Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guilt-Free Healthy Holiday Treats

I am not going to lie. I love high calorie treats during the holiday season - who doesn't? Even though we all enjoy fattening treats, it doesn't mean that we should eat them. 

One of my newest favorite recipes destinations is I was able to find these two delicious - yet healthy holiday treats that won't add on too many extra holiday pounds. The figs are only 76 calories, and the bread pudding is 210 calories! We hope that you enjoy these recipes for your holiday entertaining.

Figs Stuffed With Gorgonzola
Gorgonzola cheese meets dried figs poached in port. The result: a thoroughly elegant holiday appetizer.
Cook Time
0 min
Prep Time
40 min
16 serv.
·         16 medium figs, dried - about 8 ounces
·         1/2 cup port
·         1 tablespoon vinegar, balsamic
·         1/4 cup cheese, crumbled Gorgonzola - 2 ounces
·         1/4 cup cream cheese, reduced-fat - softened
·         1 teaspoon rosemary, fresh - chopped
·         2 ounces prosciutto - sliced and trimmed of fat
·         pepper, black, coarsely ground - to taste
1.       Snip the stem off each fig and make a crisscross cut two-thirds of the way down to partially open the fig. Trim the base of each fig so it will sit upright when finished.
2.       Place the figs, port and vinegar in a small saucepan; cook, uncovered, over low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the figs are plumped and softened and most of the liquid is reduced, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
3.       Meanwhile, combine Gorgonzola, cream cheese and rosemary in a small bowl; blend with a fork.
4.       Cover and refrigerate until the figs are cooled.
5.       Cut prosciutto into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.
6.       Using a teaspoon, melon baller or small spoon, place a dollop of cheese mixture in the opening of each fig.
7.       Garnish each appetizer with a ribbon of prosciutto. Dust with a grinding of pepper.

Caramelized-Pear Bread Pudding
This custardy, raisin-studded bread pudding highlights the sweet, comforting taste of baked pears. When turned out of its baking dish, the flanlike pudding sits in a pool of caramel syrup, making it worthy of any holiday table. Serve it warm or chilled.
Cook Time
95 min
Prep Time
15 min
8 serv.
·         2 1/2 cups milk, lowfat (1%)
·         4 large egg(s)
·         1/2 cup sugar - divided
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/2 teaspoon lemon zest - freshly grated
·         1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh
·         4 cups bread, whole-wheat country - day-old, crusts trimmed (4-6 slices), cubed
·         2 tablespoons raisins - or currants
·         1 teaspoon butter, unsalted - softened
·         2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
·         2 pear(s) - ripe, peeled, halved and cored
·         1 tablespoon lemon juice
1.       Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until steaming, 4 to 6 minutes.
2.       Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg.
3.       Add bread and raisins (or currants) to the milk mixture; gently fold together. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
4.       Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
5.       Cut each pear half lengthwise into 4 slices. Place in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.
6.       Heat a medium skillet over low heat until hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl until just melted and the foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter.
7.       Arrange the pear slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer. Increase the heat to medium-low and, without stirring, let the pears begin to brown and the sauce slowly caramelize, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning, about 10 minutes.
8.       Remove the pan from the heat and carefully turn each pear slice with a fork. Return to the heat and cook until the sauce is uniformly golden, 2 to 4 minutes more.
9.       Carefully transfer the pears one at a time to the prepared baking dish, arranging them decoratively in a circle and slightly overlapping them if necessary. Use a heatproof silicone spatula to scrape any remaining syrup over the pears.
10.   Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan. Spoon the bread and custard mixture into the baking dish. Press down on the bread until it is submerged in the custard. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add the hot water to the shallow baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
11.   Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.
12.   Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pudding. Place a serving platter over it and invert the pudding onto the platter.

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