Holiday Dinner Party
Hosting a dinner or party this holiday season? Here are some helpful hints — using NuVal Scores as a guide — on how to keep the holidays healthy without sacrificing taste.
Scores from the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, a science-based system that displays the true nutrition in food, provide consumers with an easy guide to eating (and serving) healthy holiday meals that won’t require a New Year’s resolution to drop extra holiday pounds. Under the NuVal System, foods are graded on a scale between 1 and 100. The higher the NuVal Score, the more nutritious the food is overall.
Creamy dips and decadent prepared starters (think bacon-wrapped scallops, which can score as low as 16 on the NuVal Scale) can be some of the biggest culprits on the appetizer menu. Substituting plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (NuVal Score 93) for ingredients such as sour cream (NuVal Score 26) or mayonnaise (NuVal Score 3) in recipes can lighten the calorie load while adding filling protein.
The best way to cut the fat content in the main dish is to opt for baking a light, white fish, such as Tilapia (NuVal Score 82) or chicken breast (NuVal Score 41) or by choosing a lean cut of meat such as top round (with a NuVal Score of 37). If you are preparing a vegetarian option, portabella mushrooms (NuVal Score 53) or eggplant (NuVal Score 96) are both great nutritious options.
Piling your plate with side dishes can mean disaster for your waistline if you aren’t careful. Traditional items such as stuffing can be made nutritious with wild rice instead of bread, and add-ins such as onions and fresh cranberries to provide a wonderful taste or slight sweetness.
Everyone loves decorating gingerbread and sugar cookies around the holidays, and we all know there is never a shortage of sweets at parties. To cut cholesterol levels, use two egg whites to every whole egg in baking recipes and replace heavy cream (NuVal Score 4) with evaporated skim milk (NuVal Score 100) in creamy pies and cheesecakes.