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(<a href=”http://www.familyfeatures.com”>Family Features</a>) The holidays are filled with temptations and opportunities to over-indulge, and if you’re managing your health and weight, the season can feel anything but merry.
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Depriving yourself of your favorite holiday treats isn’t only unpleasant, it’s also unnecessary. Many experts recommend that instead, you focus on building a healthier lifestyle through a well-balanced, long-term eating plan. For example, Atkins offers a balanced approach with foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates, as well as good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars. When preparing your holiday menu, look for recipes that contain adequate protein, healthy fats and high-fiber carbohydrates, and you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of the season without guilt.
<strong>Less is not more</strong>
If you’re looking for more inspiration, tips and recipes, try finding additional resources such as “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook For Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle.” Filled with 100 whole-food, low-carb recipes and simple solutions, the new book contains a variety of meal plans, low-carb takes on classic foods and tips for creating a low-carb kitchen. Readers can also learn about Atkins 100, a flexible and personalized low-carb lifestyle program.
Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb approach to eating at <a href=”https://www.atkins.com/” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>Atkins.com</a>.
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<h2>Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin</h2>
Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
<ul><li>1 pound boneless pork loin</li><li>olive oil cooking spray</li><li>1 tablespoon Dijon mustard</li><li>3 garlic cloves, minced</li><li>2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, thinly sliced</li></ul><ol><li>Heat oven to 350° F.</li><li>In small skillet over medium heat, cook pork loin, fatty-side down, 4-5 minutes to brown top and render some fat.</li><li>Coat 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place pork loin in dish.</li><li>In small bowl, combine mustard, garlic and rosemary; stir well. Spoon mixture over pork. Transfer to oven and bake 45 minutes-1 hour, until loin is cooked through but still slightly pink in center.</li><li>When pork is cooked, let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve immediately.</li></ol>
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<h2>Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree</h2>
Recipe courtesy of <a href=”https://www.atkins.com/” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>Atkins.com</a>
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
<ul><li>3 large egg whites</li><li>5 tablespoons sugar substitute, divided</li><li>1/2 cup half pecans</li><li>1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled</li><li>1/4 cup unsalted butter stick</li><li>1/2 cup heavy cream</li><li>1/2 teaspoon salt</li><li>1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice</li><li>1/2 teaspoon cinnamon</li><li>15 ounces pumpkin (without salt, drained, cooked and boiled)</li></ul><ol><li>Heat oven to 250° F. Lightly butter baking sheet.</li><li>In medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar substitute and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Spoon onto prepared baking sheet and spread with spatula to 1/4-inch thickness. Bake 35 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringue stand in oven 45 minutes. Crush meringue and place in bowl. Add pecans and toss gently to combine. Set aside.</li><li>While meringue is resting, place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes and bring to boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain. Return saucepan to medium-high heat. Add potatoes, butter, cream, remaining sugar substitute, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Heat through, about 1 minute.</li><li>Transfer potato mixture to serving dish and cover with meringue topping.</li></ol>
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<h2>Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites</h2>
Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
<ul><li>1/2 cup heavy cream</li><li>1/3 cup plain protein powder</li><li>2 tablespoons stevia</li><li>6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature</li><li>1/3 cup chopped almonds or macadamia nuts</li><li>1 tablespoon sugar-free caramel syrup</li><li>1 teaspoon vanilla extract</li><li>1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)</li><li>1/4 teaspoon sea salt or sea salt flakes</li></ul><ol><li>In large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream with protein powder and stevia. Whisk until smooth. Add cream cheese, almonds or macadamia nuts, caramel syrup and vanilla extract; blend until smooth. If cream cheese clumps slightly, mix with rubber spatula, breaking up bits of cream cheese against side of bowl.</li><li>Sprinkle mixture with xanthan gum, if desired, and mix about 30 seconds. Mixture will thicken slightly.</li><li>Cover tray that will fit into freezer with sheet of wax paper. Using soup spoon, scoop mixture onto tray, making 18 mounds. Alternatively, use two silicone candy molds or empty ice cube tray coated with olive oil spray and press cheesecake mixture into 18 molds. Sprinkle with sea salt.</li><li>Freeze at least one hour before serving.</li></ol>
<strong>Note:</strong> Can be stored in freezer up to 1 month.
<strong>Tip:</strong> Switch up flavors by using sugar-free hazelnut syrup in place of caramel and hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin, Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree)