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Cooking up a healthy holiday meal

Date: 11-26-2010

Prepare a healthy and delicious holiday meal this season. Below is a comparison of a typical holiday meal with a meal using recipes from Anne Lindsay’s Lighthearted at Home.  To win a copy  of Anne’s cookbook enter our recipe makeover contest.



Cranberry-Glazed Turkey Breast

When I first cooked a whole turkey breast for my family, we were all amazed at how tender and juicy it was. This recipe is now a family favourite. It’s extremely easy and splendid for Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving or other holiday dinners when you don’t want to cook a while turkey.


  • 3 lb (1.5 kg)  bone-in thick piece of turkey breast
  • 1 ½ (375 mL) cups  fresh cranberry sauce or 1 can (14 oz/398 mL)   
  • ¼ cup  (50 mL) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup  (50 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (25mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped gingerroot (or 1 tsp/5 mL ground ginger)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard (or 1 tsp/5 mL dry mustard)
  • 1  large clove garlic, minced


Remove skin and fat from turkey; place, meat side up, in baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lined with foil.

In bowl, combine cranberry sauce, sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, gingerroot, mustard and garlic; spread about 1/3 cup (75 mL) over turkey.

Roast, uncovered, in 325F (160C) oven for 1 ½ hours or until thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 170F (77C), basting every 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Microwave remaining cranberry mixture until hot; pass separately.

Makes 6 Servings

PER SERVING: 325 calories, 41 g protein, 4 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 31 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 428 mg sodium, 491 mg potassium

Roasted Beet and Orange Salad

I had a wonderful beet salad in Ronda, in southern Spain, made with smoked salmon, cheese and oranges. This is my version of it. You could also add slices of apple, pear, fennel or radishes.


  • 1 lb (500 g) beets (about 4 medium) (unpeeled)
  • 1 large orange (or blood orange)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • Pinch each salt, freshly ground pepper and granulated sugar
  • 2-4 oz (50 mL) thickly sliced smoked salmon (optional)
  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) crumbled light feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 bunch watercress or arugula 
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped green onion

Trim beets; prick several times with a fork and place on baking sheet. Roast in 425F (220C) oven for 40 minutes or until fork-tender (new beets cook much faster than old beets). When cool, peel and cut into cubes.

Cut peel from orange and cut orange into sections; set aside, saving any juice.

In small bowl, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Just before serving, line four individual salad plates with watercress. Top with beets, orange segments and green onion. Pour any saved orange juice into lemon-oil mixture; drizzle over salads. Top with smoked salmon and feta (if using).

Makes 4 Servings

PER SERVING: 89 calories, 2 g protein, 4 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 69 mg sodium, 422 mg potassium

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

These creamy potatoes are fabulous. I’m often asked for ways to use leftover buttermilk; this is one of the best ways I know of. Instead of mashing, a potato ricer or food mill also works well. I usually use Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe.


  • 10 medium potatoes (about 3 lb/1.5 kg), peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups (500 mL) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil or soft margarine
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) chopped green onion or chives
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt and freshly ground pepper

In large saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water; bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain; return to low heat for 2 minutes to dry. Mash potatoes to remove all lumps. Gradually beat in buttermilk and oil. Stir in green onion and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 10 Servings

PER SERVING: 150 calories, 4 g protein, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 176 mg sodium, 529 mg potassium

Sherried Green Beans with Sweet Red Peppers

This colourful vegetable dish goes well with any meat, fish or poultry. If fresh red peppers aren’t available, substitute ½ cup (125 mL) diced bottled red peppers.


  • ½ cup (125 mL) cold water
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) sodium-reduce soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced gingerroot
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
  • 1 ½ lb (750 g) green beans, stem ends and strings removed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced sweet red pepper

In saucepan, combine water, sherry, soy sauce, gingerroot and cornstarch; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until boiling and thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in sesame oil.

In separate saucepan of boiling water, cook beans for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender-crisp; drain. Pour hot sauce over beans; mix gently. Transfer to serving dish; sprinkle with red pepper.

Makes 10 Servings

PER SERVING: 44 calories, 1 g protein, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, o mg cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 109 mg sodium, 199 mg potassium

Strawberry Pavlova with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Pavlova is one of my all-time favourite desserts to make. I use strawberries, raspberries, peaches, blueberries or a combination. I used to make it with whipping cream but now use a yogurt-based lemon sauce, which is fabulous.


  • 3 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract 
  • 4 cups (1 L) strawberries, raspberries, peaches or blueberries
  • Lemon Yogurt Sauce
  • 4 cups (1 L) low-fat natural yogurt*
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

In large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time until stiff glossy peaks form. Beat in vanilla.

On foil-lined baking sheet, spread meringue into 10-inch (25 cm) circle, pushing up edge to form ring. Bake in 275F (140C) oven for 1 ½ hours or until firm to the touch. Turn off oven and leave meringue in oven to dry. Remove roil, then let cool and place meringue on serving platter.

Prepare fruit, slicing strawberries or peaches. Just before serving, spread lemon sauce over meringue; cover with fruit. Cut into wedges to serve.

Lemon Yogurt Sauce: Place yogurt in cheesecloth-lined sieve set over bowl, or in yogurt drainer; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight or until yogurt is about 2 cups (500 mL). Discard liquid.

In bowl, stir together drained yogurt, sugar, lemon juice and rind. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Makes 8 Servings

*Be sure to use Balkan-style yogurt or one made without gelatin.

PER SERVING: 218 calories, 8 g protein, 2 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 44 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 108 mg sodium, 421 mg potassium


ALL RECIPES Excerpted from Lighthearted at Home. Copyright © 2010 by Anne Lindsay and Associates. Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd.



Comment Count: 1


Really Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes are fabulous as per your topic and i purely agree with you.


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