December 2021

Food Bank Bites

Healthy Holidays

Healthy Holidays!

  • Tips on making healthier choices this holiday season.
  • Picadillo
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Cooking with Kids: Honey Mustard Green Beans

The holidays are a time to spend with family, friends, and many times our favorite meals and foods. This season think of small changes you can make to create healthier meals.

  1. Enjoy all the food groups at your celebration. Use whole grain pasta in place of white pasta in dishes. Include non-starchy vegetables like green beans, peppers, broccoli, or leafy greens. Canned, fresh, or frozen fruit are a great topping for ice cream or pie. Use lean ground meat in recipes such as 90/10 ground beef, ground chicken and turkey. Substitute low fat milk for heavy cream in recipes.
  2. Build a balanced plate. Think of MyPlate when putting together your meal. Try and include protein, grains, fruit and/or vegetables on your plate.
  3. Make healthy beverage choices. Choose low or no-calorie beverages like unsweetened seltzer, 100% fruit juice or water.
  4. Bake heathier. Substitute mashed banana or applesauce in place of butter in recipes. Try halving the amount of sugar in recipes and using spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to add flavor.

Adapted from “MyPlate Holiday 10 Tips


A healthy twist on a traditional recipe.

Serves 6 Serving size: 1 cup


  • 1-pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 carrots(diced) or 1 can(15oz) low sodium carrots, drained and rinsed
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped (use white or sweet potatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ¼ cup low sodium canned tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Brown ground turkey in a non-stick frying pan.
  2. Add onion, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, salt, pepper, and cumin. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered until vegetables are tender.
  4. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of cold water, add to mixture, bring back to a boil until gravy thickens. Serve.

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Sweet Potato Pie


  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ cup 100% orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon orange rind (use a grater to remove the peel of an orange)
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed (canned or fresh)
  • 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Beat egg whites well.
  3. Add sugar, orange juice, orange rind, spices, margarine, and salt.
  4. Add mashed sweet potatoes and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour into pie shell and bake for 1 hour or until firm.

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Cooking with Kids: Honey Mustard Green Beans

Makes 4 cups

When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Kids can:

  • Rinse the vegetables
  • Measure and mix the ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey*
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 cups green beans (fresh, frozen, or canned) *


  1. In a medium saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat, stir together mustard, honey, and vinegar. Cook until sauce boils and becomes thick, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add green beans and stir to coat evenly. Cook until beans are heated through. Serve warm.


  • 4 cups of green beans are about 1 ½ pounds fresh, 16 oz. frozen and 2 cans,15oz. each
  • Honey is not recommended for children under 1 year old.

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Food Bank Bites | January 2022