Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole

My sister, Julie, makes our Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving every year. She typically has to make two, so we are sure to have enough and some for leftovers. This Lighter Sweet Potato recipe is very similar to a recipe I created for the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook when I worked as an Editor at Oxmoor House. I love the orange accents in this recipe. You can also substitute 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier for 2 of the tablespoons of orange juice, which adds amazing flavors.

I reduced some of the fat and calories without sacrificing any flavor or texture to my updated version of Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole. What I also love about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time, and it freezes beautifully. Remove it from the freezer the day before Thanksgiving and thaw it in the refrigerator. When thawed, bake according the directions below.

People often ask me are sweet potatoes really better for you then baked potatoes. Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes contain about the same amount of carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes have a leg up in that they have more fiber and are slightly lower on the glycemic index so blood glucose will rise slower when you eat sweet potatoes. Other than that, a medium-sized baked sweet potato has 102 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and no fat or cholesterol. A baked potato has about 120 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of both fiber and protein, and is also free of fat and cholesterol. More importantly is how are the potatoes cooked, how big of a potato are you eating, and what are you putting on top of fit.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and thank you for your continued support! I’m thrilled to be back. Alison

Fantastic Appetizer: Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini

Before fig season comes to an end, I wanted to share this incredibly delicious Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini appetizer recipe. It’s so easy to prepare and tastes out of this world. You can make these anytime of the year. Just substitute dried figs for fresh ones. The combination of flavors, orange, figs, honey and pepper, pair wonderfully with the goat cheese.

Note: The incredible platter in this picture can be found at Earthborne Pottery.

Strawberry-Blueberry and Peach Crisp

I can’t believe summer is over as it has been a blur for me. I had 6 months to create my upcoming cookbook “Best 400 Sandwiches- Ideas for Every Meal and Occasion”, and my manuscript is due to my publisher next week. It is very exciting, and it has been a challenge like no other I have ever had. Somehow, I managed to keep up my blog, and it was almost therapy for me to work on other types of recipes during such a crazy, busy time. My favorite dessert is a crisp or a crumble, and last week I just threw this Strawberry-Blueberry and Peach Crisp together with some leftover fruit I had. It came out great, and it was gone within minutes. Thanks to everyone who has been so helpful and supportive this year!

Easy, Healthy Appetizer or Main-dish Recipe: Pork Lettuce Wraps

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This recipe was featured on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter this week. My kids love lettuce wraps so this is perfect to serve at my house and only 3.5 grams of fat. It’s also very economical, only $6.93 for the recipe or $1.73 per serving. Feel free to substitute steak, chicken or shrimp for the pork in this recipe.

Delicious and Healthy Easter or Passover Side Dish: Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini

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I made this recipe last year on NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama” for Passover and Easter, and it was a hit. This Stuffed Zucchini recipe was one of my kid’s favorites (believe it or not). This recipe for Stuffed Zucchini only has 150 calories per serving, 2.g grams of fat and only 13 carbs, and the cost per recipe is only $7.03 (for 4 people, very economical for fresh veggies).

My youngest son, Zachary said, “This tastes almost like a vegetable pizza.” I have to admit. He was right.  So, if you’re looking for a new healthy side dish for Passover, Easter or for anytime during the year, try these. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s really easy too. I promise!