Celebrating the Holidays – Recipe Favourites
Holidays this year are likely to look a little different as we keep our distance to keep each other healthy. Even with smaller gatherings, food – both making and eating it – can be a large part of holiday traditions. Wherever home is for you during the holidays, here are some tips to help you celebrate them in a heart healthy way.
- Have a variety of different foods. Enjoy some of your family classics but try to include a salad or a vegetable tray to munch on.
- Aim to stick to your regular schedule for meals. Don’t skip meals trying to “save up” for a big meal.
- Be aware of how much food you’re eating. Pay attention to your own hunger and fullness. When you do eat your favourite foods, savour the taste and flavour.
- Consider creating new holiday traditions. Weather dependent, go for a walk in the afternoon with your family or friends or lace up your skates and head over to an outdoor rink. Find some new heart healthy recipes to include in your meal planning.
- Stay hydrated. It’s important to keep hydrated even during the colder months. Choose water infused with freshly squeezed lemon or lime. Add a spoonful of cranberries or your favourite fruit to your glass of bubbly water for a festive twist.
- Enjoy the special times with friends and family sharing in the foods you love!
For more ideas on managing the holidays, see the University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s 10 Tips for Managing the Holidays.
Holidays are one of those times when I like to pull out a special family recipe or two. Here are a few of them and I hope you will enjoy. Happy holidays to you!
Roasted & Herbed Cornish Hens
8 cloves garlic, peeled
- Place one whole garlic clove and one lemon wedge in each Cornish hen.
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil, the rosemary, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Gently separate skin from the breast of the hen and thigh of each hen. Rub the meat with the herb mixture on each hen. Rub any extra over the skin. Arrange the hens on a parchment-lined baking sheet(s).
- Roast the birds at a preheated oven of 400F for 45 minutes or until well browned and cooked through. Baste occasionally. Place birds on a platter and transfer the juices to a measuring cup.
- To make the sauce, spoon off the fat from the pan juices. Place juices in a saucepan with the 2 cups of stock, soy sauce (if using) and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the flour and butter and whisk. Add this to the sauce and continue whisking and stirring constantly until just slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings and serve hens with sauce on the side.
Notes: Bring the birds to the table on a large platter. Serve on a bed of fresh sage or a mixture of fresh rosemary and flat leaf parsley. Garnish with lemon slices or dried figs. The birds can be prepared and assembled the day before and placed in the refrigerator on a baking sheet. Serves 4 but this recipe can be doubled.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
2 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
Almond Shortbread Cookies
1 cup blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
Note: These cookies are best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can make these ahead and freeze them in layers by adding wax paper or parchment paper to separate the layers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.