The Holidays are here! We start waiting for them as soon as we’ve given up on our resolutions. Only the most ascetic among us are able to resist the temptations of the season. Why does food tempt us so? Many of us don’t need nearly as much as we eat yet we keep tasting and testing and devouring long past satiety. We say that it’s the holiday season and we deserve it. But to be frank, this mentality follows us throughout the year.
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This year, let’s try to enjoy the holidays while eating nutritious – and delicious – foods that don’t make us feel sick or full of regret after we’ve stuffed ourselves. Here are a few of my favourites; give them a try.
I love fava beans. They taste great, are fun to eat, and don’t dissolve or get mushy when tossed in a salad. They aren’t available in every grocery store but you can use broad beans if you can’t find them, though broad beans will be a little softer.
Fava Bean Salad – Forks Over Knives
4 cups cooked fava beans, or two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 scallions (white and green parts), sliced
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and diced
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (for less heat, remove the seeds)
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
It has taken me nearly my entire life to be able to eat squash. The secret I’ve found is lots of seasoning! This recipe has a nice filling that is so good. It calls for sour cream but I switch that to silken tofu to make it vegan and retain creaminess. Add more seasoning to your taste. I like cumin or curry powder!
Twice-Baked Butternut Squash – Martha Stewart
6 butternut squash (about 9 pounds total)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon nonfat sour cream
2 teaspoons paprika
6 fresh chives, cut into 1/8-inch pieces
3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
Heat oven to 450 degrees with the rack in center. Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers. Sprinkle squash halves with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fill a roasting pan with 1/4 inch water. Place squash in pan. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch border around six of the halves so they will keep their shape. To the bowl, add sour cream, paprika, chives, and remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix with a handheld electric mixer or potato masher until smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper.Fill six squash halves with mixture (discard remaining six empty halves). Sprinkle tops with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.
Spend your holidays focused on the people in your life, not how fast you can get to the couch to recover from your meal. Your heart will thank you.
Dr. James Kneller treats atrial fibrillation, arrhythmia, and other heart conditions. He is an internationally recognized authority on cardiovascular health and personal development.