A lighter start to your holiday

Turkey. Green Beans. Potatoes. Depending on how we choose to cook our holiday meal, there's no reason it has to be too heavy or bad for you. A little less butter or no cream is sometimes all it takes to cut a few calories. You might actually have to be more cautious about your selection of drinks, meal starters and appetizers. They can pack more calories than you think.

The trick is usually to combine simple, fresh ingredients and dressed them very lightly. We found some options in our recipe repertoire and decided to share them with you. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas. Let us know how your meal turns out. 

Tuscan white bean and tomato salad
  • 3 Cups of cooked white beans 
  • 4 Small tomatoes, diced, seeds removed
  • 2 Garlic, minced
  • ½ Cup of scallions, chopped
  • ½ Cup of shallot, diced
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ Teaspoon of chili flakes
  • ¼ Cup of fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons of white wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • ½ Lemon
1. Sauté half of the tomatoes in about ¼ cup of oil until saucy.
2. Add the garlic and onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the beans and the rest of the tomatoes, the spices, the vinegar and the lemon juice. Season to        taste.
4. Add the scallions. Mix carefully and add the parsley. Serve with parmesan and another drizzle of olive oil.

Cranberry mandarin orange winter salad 
  • Mixed greens
  • Fresh mandarin slices
  • Dried cranberries
  • Chopped almonds
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Sliced shallots
For dressing:
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Lime, juice and zest 
  • 1 Grated garlic clove
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of ginger powder 
  • 4 Teaspoons of honey
  • 1 Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1. Whisk all ingredients for the dressing.
2. Mix all salad ingredients and add a little dressing at the time, until the salad is dressed the way you like it. 

Recao’ White Bean Dip 
  • 1 can of organic white beans 
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 small recao’ leaves (culantro), 
  • ¼ cup of onions 
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste (You can also add sumac!)
Mix all ingredients in a food processor and serve with bread or chips.

Tomato Tartare 
  • 2 Medium tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed
  • 1 Small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons of minced shallots
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 Teaspoons of chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Finely chop all the tomatoes and mix with all the ingredients.
2. Place the salad in a small ramekin or mold you can use to give it the right shape for presentation.
3. Squeeze the excess juices with a spoon, so the salad comes out as clean as possible.
4. Serve on a plate with a teaspoon of homemade pesto sauce and goat cheese. (optional)

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