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Dr. Dean Ornish's healthy holiday buffet.

Holidays are a time to share good cheer, family traditions, and of course, great food. But even before the festivities begin, we start to worry about how to survive the celebration. Traditional, fat-filled dishes add unwanted pounds, and they also contribute to heart disease.

Fortunately, there are many excellent alternatives: low-fat recipes using grains, vegetables, legumes, and non-meat broths that are fast becoming part of America's new healthful way of eating.

Consider the following from Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. These recipes are designed to help you keep your cholesterol level at a safe and healthy 150 mg/dl. Each entree can be a meal in itself--or combine them for a delicious, nutritious holiday buffet. Start a new tradition in your home this year--and find out just how satisfying heart-healthy celebrating can be. Bon appetit!

Lydia's Mexican Casserole

(Makes 8 servings)

1 dozen 6-inch corn tortillas, oil-free, uncooked 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cups diced tomatoes 2 cups tomato salsa Ground cumin 1 red chili pepper or 1 jalapeno chili, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 27-ounce can whole green chilies 12 ounces firm tofu, mashed 32 ounces non-fat yogurt 1 tablespoon dry no-oil vinaigrette salad dressing mix Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 [degrees] F. Using nonstick baking dish, line casserole with six tortillas. Mix together onion, tomatoes, salsa, 1 teaspoon cumin, chopped red chili pepper, and garlic. Pour about three-fourths of mixture into casserole. Lay green chili peppers flat over this, then mashed tofu. Cover with remainder of tortillas. Add remaining chopped tomato and salsa mixture. Mix yogurt with dry salad dressing mix and pour over chopped tomato and salsa. Sprinkle a little ground cumin over this and bake for 35-45 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Variation: Substitute cooked beans for the tofu.

Per serving (1 cup):

Calories: 269 Cholesterol: 5 mg Total fat: 4.3 gm Saturated fat: 0.6 gm

Mushroom and Leek Crepes

(Makes 7 servings)


3 cups sliced leeks 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced or small-diced domestic mushrooms 2 1/4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon Italian parsley or mixed herbs

Crepe Batter:

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 1/3 cup masa harina (a type of corn flour) 2 cups water


5 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms 4 large onions, roughly chopped 4 cups domestic mushrooms 6 cups water 2 cups dry red wine 6 tablespoons semolina flour Freshly chopped parsley or other herb for garnish

For filling, braise leeks in white wine for 20 minutes. Add domestic and fresh shiitake mushrooms. Add balsamic vinegar to mushrooms and cook until all liquid has been released and is mostly reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste before mushrooms have been completely cooked. Toss with parsley or mixed herbs. There should be 5 cups filling.

For the crepe batter, sift flours and masa harina together. Mix in water until batter forms light cream that can coat wooden spoon. If batter is lumpy, you can blend it in blender. Make test crepe. Ladle about 3 ounces of batter onto nonstick skillet. Cook until golden on both sides. The crepe should be wafer-thin and malleable; if not, add more water and mix again. There should be about 3 cups batter, enough for 14 crepes.

For sauce, add shiitake mushrooms, onions, and domestic mushrooms to water. Cook for 30-45 minutes, until onions become soft and some of liquid is reduced. Use slotted spoon to remove onions and mushrooms, reserving liquid. There should be about 1 1/2 cups remaining. Add 2 cups red wine to stock and cook for a few minutes on very high flame to reduce alcohol. Gradually whisk semolina flour into simmering hot stock until thickened but still pourable. There should be about 2 2/3 cups sauce.

Preheat oven to 375 [degrees] F. For each crepe, fill with 1/3 cup filling and top with 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce. Roll and place in baking pan. Repeat until all 14 crepes are made. Ladle more sauce over crepes in baking dish and bake 10 minutes, or just until hot. Use chopped parsley or chopped fresh herbs as garnish.

Per serving (2 crepes):

Calories: 325 Cholesterol: 0 mg Total fat: 1.3 gm Saturated fat: 0.1 gm

Cranberry Aspic

(Makes 4 servings)

1/2 cup fresh cranberries 1/4 cup chopped, seeded, and peeled oranges 1/4 cup cored and peeled ripe persimmons or apples 1/3 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1 tablespoon agar-agar gelatin flakes Lettuce, parsley, or other greenery for garnish

Pulse all ingredients except garnish in a food processor or blender until chunky. Place in saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring constantly, until agar-agar flakes are completely dissolved. Pour into nonstick or lightly oil-sprayed gelatin mold or decorative glass bowl and chill until firm. To unmold, run bottom of bowl under hot water for a few seconds, then turn aspic onto a platter. Decorate with lettuce, parsley, or other greenery.

Per serving (1/4 cup):

Calories: 17 Cholesterol: 0 mg Total fat: 0.2 gm Saturated fat: 0.1 gm

Asparagus with Roasted

Red Peppers

(Makes 4 servings)

1 1/2 cups asparagus 1 medium red pepper 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Salt Pepper

Remove hard bottom stem of asparagus and slice rest of stalk into approximately 1-inch pieces. Blanch asparagus and put into-cold water to stop it from cooking further. Drain and set aside.

Roast red pepper in 500 [degrees] oven for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally. When skin has darkened and blistered, remove pepper from oven. Transfer to bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Let cool 30 minutes, then peel off skin and seed pepper. Slice into julienne strips and toss 1/2 cup roasted pepper with garlic and vinegar. Let marinate a few minutes, then toss peppers with asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Per serving (1/2 cup):

Calories: 16 Cholesterol: 0 mg Total fat: 0.2 gm Saturated fat: trace

Minestrone Soup

(Makes 6 servings)

1 cup chopped onions 3 tablespoons freshly minced garlic 1 cup minced carrots 1/4 cup freshly minced parsley 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 cup dry red wine 1/2 cup chopped celery 1 cup sliced cabbage 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper 2 cups vegetable stock or water 1 cup cooked Great Northern beans 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 cup salt-free tomato paste 1 cup apple juice 2 cups unsalted vegetable juice cocktail 1 cup sliced zucchini 1/4 cup egg-free, oil-free macaroni Salt Freshly ground black pepper

Braise onions, garlic, carrots, and herbs in wine until onions are soft. Add celery, cabbage, bell pepper, and 1 cup of stock or water and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, tomatoes, cloves, tomato paste, apple juice, and vegetable juice and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add zucchini and simmer another 2 minutes. Add macaroni and cook 8 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving (1 cup):

Calories: 154 Cholesterol: 0 mg Total fat: 0.6 gm Saturated fat: 0.1 gm
COPYRIGHT 1991 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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