and once again - surprise, surprise! - ever so unexpectedly we find ourselves with Christmas just around the corner.
Most of you will have made plans by now what to prepare for your loved ones, while some of us will enjoy the luxury of "eating out".
And as every year people came up to me saying they already fill full just thinking of all the things they will "have to" eat during the next days. There are so many healthy, light and extremely tasty alternatives to fatty birds from the oven (if you just start preparing them in baking foil you already avoid a lot of fat) and sauce drenched vegetables.
Below I give you just two examples of how to prepare vegetables and meat low fat and still indulge in wonderful taste.
Roasted Carrots with Cardamom Butter
(low carb, low cholesterol, high fiber and potassium, low kcal)
servings, about 2/3 cup each
Preparation and cooking about 1 hour
- 4 teaspoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
- Combine butter, oil, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl. Add carrots and toss well to coat. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the carrots, stirring twice, until tender and golden, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Roasted Pheasant with Wheat Berry Salad
(low cholesterol, heart healthy, low saturated fat)
- 1 1/4 cups wheat berries or pearl barley
- 2 medium Gala apples, peeled and cut into eighths
- 2 cups halved peeled shallots, (10-12 small shallots)
- 1 tablespoon walnut oil or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 3-pound pheasant
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- One 4-inch cinnamon stick
- Place wheat berries in a large saucepan and add water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
- Toss apples, shallots, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Remove giblets (if included) from pheasant. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat and rub the remaining salt and pepper under the skin; place the pheasant, breast-side down, on top of the apple mixture. Roast for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring cider and cinnamon stick to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cinnamon stick.
- After 30 minutes, turn the bird over and baste with a couple tablespoons of the reduced cider, stirring it into the apple mixture. Continue roasting, basting with reduced cider every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 40 to 50 minutes more.
- Transfer the pheasant to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the apple mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the reserved wheat berries and any accumulated pheasant juices. Serve the pheasant with the wheat berry salad.