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Nutritionally Speaking

Yule Feast Can Be Challenge for Calorie Counters

December 18, 1988|TONI TIPTON

Planning the menu for a festive Christmas meal can be a frustrating chore for calorie watchers. The traditional foods served at this time of year coupled with what appears to be obligatory overindulgence present a challenge to even the most dedicated dieter.

Weight Watchers International has developed the following Christmas menu to help with the "what to serve" aspect of menu planning.

Beef Up Exercise

As for overeating, Nema Frye, a registered dietitian with the organization, encourages dieters to do some additional exercise, such as taking a brisk walk, to offset the extra calories that will be taken in that day.

"People who give in to the temptation of holiday food think they've completely ruined all efforts to be thin," Frye said, explaining that the recipes suggested here will appeal to those guests who want to trim their waistlines but will allow them the flexibility to have a little extra.

Stuffed Artichokes Stuffed Veal Roll Pasta Natale Tricolor Salad Pine Nut Meringues Fresh Fruit Espresso


4 medium artichokes

4 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup golden raisins

3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chicken broth

Cut off stem of each artichoke flush with base so that artichoke stands upright. Snap off any small or discolored leaves at base. Cut off and discard about 1 inch of top. Using scissors, remove barbed tips of leaves by cutting about 1/2-inch off tip of each leaf.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 9-inch skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place raisins in small amount hot water to plump. Drain. Add raisins, crumbs, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper to pan and stir to combine.

Spread leaves of artichokes open and stuff 1/4 mushroom mixture into each section. Stand artichokes upright in deep non-aluminum baking pan just large enough to hold artichokes snugly. Pour in broth and drizzle remaining oil over artichokes. Cover pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees until base of each artichoke is tender when pierced with fork, about 45 minutes. Makes 4 servings.


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon whipped butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 cup sliced porcini, shiitake or white mushrooms

2 ounces fontina cheese, chopped

3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon rosemary leaves

Salt, pepper

13 ounces thin veal cutlets, pounded 1/4-inch thick

2 ounces prosciutto

1/4 cup dry Marsala wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

Basil leaves

Melt 2 teaspoons butter in 9-inch skillet. Add garlic and saute over medium heat until golden. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Arrange veal cutlets in single layer on sheet of wax paper or plastic. Overlap cutlets slightly to form rectangle. Arrange prosciutto over veal to cover. Spread mushroom mixture over prosciutto, leaving 1-inch border on all sides. Fold border over mushroom mixture and carefully roll veal rectangle crosswise to enclose filling. Tie loosely with string to secure.

Melt remaining butter in skillet and add veal roll. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to 1-quart casserole and set aside.

Add wine to pan and cook over high heat until mixture comes to boil, about 1 minute. Stir in broth and continue to boil, stirring frequently, until mixture is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Pour over veal roll and bake at 375 degrees until veal is tender, about 30 minutes. (Juices should run clear when veal is pierced with fork.)

Remove and discard string and cut roll crosswise into 8 equal slices. Arrange on serving platter and spoon pan juices over. Garnish with basil leaves. Makes 4 servings.


2 teaspoons olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped onion

12 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and pureed

2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Black pepper

1 1/2 cups cooked cauliflower florets

4 cups hot cooked fettuccine

1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 teaspoons dried bread crumbs, toasted

2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 1-quart saucepan. Add garlic, reserving about 1 teaspoon. Saute over medium heat until golden. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add tomato puree and cook over medium heat, stirring, about 20 minutes. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste and set aside, keeping warm.

Heat remaining oil in skillet and add cauliflower and reserved garlic and saute, mashing with fork, until tender, about 2 minutes.

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