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And how challenging!
By definition holiday foods seem to be all of the things NOT involved in a healthy diet; if not in and of themselves, at least in the vast quantities consumed this time of year.
You know: the occasional poached egg versus a night drinking eggnog!
But first, just to get you in the mood for a luscious yet healthy holiday treat, let me share some photos and tell you what happened at our house this morning.
After all, photos of falling leaves should be soothing, and help lower blood pressure, right? RIGHT?!? RIGHT!!!!???
We had a frost last night; very early in the year for us. Usually temperatures don't drop below freezing until after the holidays.
We have a huge mulberry tree at one end of this garden, with leaves the size of dinner plates. It normally keeps most of it's leaves until just before Christmas, when they slowly turn yellow and fall.
Not this year.
When I sat at the table eating my breakfast my herb garden looked like this: one lonely leaf in the bird bath.
Then the leaves fell.
Not quite with the "Whump" of the Peanuts Cartoon, but very, very close.
As the sun was shining brightly we knew that wasn't it.
It was the sound of green mulberry leaves hitting the terrace at an alarming rate.
In the space of about 15 minutes my garden looked like this.
There are rather too many, and they're too green, to use my little leaf vacuum and grind them up for the compost.
As the compost pile is about 80 metres from the herb garden, and I'll fill the little bag on the vacuum about every 90 seconds, I don't think I'll have to ride my exercise bike today.
The rest of the leaves should be down by the time I finish.
Back to the food.
As many of you know we butchered the Great Pumpkin two weeks ago.
There was a time when I thought pumpkin was meant for pies, bread and maybe muffins.
This could be made with butternut squash or, for those unfortunates without their own pumpkin patch, canned pumpkin.
2 cups pumpkin
2 egg whites
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup Greek or plain yogurt (2oz, 60ml)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, (1oz, 30gm)
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 tbs dried bread crumbs
1 tbs olive oil
Cook squash or pumpkin if using fresh. Thinly slice leek. In medium nonstick skillet sauté leek in olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. In medium bowl whisk egg whites. Add yogurt, 2 tbs Parmesan and herbs. Mix well. Add pumpkin and leeks, mix well. Pour into a lightly oiled, glass baking dish. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese, then bread crumbs. Drizzle with 1 tbs oil. Bake at 200C (400F) for 30 minutes or until top is set and golden brown. Remove and serve.
Be sure to visit The Accidental Scientist for the complete recap after November 18th or the Heart of the Matter site for all of the heart-healthy recipes.
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