Limited-Edition Foods Year Round

The holiday season means everything PUMPKIN flavored for me! We all have a particular food, maybe multiple foods, that we know we can only get one time a year and look forward to its debut, only to be sad to see it go after just a short while. Whether it be one of your relative’s dishes at a holiday gathering or a seasonal offering at your favorite restaurant, the short-lived experience is just what we imagined throughout the year.

While I think it is important to not deprive yourself of these favorite foods, I also believe it is important to keep in mind moderation, which may be difficult if you focus on the limited availability. This could potentially lead to overindulging too often and derail you from your weight management goal.
I came across this article the other day that talks about limited-edition foods with cult followings. (click the link to view the article) I thought, what if these foods were made available year-round. Would they be as desirable? I also thought, what if there was a way to find a substitution that was not only available when you get the urge for a bite, but also a lot healthier so you could afford to crave it without guilt!
Here are some suggestions for healthier substitutions for a few of the fan favorites:
McDonald’s McRib
Why not make a meal with the same barbecue flavor at home without the 500 calories and 26 grams of fat (10g saturated)?
At the resort we serve Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes. Use this recipe for only 274 calories and 5g of fat!
Serves 4
8 oz Extra Lean ground turkey breast
1 can white beans
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/4 cup green chili, diced
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup sloppy joe sauce (can buy pre-made)
1/4 cup tomato, diced
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 Orowheat sandwich thins
Steam 1/2 cup of uncooked brown rice to make 1 cup cooked rice. Brown ground turkey in a saute pan. Heat beans and rice together in pan and add the remaining ingredients. Cook until heated. Serve 1/2 cup of filling on each sandwich thin.
Cosi Turkey and Stuffing Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce
Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving and Christmas to enjoy a non-deli sliced turkey, why not roast one any other time of year? Some deli counters at the grocery store also offer this preservative-free option. Just ask them to slice it thick like you would at your home meal. Lean turkey makes great sandwiches. There is nothing stopping you from making stuffing or cranberry sauce, but also look to expand your taste buds and pair the turkey with a couple little slivers of avocado, leafy greens, roasted red peppers and red onion on a nice whole grain bread or a whole wheat wrap/tortilla. You could also use it to make a batch of turkey chili (the resort cookbook has our delicious recipe) or pulled turkey pita (one of our new lunches!)
Necco Sweethearts Conversation Hearts
Let’s be honest; we really can’t stand the taste of these clumps of sugar! What we do love is that they have cute sayings on them that warm our hearts. Why not give another personalized gift that provides some nutrition? Here are two of my favorite companies that offer customized foods (energy bars, trail mix, nut mixes, cereals, etc.) What makes this unique is that you have the option to name it or put a cute quote on the wrapper. These make great gifts or a treat to yourself! I will admit, my first YouBar when I moved to California was named, “Krista’s Beachbody Formula.” Please, no laughing!
(Click on the name to go to the website)
Girl Scout Cookies
Everyone loves Thin Mints…All 160 calories for a small 4 cookie serving (8g fat – 5g saturated).
As we discuss in our Label Reading workshop here at the resort, there are a few key red flags to look for in an ingredient list to let us know if a particular food will work for or against us. These cookies I am afraid to say are a great teaching tool for what NOT to buy. The first ingredient states, “enriched wheat flour”. This is basically refined flour and not a whole grain. This is followed by several types of sugar including high fructose corn syrup along with some trans fat (partially hydrogenated palm kernal oil).
Although not a health food, we all scream for it… The Skinny Cow brand low fat Mint Ice Cream Sandwich tastes just like the minty cookies with only 140 calories and 2 grams of fat (1g saturated). This sandwich is surprisingly large and satisfying. If you don’t consume dairy, then So Delicious brand makes a soymilk-based mint flavor frozen sandwich with 150 calories and 3 grams of fat (1g saturated) or try the mini version for only 90 calories!
Dryer’s Limited Edition Egg Nog Ice Cream
Three words…Silk Soy Nog! This treat is unfortunately only available for a limited time around the holidays as well, but has much lower nutritional stats than the full bodied egg nog and tastes wonderful.
White Castle Sweet Potato Fries
Three more words…Make your own!
Here is an easy recipe for baked sweet potato fries.
These are just a few examples to start. What is your favorite that only comes once a year? Maybe we can help you find a way to enjoy it year round!
Krista Haynes, R.D.