CABOT, Vt., Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Let's face it; the holidays aren't necessarily the best time to think about your waistline. Office parties, home entertaining, and eat-on-the-run schedules can wreak havoc with your weight. But there are plenty of things you can do to hold the line – especially when planning your holiday menu.
"Admittedly, the holidays are not the best time to try an entirely different approach to cherished family recipes," says Regan Jones, Registered Dietitian and Cabot Creamery Cooperative's National Nutrition Communications Manager. "But you can certainly make improvements. The easiest thing you can do is switch to reduced-fat dairy products in traditional family favorites. I use Cabot's Sharp Light Cheddar in all of my casseroles and nobody can tell the difference. It tastes and cooks like regular cheddar - but with half the fat and more protein. The protein is key in making dishes that are satisfying and keep folks feeling fuller longer - and not going back to the buffet for seconds!
"I also replace some of the butter, sour cream and whipping cream called for in holiday recipes with Cabot Greek-Style Yogurt," Jones continued. "It has a rich taste, with more protein and fewer calories. And making the switch is easy using Cabot's Greek-Style Yogurt Substitution chart as my guide."
Jones says "party grazing" can be detrimental to your diet, so she offers up effective tips to minimize the extra pounds people to tend to gain during the holidays.
- Think "strategic placement" at holiday parties. While others may worry about locating themselves near the life of the party, try to locate yourself away from the chips and dip, especially if a meal is to be served.
- Don't "drink away" all your good efforts. No matter how good your strategy is for choosing healthier foods during the holidays, imbibing can be your calorie downfall. The best solution is to alternate your beverages with a glass of water or club soda. You'll stay better hydrated, plus keep calories in check.
- Snack on "Light Cheddars" like Cabot's Sharp Light, Sharp Extra Light, Jalapeno Light, and Pepper Jack Light. Each variety offers between 50 percent and 75 percent less fat than traditional cheddars, and all have the great full flavor and cooking properties of Cabot's regular cheddar.
- Be a "Light Conscious" host or guest – Be sure to offer both regular cheddar and light cheddars to your guests. And it never hurts to bring a little something special to a party so consider making one of the following healthy Cabot recipes for your favorite host the next time you are invited to a holiday party...
Cabot Light Cheddar is available at major supermarket chains, club stores and Walmart stores nationwide.
Holiday Cheddar Wreath
Makes about 12 servings
2 (11-ounce) tubes refrigerated French loaf dough
About 3 bunches fresh rosemary
1 package fresh bay leaves
3 (8-ounce) bars assorted flavors Cabot Cheddar, cut into cubes*
Red and yellow grape tomatoes
1. Form two tubes of dough into single ring, pinching ends together firmly. Bake according to package directions (but not slashing tops).
2. Once bread ring has cooled, cut angled trough in top with serrated knife, then pull out more bread to make trough deeper. Place ring on serving plate.
3. Break or snip rosemary into short lengths. Poke holes in side of bread ring with wooden skewer and insert rosemary sprigs, shorter on top and longer beneath. Tuck bay leaves into rosemary. Place platter in plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. Fill ring with cheddar cubes and tuck in grape tomatoes.
Festive Cabot Cheddar Tree
Makes 1 serving
5 (8-ounce) bars Cabot Sharp Cheddar; light, plain and flavored*
Fresh thyme sprigs
Grape cherry tomatoes or olives
1. Cut each bar of cheddar into 1-inch cubes.
2. On large platter or cutting board, arrange cubes in rows to form tree shape, using different flavor for each row and separating flavors with thyme sprigs and rows of tomatoes or olives.
3. For star on top, peel skin from mushroom; press star pattern into mushroom with point of knife.
Reduced Fat Stuffing
Makes 16 servings
3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
1 1/2 cups cubed whole-wheat bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 pound low-fat turkey sausage
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup turkey stock
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spread white and whole-wheat bread cubes in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes or until nicely toasted. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
3. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, onions and garlic cook, stirring, for several minutes until onions are golden.
4. Add sausage, breaking up with spoon, and cook until evenly browned. Add celery, sage, rosemary and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
5. Pour sausage mixture over bread cubes. Mix in apple, cranberries, parsley and cheese. Drizzle with turkey stock and toss together lightly. Let cool.
6. Spoon stuffing into turkey, loosely filling cavity. (Alternatively, bake at 375 degrees F in an oiled dish covered with foil for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes longer.)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Pumpkin Pie (made with Cabot Greek-Style Yogurt)
Makes 8 servings
3 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can 100% pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Cabot 2% Plain Greek-Style Yogurt or Cabot Plain Greek-Style Yogurt
2 small (5-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add pumpkin and flour and whisk together well. (Alternatively, combine all three in blender or processor.)
3. Add yogurt, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla, spices and salt and whisk again. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake pie for 35 to 40 minutes longer or until pie is no longer wobbly in center. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.
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ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world's first cheese maker and dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders.
Contact: Bob Schiers
(888) 214.9444 or email@example.com
SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative