Healthy Living: Holiday Health

Be jolly without the jiggle!

With all the great holiday food, it might seem impossible this time of year, but we're making it easier to fight festive fat.

Michelle Dunaway has a healthy holiday meal you can make in an hour.

Here are some holiday recipes to make a quick and healthy meal for family and friends:

Roasted Acorn Squash (Serves 4)


1 acorn squash

Vegetable oil spray

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut the acorn squash into quarters. Remove seeds. Place on a baking pan. Spray with vegetable oil spray for 8 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories: 43                                       Carbohydrates: 11 g

Total Fat: 0 g                                      Cholesterol: 0 mg

Saturated Fat: 0 g                              Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Sodium: 143 mg                                   Protein: 1 g

Roasted Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce (Serves 8)


2 lbs. pork loin roast

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Seasoning

2 tsp. oil


2 Tbsp. onion, minced

2 cups apple cider or apple juice

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. cornstarch


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel garlic cloves and cut into small pieces. With the tip of a sharp knife make slits in the pork loin. Stick the garlic pieces into the slits.

3. In a small bowl mix the pepper, Mrs. Dash seasoning, and dried thyme. Rub the mixture over the pork loin.

4. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil then sear the meat on all sides until browned, about 5-8 minutes.

5. Place pork loin in a roasting pan and cook for 1 hour or until the thermometer reads at least 145 degrees.

6. Remove roast from pan. Let roast sit for 10 minutes.

For the sauce: In a small bowl mix the apple cider with the cornstarch. Add the onion to the saute pan that was used to brown the pork and cook for 2 minutes until slightly browned. Add the apple cider mixture, cranberries, and spices to the pan and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the cranberries begin to split. Serve with the sliced roast pork.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories: 168                                  Carbohydrates: 9 g

Total Fat: 7 g                                   Cholesterol: 73 mg

Saturated Fat: 1 g                            Dietary Fiber: 0 g

Sodium: 62 mg                                 Protein: 23 g

Parmesan Brown Rice Pilaf (Serves 6)


2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 cup onion, minced

1 cup brown rice

2 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup parmesan cheese


1. In a medium sauce pot, heat oil and saute onion until soft (but not brown) about 2 minutes. Add rice and saute for another 2 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Cover. Simmer for 35 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

3. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Serve.

Nutritional Facts: 1/2 cup per serving

Calories: 147                                         Protein: 4 g

Fat: 3 g                                                   Fiber: 2 g

Sat. Fat: 1 g                                           Cholesterol: 5 mg

Carbohydrate: 24 g                                Sodium: 253 mg

Swiss Chard with Toasted Walnuts (Serves 4)


1 1/2 lbs. red or green Swiss chard

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, minced

2 Tbsp. water (or more if needed)

1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted*


1. Wash the chard and strip the leaves off the stalks.

2. Coarsely chop the greens.

3. In a large skillet or stockpot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes.

4. Add greens and stir to coat with oil. Add 2 Tbsp. water, cover, and cook until greens are wilted and soft, about 5 minutes. Add more water if necessary.

5. Season with the soy sauce and pepper.

6. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

*NOTE: To toast walnuts: heat walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat until slightly browned with a nutty aroma. Remove from heat.

Nutritional Facts: for 1/2 cup serving

Calories: 65                                     Protein: 5 g

Fat: 7 g                                            Fiber: 3 g

Sat. Fat: 1 g                                     Cholesterol: 0 mg

Carbohydrate: 0 g                            Sodium: 204 mg