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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Nutrition & Wellness Channel
Reported December 13, 2012

Eat Well and Be Merry! 1-Hour Healthy Holiday Meal -- Blue Print

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

¼ tsp. salt

¼ 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

 Roast Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce (Serves 8)


2 pounds pork loin roast

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. Mrs. Dash Seasoning®

2 tsp. oil


2 tablespoons onion, minced

2 cups apple cider or apple juice

½ cup fresh cranberries

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ 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, dried thyme.  Rub the mixture over the pork loin.

4. In a large sauté 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 sauté 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

¼ cup onion, minced

1 cup brown rice

2 ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. fresh thyme (or ½ tsp. dried thyme)

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ cup Parmesan cheese


1. In a medium sauce pot, heat oil and sauté onion until soft (but not brown) about 2 minutes.  Add rice and sauté 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: ½ cup per serving

Calories: 147                                       Protein: 4g                                         

Fat: 3g                                                 Fiber: 2g

Sat. fat: 1g                                          Cholesterol: 5mg

Carbohydrate: 24g                              Sodium:   253mg

 Swiss Chard with Toasted Walnuts (Serves 4)


1 ½ pounds red or green Swiss chard

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced

2 tablespoons water (or more if needed)

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ 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.  Sauté garlic and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes.

3. Add greens and stir to coat with oil.   Add 2 tablespoons water, cover, and cook until greens are wilted and soft, about 5 min.  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 ½ cup serving

Calories: 65                                                     Protein: 5g                                          

Fat:  7g                                                            Fiber: 3g

Sat. fat:  1g                                                     Cholesterol: 0mg

Carbohydrate:   0g                                          Sodium: 204mg

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