Fall is finally here, which means it’s that time of year for rich, hearty comfort food and holiday meal planning! These recipes are perfect for chilly autumn nights. They all provide essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy as cold and flu season starts to make its way back for the year, and many of these recipes include cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Our dietitians have comprised a list of their top four holiday meal recommendations for you and your family to savor, and you can find the recipes and their nutritional values below.
Enjoy the bursts of autumn colors outside your windows this season, and bon appetit!
Turkey Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce
Turkey is a complete protein and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. Because it is a lean meat, it works great as a substitute for beef, a red meat which is high in fat and cholesterol.
It also calls for cranberry sauce, which is rich in fiber, Vitamin C and cancer-fighting antioxidants. This recipe is perfect for an impressive appetizer at holiday gatherings, or for getting picky eaters to try something new and nutritious.
- 1 pound ground turkey breast
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 (8 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
- ¾ cup chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion.
- Roll mix into small meatballs.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once
- In a slow cooker or large saucepan over low heat, blend the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Add meatballs, and simmer for 1 hour before serving.
No-Cream Green Bean Casserole
This green bean casserole is a healthy alternative to the classic recipe, as it doesn’t include cream of mushroom soup. Instead, its calls for low-fat milk to cut down on calories without sacrificing the creamy flavor.
Green beans are a low-calorie vegetable high in three very special antioxidants called carotenoids. These antioxidants improve night vision and protect your eyes from damage if you accidentally look into the sun or other harsh sources of light.
So feast those eyes—and your appetites of course—upon this easy casserole without cream!
• 1 lb (16 ounce) bag frozen green beans (thawed), or fresh green beans that have been trimmed and broken
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
• 11/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
• 1 cup chicken broth, fat-free, low-sodium
• 1 cup low-fat milk
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 2 cups cornflakes or bran flakes, crushed
• ½ tablespoon paprika
• ¼ tablespoon ground pepper
• ½ tablespoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Spray cooking oil in a large skillet, heat to medium, saute mushrooms until tender, or about 5 minutes.
3. Add garlic to mushrooms and continue to saute for another minute.
4. Add flour and stir to mix. Add broth and green beans.
5. Cook uncovered until liquid begins to thicken and green beans are slightly tender, about 10 minutes.
6. While cooking green beans, crush cornflakes in a gallon sized plastic bag and add paprika, ground pepper, and garlic powder.
7. Stir milk into green bean mixture. Add ½ of bran flake topping and mix in. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.
8. Bake until hot and bubbly, or approximately 25 minutes. Sprinkle crunchy topping on top and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Honey Apple Almond Salad
Another rich antioxidant food, eating an assortment of red, yellow and green apples will help you fight off illnesses. Apples are also high in fiber, which helps regulate your digestion.
Almonds are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. The American Heart Association recommends consuming four servings of nuts per week for the best health benefits.
- ½ bunch of Romaine lettuce
- 1 large Apple, diced
- 1 small Zucchini, sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, and black pepper.
2. Mix romaine, apples and almonds in a large mixing bowl.
3. Toss with dressing.
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
How could we possibly make a fall recipe guide without including pumpkin? This recipe is particularly special because it’s one that everyone can enjoy, particularly people who have diabetes. This recipe uses canned pumpkin, which is easily accessible at grocery stores and only contains 83 calories, making this a guilt-free, low-calorie dessert that includes pumpkin’s health benefits of iron and Vitamin E.
- 1 15 – ounce can pumpkin
- 1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, honey, and pie spice. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat lightly just until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into prepared pan and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until center appears set when gently shaken. Cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.
- To serve, loosen pie from sides of pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Remove sides of pan. Cut pie into wedges to serve. Makes 8 servings (1 slice each).
- *Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda granular or Sweet’N Low bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar.
- *Sugar Substitutes: Same as above, except 67 cal., 13 g carb. Exchanges: 1 carb. Carb choices: 1.