They Ate Together With Glad & Sincere Hearts

They Ate Together With Glad & Sincere Hearts

…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, Acts 2:46

The holidays are a time to enjoy friends, family and food and the fall season brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy. There are apples and cranberries and squash—oh my!  Many are favorites because we only have them around this time of year.  So this year, include dishes filled with your favorites because many recipes can be lightened (a lot) in terms of fat, sugar and calories. Check out the First Place 4 Health website for some great holiday recipes.  Here’s a few tips and recipes that you might want to include in your holiday meal.

We know we should fill at least half our plate with vegetables, so go for the greens and seasonal root vegetables.

Sautéed Green Beans with Glazed Pecans

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup coarsely-chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat; stir in pecans and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread pecan mixture in an even layer on prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until browned. Cool in pan. Place green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 4 minutes. Drain and plunge green beans into ice water; drain. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans; sauté 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and toss. Sprinkle with pecans and serve.

Nutritional Information:  96 Calories, 7g Fat, 1.6g Protein, 2g Carbohydrate, 8g Fiber, 3g Cholesterol, 5mg Iron

Cranberry sauce is a mainstay at most holiday meals.  Try this one with raspberries for a fresh superfood addition to this favorite.

Cranberry sauce with Raspberries

  • 12-ounce bag cranberries
  • 12-ounce bag frozen red raspberries (3 cups fresh)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1/4 ounce)

Combine cranberries, raspberries, juice, orange zest, and sugar in nonstick medium saucepan. Bring just to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the top, stir, and continue to boil gently for about 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and mash slightly. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information:  38 Calories, .5g Protein, 9g Carbohydrate, 0g Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 1g Fiber.

Consider choosing one delicious dessert instead of sampling several.  Holiday meals are filled with the ultimate selection of pies and pastries that we feel obligated to sample.  Pick the one you look forward to all year and enjoy it and leave the others.  If you can’t choose between pumpkin and pecan, this recipe offers both!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

  • 1/2 (14.2-oz.) pkg. refrigerated pie dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (12-oz.) can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Roll dough into 11-inch circle. Fit dough into 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.  Combine 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, egg whites, egg, and evaporated milk in a bowl. Whisk in pumpkin and next 2 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate; bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F (leave pan in oven). Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes (cover edges of piecrust with foil if they get too brown). To prepare topping, combine flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over pie. Drizzle with honey. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool 1 hour before serving.

Nutritional Information:  262 Calories, 10 g Fat, 6g Protein, 5g Carbohydrate, 39g Fiber