Christmas is just around the corner and holiday treats keep popping up everywhere you go! With everything incorporating the seasonal gingerbread or peppermint flavors, it’s hard to stay on track with your diet, and incorporating healthy bits into your daily routine is becoming increasingly more difficult.
The one meal that tops all of the holiday treats is, of course, the holiday dinner feast! With turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and comfort food galore, it’s hard to think of ways to cut calories on this special occasion. A fan favorite at every holiday dinner is the classic green bean casserole. Regardless of whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or just the winter season, it’s almost guaranteed that a green bean casserole will grace every table.
This year, put a new spin on this holiday classic by getting rid of some of the fatty ingredients and incorporating some lighter substitutes. This month’s healthy green bean casserole recipe comes from Eatingwell.com and is just as simple and easy to make as the original recipe!
• 2 ½ pounds of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
• 2-3 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon white or black pepper
• 2 ½ cups low-fat milk
• 1 ½ cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs or ½ cup shredded or crumbled cheese
1. Position racks in upper and lower third of oven, preheat to 425 degrees
2. Toss green beans in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil until well coated. Divide between 2 baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring once and rotating the pans top to bottom about halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until very soft and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook stirring, for 1 minute more. Add milk and continue to stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook, stirring, until the sauce bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. When the green beans are done, remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler.
5. Transfer half the green beans to a 2-quart, broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the green beans. Add the remaining green beans and top with the remaining sauce.
6. Combine breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl (skip this step if you are topping with cheese).
7. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture (or cheese) over the gratin. Place under the broiler and broil, watching closely, until the gratin is bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 170 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 5 g fiber; 303 mg sodium; 367 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (25% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv), Calcium & Folate (17% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 1
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat