(Family Features) The holidays are the best time to share delicious meals with family and friends. However, overindulging in rich entrées and sweet treats can quickly sabotage healthy eating habits. Offer guests the best of both worlds by serving an array of healthy, tasty options at your next holiday gathering.

Simple ingredient swaps

Add nutritional value to festive recipes by using healthier versions of traditional ingredients. For stuffing, casseroles and toasted sandwiches, replace white bread with whole grain bread, such as Roman Meal. Cooking with whole grains adds taste, texture and fiber to your favorite dishes. Enter the Roman Meal Healthy Holiday Sweepstakes and you could win $1,000 or free loaves of bread. Visit www.facebook.com/RomanMeal for details and official rules.

Sensible pre-meal snacks

Appetizers and salads are a great way to curb overeating. Guests who nibble on fresh, light fare are less likely to stuff themselves with fat and calorie-laden dishes at mealtime.

This recipe for Butternut Squash Whole Grain Crostini offers a full spectrum of fall flavors. Enjoy sweet maple syrup, earthy butternut squash and sharp feta on top of toasted bites of Roman Meal bread. Or, serve Fall Harvest Fruit Salad with Whole Grain Croutons right before a meal. Your guests will love the combination of spicy cinnamon, sweet pears and apples.


Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Ready In: 10 Minutes

Servings: 32

8 slices Roman Meal bread, toasted or grilled

2 cups butternut squash, broiled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

32 fresh basil leaves

Cut each piece of toast into quarters for a total of 32 pieces.

Combine squash, cheese, maple syrup and thyme in medium bowl.

Top toast quarters with about 1 tablespoon squash mixture each. Top with fresh basil leaves.


Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 30; Total Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 65mg; Total Carbs: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Protein: 1g; Whole Grains: 2.6g

Fall Harvest Fruit Salad with Whole Grain Croutons

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Ready In: 15 Minutes

Servings: 8


4 slices Roman Meal bread

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups pears, thinly sliced

3 cups apples, thinly sliced


1/2 cup cranberries, sweetened, dried

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted

Trim crusts from bread slices and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place bread cubes on foil-lined baking sheet. Let stand for 2 hours or overnight.

Place bread cubes in medium bowl; drizzle with butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Stir gently until evenly coated.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once, or until crisp. Cool completely.

Combine pears, apples, cranberries and lemon juice in serving bowl. Top with nuts and cinnamon-sugar croutons. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 200; Total Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 75mg; Total Carbs: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Protein: 3g; Whole Grains: 5.25g

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: