It's that time of the year when there are holiday parties galore!! Tons of food everywhere: work, home, you name it! No, I am not being a Grinch. I am all for parties. With a little planning and thinking, we can make these festive gatherings healthy. One just has to be smart about it. There are different ways to achieve this: 1. Sneak healthy ingredients to all your menu items.
2. Make 50% of your menu items healthy.
3. Reduce the portion size of all your hors-d'oeuvres.
4.Serve desserts that are not that sugary and are more natural, fruit-based.
5. Provide smaller plates for eating.
Here are some healthy appetizer ideas for your holiday party.Go ahead and celebrate this Holiday Season with Team DFT with some figure fitting, weight watchers and Diabetes Friendly Recipes!
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My contribution to this are these very delicious protein-packed mini-cutlets made with the goodness of quinoa and sweet potatoes.They are crunchy when you bite into them and soft on the inside. They are totally guilt-free. Are you surprised that I am recommending sweet-potatoes for diabetics?? Believe it or not, according to the American Diabetes Association, sweet potatoes are considered a superfood for diabetics! You can read more in the "footnotes" ( tip for healthy living).
Coming back to the quinoa-sweet potato mini-cutlets, they are simple and easy to make. You don't need too many ingredients either. You can make it gluten-free too. I made half the batch gluten-free and the other half not because I ran out of white cornmeal. This dish uses very little oil. You could bake them or pan-fry them. I baked half the batch and pan-fried the other half. Frankly, I prefer the pan-fried version as it crisps and browns better than the baked version.
So, go ahead and give it a try and share your thoughts and opinions. I look forward to them.
Recipe for Cranberry chutney: click here.
Recipe for the Quinoa-Sweet potato Mini-Cutlets
Servings: makes 24 mini-cutletsServing size: 2 per person with 1 tsp chutney
Quinoa: 1/2 cup, uncooked
Water: 1 cup
Salt: 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp ( adjust as per individual taste)
Sweet potato: 1, medium-sized
Water: 4 cups
Onion: 1, small
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 1-2 ( adjust as per individual spice level), chopped fine.
Cumin powder ( jeera powder): 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ( dhania powder): 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/8 tsp ( optional).
Cilantro ( coriander leaves): 2 tbsp, chopped
Cornflour: 1 tbsp
White cornmeal ( makke ka atta) / Cream of wheat ( sooji): 1/2 cup, for dipping; may not need all.
Cooking oil : 1-2 tbsp for greasing the skillet/pan.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 cup washed quinoa. Reduce the flame to low, cover the saucepan and let it cook for 15mins. When done all the water should be gone and you should see small curly strands on the quinoa. Fluff it with a fork/ spoon and keep aside to cool.
Bring 4 cups water with the washed unpeeled sweet potato in it to a boil. Reduce the flame and cook for 15 mins or until the sweet potato is tender enough to be mashed. Alternatively, you could steam the sweet potato.
Let the sweet potato cool down completely. Peel it and mash it in a bowl. Add cooked quinoa, cumin powder, coriander powder,garam masala powder, chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies , chopped cilantro ,cornflour and mix well. Your dough is ready.
Take the white cornmeal/cream of wheat/ sooji in a plate.
Using wet hands, pinch a lemon-sized dough in your hand and make a ball. Gently press it down to make it into a pattie/cutlet. Do this with all the available dough.
Heat a skillet/frying pan on medium heat. Grease it with 1 tbsp oil.
Roll each cutlet in cornmeal/cream of wheat/ sooji and place it on the hot skillet.
Alternatively, if you choose to bake, place the cornmeal/ sooji rolled cutlets on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Bake it at 350 deg F in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until it turns slightly golden.
Flip it once halfway through the baking.
Serve hot with cranberry chutney.
I am bringing these beauties to Throwback Thursday, Fiesta Friday #99 and Saucy Saturday! Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Linda @ La Petite Paniere are co-hosting Angie's Fiesta Friday this week.
Cooking made easy:
You could make the batter and shape the cutlet ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. An hour before the party just roll it and pan-fry or bake it.
Alternatively, you could make it completely the previous day. Just warm it in the oven an hour before the party.
Footnotes ( tip for healthy living):
Again, according to the American Diabetes Association, sweet potatoes are considered a superfood for diabetics! Sweet potatoes have shown stabilization of blood-sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance. The high fiber content in sweet potatoes also helps reduce the " bad" LDL cholesterol in the body. The glycemic index of sweet potatoes is much lower than potatoes. A cup of mashed sweet potato has 58 grams of carbohydrate of which 8.2 gms is fiber. ADA recommends that a diabetic consumes no more than 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. This means that sweet potatoes can be part of the meal, provided the rest of the meal is food free of carbohydrate.
Quinoa is a nutrient- rich superfood that is not only protein-rich, but is so rich in dietary fiber. It has a low glycemic index and helps stabilize the blood-sugar level.
DisclaimerI am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.
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Food for thought:
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. John