Thursday, November 6, 2008

Healthier holiday recipes

The folks from Smart Balance are helping us whittle some fat from Thanksgiving favorites:

New-Fashioned Mashed Potatoes & Onions
2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup Smart Balance Fat-Free Milk*
1/2 cup Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 2 quarts hot tap water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and onions, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 14 minutes or until potatoes and onions are tender.

Drain well in colander. Add the potato mixture, plus the other ingredients to the saucepan and use a potato masher or electric mixer to mash until smooth.
Makes 6 cups total
Serves 8; 3/4 cup per serving
Per serving: 140 calories, 3 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 2 grams monounsaturated fat, 1.4 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 390 mg. sodium, 3 grams fiber

Asparagus with Lemon-Butter Crumb Topping
1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Butter Blend Stick
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs*
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed (12 ounces total after trimming)
1/2 cup water
Grate 2 teaspoons rind from the lemon, cut the lemon into wedges.

Melt Smart Balance Butter Blend Stick over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the breadcrumbs and cook 2-3 minutes, or until just golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add lemon zest and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir gently, using the back of a spoon, incorporate lemon zest into the breadcrumb mixture, set aside on separate plate.

To the skillet, add the water and asparagus, bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover and boil 2 minutes or until tender crisp. Drain well.

Place asparagus on serving platter. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and top with the breadcrumbs. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes about 16-20 spears plus about 1/2 cup crumbs total
Serves 4; 4-5 spears plus 2 tablespoons crumbs per serving (recipe may easily be doubled)
Per serving: 162 calories, 5.1 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fat, 2.9 grams saturated fat, 1.7 grams monounsaturated fat, 0.7 gram polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 8 mg. cholesterol, 62 mg. sodium, 3.8 grams fiber
* Panko bread crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs found in the ethnic section of most major supermarkets. May substitute with 1 1/2 ounces multigrain bread torn in small pieces, placed in blender and pulsed to a fine crumb texture.

Festive Cranberry Nut Bars
First Layer
3 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Smart Balance Butter Blend Stick Regular with Omega-32 eggs, beaten (or egg substitute)2 teaspoons vanilla
Second Layer
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
Third Layer
1/2 cup Smart Balance Butter Blend Stick Unsalted with Omega-3
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts)

First Layer: Stir together dry ingredients. With pastry blender, cut in Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick until pieces are size of peas. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Press dough onto bottom and sides of ungreased 10 ½ x 15 ½-inch jelly roll pan.Second Layer: Bring water and sugar to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Mixture will thicken as it cools.

Spread over first layer. Bake 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool.Third Layer: Melt Smart Balance Butter Blend Stick and cool. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to make it spreadable. Spread on cooled cookie layers and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Cut into squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.Makes 40 squaresServes 40; 1 cookie per serving


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