Holiday Festivities and Food

This was originally written for Lawndale News and can be seen here: http://www.lawndalenews.com/2012/11/holiday-festivities-and-food/

With colder weather and more time obligations, it’s more important than ever to make time to take care of yourself and your family. Smart and tasty food choices paired up with fun activities will help manage holiday stress and extra calories. Here are some easy ways gear up for the busy season!

  • Try a new activity. From simply walking more to signing up for a class, moving more is important to help stay healthy and work towards meeting health goals.
  • Take stress out, add fun in to food! Challenge guests to find an interesting dish or recipe and make it one step healthier if needed, make it, and bring it and the recipe to the party. Have everyone “vote” on the winner, and offer festive prizes for best altered dish.
  • Enjoy grocery shopping and read labels. Change how you view this task – make it fun by allowing some time to search the aisles. Pick one aisle to focus on each trip instead of trying to visit the whole store at once. Even within food categories, it may be surprising to note that calories and ingredients can vary. By reading labels and comparing items, the best choice can be made, which over the course of a day or week can add up to a big, better difference.
  • Try new recipes. For starters, here’s a festive option for mashed potatoes. Leaving the skins on saves time in the kitchen, and helps preserve the fiber – and it’s tasty, too.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Nutrition

Guiltless Mashed Potatoes w Leeks

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Amount: 8 servings

Ingredients:
2½ pounds wild harvest® Organic Russet Potatoes, cut up
1 (32 ounce) container wild harvest® Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth
15-20 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon wild harvest® Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup chopped leeks
½ cup Low Fat Sour Cream

Directions:
1. In large stock pot or Dutch oven, combine potatoes, chicken broth and garlic. Add water to cover potatoes, as needed.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, in medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until softened (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat; set aside.
4. Drain potatoes, reserving 1 cup of chicken broth.
5. Add sour cream, leeks and ½ cup reserved chicken broth to potatoes and garlic. Mashed potatoes; add addition chicken broth, as needed, to reach desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

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