The Recipe for Low-Cal Holiday Hosting

 In Seasonal

This year, for the sake of your dear ones’ weight and blood pressure, turn less into more. By that, we mean less butter and cream and more virgin olive oil and low-fat yogurt. Likewise, you’d be surprised how easily a sweet tooth can be satisfied by more fresh fruit and fewer cakes and cookies. By substituting herbs, spices and low-fat ingredients, you can serve dishes to die for that won’t pack on the pounds. P.S. Don’t skimp on the fresh veggies – here, there, and everywhere.

Time for a Toast

Think your feast has to be spiritless? Get that notion out of your mind! Low-calorie wine brands are booming, so ask for such labels as Skinny Girl, The Skinny Vine, Café Collection, and Banrock Station Light. Likewise, the beer-lovers at your table can enjoy all the flavor at half the calories with a 12-oz. serving of Budweiser Select 55 (55 calories), Beck’s Premier Light (63 calories), or Miller 64: (64 calories). Meanwhile, for those who prefer vodka on the rocks, Smirnoff Sorbet Light Vodka tops the charts at a low 78 calories per 1.5-oz. serving

Let’s Eat

Check out this recipe for Low Calorie Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing. It’s so good you better make enough for seconds.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 157 (serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups cubed baguette-style white bread (12 oz., cut in 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 lb. chicken sausage with casings removed
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (3-4 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried, rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground, black pepper
  • 1 14 oz. can chicken broth

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until toasted and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Place a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sausage, crumbling as it cooks, until done. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms, onion, and celery to the pan, and cook for 5-6 minutes or until tender.

3. Toss the sausage, parsley, sage, thyme, and pepper with the vegetable mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, along with the toasted bread cubes and toss together. Pour in the can of chicken broth, and mix together until moistened.

4. Place the stuffing in a 9×13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. The top should be slightly browned, and stuffing should be steaming hot.

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