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Henry’s Kitchen: How to enjoy the holidays and maintain good health

From Holiday Issue 2013
By Henry Schliff

A FOOD AND COOKING PERSPECTIVE
In the spirit of great fla­vor and good health be­low are some sugges­tions for the holidays:

  • Buy the best ingredients for holiday dinners. It is easier to achieve great fla­vor without additional fat, salt, or sugar if you cook with ingredients that are inherently delicious.
  • When preparing holiday dinners provide healthful choices along with old-time favorites.
  • Provide foods that are high in fiber. High fiber foods can help reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and since high fiber food is digested more slowly it also helps to prevent the absorption of fat and cho­lesterol. A further benefit is that foods high in fiber reduce the feeling of hun­ger.
  • Provide some healthful choices for breakfast such as fresh fruit, old fash­ioned oatmeal, and whole grain breads.
  • Avoid all processed food. In general the more ad­ditions something has the less flavorful it will be and the more likely it will be harmful to your health and the health of your loved ones.
  • When eating out at a good restaurant order meat and seafood that is broiled, grilled or lightly sautéed rather than deep fat fried.
  • At holiday parties enjoy raw vegetables and fresh fruits.
  • Drink lots of water when consuming alcohol. Do­ing so helps to keep the body hydrated and helps to avoid intoxication and hangovers.

The holidays are a spe­cial time of year to cel­ebrate with friends and loved ones and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. I hope you enjoy them to the fullest and take good care of yourself body, mind, and spirit.

Christmas Morning Breakfast
Cottage Cheese Crepes with Homemade Blueberry Syrup (Serves 4)
1 cup of cottage cheese

4 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla

Place all ingredients into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Blend until a smooth batter is formed. Place a large non-stick skil­let over moderately-high heat and add 1 Tbs. of but­ter. When the butter melts swirl it around to coat the entire surface of the pan. Drop the batter 2-3 Tbs. at a time, onto the hot sur­face, leaving enough room for the crepes to spread out and be turned easily. Cook until the crepes firm up and are lightly browned under­neath. Turn the crepes over and continue cooking until the second sides are also firm and lightly browned. Place the crepes on an ov­en-proof serving platter. Cover the platter with foil and place it into a warm oven. Continue the process, adding more butter as is needed to keep the surface coated, and continue cook­ing until all the batter is used. Serve the crepes with blueberries (fresh or previ­ously frozen and defrosted) or homemade blueberry syrup (recipe below) and Greek-style yogurt.

Homemade Blueberry Syrup
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup sugar

½ cup filtered water
1 tsp. lemon juice
Place all ingredients into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over moderately- high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to a light syrup and the blueberries begin to fall apart. Lightly mash the berries.

IMG_2883Henry Schliff has been the chef of a French, Italian, and Mexican restaurant and was most recently the owner of the Orange Blossom Bakery in Buxton. He is the author of two cookbooks