Tasty tips for a health­ier hol­i­day

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - FAM­ILY FEA­TURES

The hol­i­day sea­son evokes thoughts of de­li­cious, hearty and fes­tive meals. How­ever, with the right ap­proach, you can still en­joy many of your hol­i­day fa­vorites and serve foods your guests will ap­pre­ci­ate as much as your waist­line does. The key is man­ag­ing your car­bo­hy­drate and sugar in­take.

Low Carb Cran­berry-Gin­ger Pork Roast

Serv­ings: 4 Prep time: 5 min­utes Cook time: 8 hours Cook­ing oil

2 pounds pork chops or roast (cen­ter rib, bone-in)

1/4 tea­spoon salt, plus ad­di­tional for sea­son­ing

1/8 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per, plus ad­di­tional for sea­son­ing

1/2 chipo­tle pep­per in adobo sauce 1/2 cup cran­ber­ries 1/8 cup sugar-free maple syrup 1 tea­spoon freshly grated gin­ger 1/2 cup chicken broth, bouil­lon or con­somme 1/2 cup (4 ounces) wa­ter 1/8 tea­spoon guar gum or xan­than gum

1 ta­ble­spoon un­salted but­ter stick (op­tional)

Pre­pare skil­let with small amount of oil over medium-high heat. Sea­son chops or roast with salt and pep­per then place into skil­let and brown each side for about 1 minute, 4 min­utes to­tal, to help seal in mois­ture and give it color. Set aside on plate to cool slightly.

Finely dice chipo­tle pep­per and chop cran­ber­ries, if de­sired.

In small bowl, com­bine syrup, diced chipo­tle, gin­ger, 1/4 tea­spoon salt and 1/8 tea- spoon pep­per. Rub mix­ture onto roast then place it into slow cooker. Add cran­ber­ries and pour chicken broth down side of pan (avoid­ing rins­ing rub from roast).

Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.

Re­move roast and set on serv­ing plat­ter cov­ered with tent of alu­minum foil; re­serv­ing liq­uid.

Keep slow cooker on low and add wa­ter and guar gum or xan­than gum to re­served mix­ture, whisk­ing to com­bine. Con­tinue to cook on low heat un­til sauce thick­ens slightly. Once thick, en­rich sauce, if de­sired, with but­ter, adding ad­di­tional salt and pep­per, to taste. Serve sauce over pork roast. Tip: While it is not nec­es­sar y to chop cran­ber­ries (they will break down while cook­ing), chop­ping them makes sauce smoother.

Low Carb Browned Pump­kin with Maple and Sage

Serv­ings: 4 Prep time: 10 min­utes Cook time: 15 min­utes 1/2 ta­ble­spoon un­salted but­ter stick 1/2 pound pump­kin 1/8 cup chopped shal­lots salt freshly ground black pep­per 1/4 cup bouil­lon veg­etable broth 1/16 cup sugar-free maple syrup 1/8 tea­spoon sage, ground In medium skil­let over medium-high heat, heat but­ter. Cube pump­kin into 3/4-inch chunks.

Add pump­kin and shal­lots to pan; sea­son with salt and pep­per. Saute un­til pump­kin is lightly browned and shal­lots are translu­cent, ap­prox­i­mately 5-6 min­utes.

Turn heat to low, add veg­etable broth and sim­mer, cov­ered, 8-10 min­utes un­til pump­kin is ten­der.

Add maple syrup and sage, toss­ing to com­bine. Serve imme- di­ately.

Tip: Use fresh sage (7-8 leaves), if pos­si­ble.

Low Carb Pump­kin Pecan Cheese­cake

Serv­ings: 4 Prep time: 25 min­utes Cook time: 50 min­utes 2/3 cup halved pecan nuts 2/3 cup su­cralose-based sweet­ener (sugar sub­sti­tute), plus 1 ta­ble­spoon 1/4 tea­spoon cin­na­mon 3/4 ta­ble­spoon un­salted but­ter stick 1/2 large egg white 9 2/3 ounces cream cheese 1/2 cup heavy whip­ping cream 6 ounces canned pump­kin, with­out salt 1/2 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract 1/2 tea­spoon pump­kin pie spice 1 1/4 large eggs

To make crust: Heat oven to 350 F.

In food pro­ces­sor, com­bine pecans, 1 ta­ble­spoon sugar sub­sti­tute and cin­na­mon. Process un­til finely ground. Toss with but­ter and egg white; press onto bot­tom of 9-inch spring­form pan, round­ing up to cover pan seam. Bake un­til golden and set, 8-10 min­utes. Cool com­pletely on wire rack.

To make filling: Re­duce oven heat to 325 F.

In large bowl, com­bine cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar sub­sti­tute and cream. With elec­tric mixer at medium speed, beat un­til smooth. Add pump­kin puree, vanilla and pump­kin pie spice, mix­ing to com­bine. Beat in eggs, one at a time, un­til just com­bined.

Pour bat­ter over crust. Bake un­til just set, 45-50 min­utes. Turn off oven and let stand 10 min­utes; trans­fer to wire rack and cool com­pletely.

Cover and re­frig­er­ate un­til chilled, 4 hours or overnight. Slice and serve.

PHO­TOS COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

Low Carb Cran­berry-Gin­ger Pork Roast

Low Carb Browned Pump­kin with Maple and Sage

Low Carb Pump­kin Pecan Cheese­cake

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