for.

 

5. roasted turkey or chicken for lechon

Lechon is very high in fat and cholesterol, so switching to turkey or chicken will cut down these unhealthy calories. The latter are considered lean protein which are also lower in fat and sodium.

 

4. mashed sweet potato for regular white potatoes

Instead of regular mash potatoes, try it with sweet potato which has less calories and carbohydrates, but has much more vitamin A.

 

3. oil-based pasta for cream-based pasta

Cream sauce is much higher in calories and sugar, so a lighter alternative is recipes using olive oil, packed with heart-friendly monounsaturated fat.

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Here’s a pasta dish to make when the pantry is almost bare and as my mamma is from near Venice, it is one of our favourites. The base of the sauce is made with onions and anchovies (which I always have in the house), a bit like the Venetian dish “bigoli in salsa”, but I mix it up a bit with the addition of balsamic vinegar and even top it off with a few shards of Grana Padano (slightly controversial I am sure). I love using whole-wheat spaghetti or penne. So here is the recipe for two people: 180g whole-wheat pasta 1 brown onion, finely diced 5-6 anchovies (more or less to taste) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil A good drizzling of aged balsamic 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped Parmesan cheese (optional) Place the onion and EVOO in a medium sized frypan and cook for 20 minutes on low heat until the onion has softened and is starting to caramelise. Add the chopped anchovies and continue to cook on low heat and at the same time, bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta until “al dente”, drain and then toss in the pan with the onions and anchovies until well coated, adding some reserved pasta water if needed. Drizzle on some balsamic (I use about 2 teaspoons) depending on your taste and then add salt as needed. Serve scattered with parsley and a bit of Parmesan or Grana Padana (if using). And the pasta is my favorite whole-wheat pasta integrale (that thankfully does not go gluggy) made by my friends at @barillaaus

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2. soba salad for macaroni salad

Macaroni salad is made with mayonnaise and white-flour pasta, a composition of fat, sodium, and bad carbs. Swap it for soba noodles, which are made of buckwheat flour packed with nutrients, but with less calories.

 

1. homemade fruit ice cream for fruit salad

Fruit salad has a lot of sugar from condensed milk and sugar syrup from fruit cocktail, so making ice cream made of frozen fruits at home will be a healthier alternative.

 

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