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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

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The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

Beef has been in the headlines lately, thanks to some incredibly bad reporting on Fox News making it sound like the Biden climate action plan would limit people's beef consumption to one burger a month. It's not planning to limit anyone's beef consumption. It never was.

However, a different entity is cutting out beef, which is surprising considering this entity is all about food. Epicurious, one of the world's most popular recipe sites, has announced that its new recipes, articles, newsletters, and social media posts will no longer include beef.

In a letter to readers, the site's senior editor and former digital director made it clear that the company doesn't have a personal vendetta against beef or people who eat it. They simply shared the statistics that almost 15% of greenhouse gases come from livestock and 61% of that comes from beef. (To be clear, it's not just the cows themselves, but the soybean and corn crops used to feed them that are also part of the problem.) For a company whose entire focus is food, this is a way they can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

"Our shift is solely about sustainability," they wrote, "about not giving airtime to one of the world's worst climate offenders. We think of this decision as not anti-beef but rather pro-planet."

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World Vision

With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to be felt around the world, many people are struggling to meet their basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families are facing food insecurity.

To bring greater awareness to these struggles, particularly for those in under-developed and conflict-affected countries, a group of professional chefs are coming together to share their favorite recipes from across the globe this World Food Day (October 16).

"More Than a Meal" is a collection of recipes from around the globe developed in partnership by World Vision, a global aid and development agency, and The Chefs' Manifesto, a network of chefs advocating good food for all.

"Food really is life. It brings people together and importantly, good, nutritious food, and plenty of it, ensures children are able to survive and thrive," said Marcus Frost, World Vision's partnership leader for marketing and communications.

Recipes include those from both Michelin Star chefs and families living in many of the countries where World Vision works, and represent a wide variety of cuisines. Some examples are Macaroni Egg Soup from Indonesia and Imvungure, a traditional Rwandan recipe using maize.

"We hope these recipes and the stories behind them encourage people to look at places such as Syria as more than just humanitarian crises. These countries are children's homes, often filled with memories and traditions passed down through generations," Frost said.

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Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

For anyone pledging to "eat better" in 2017, Oxfam America has an idea.

The organization joined forces with the brilliant minds behind some of the country's most innovative restaurants to create a recipe series called Eat for Good.

Food is the best.  

In Eat for Good, Oxfam America compiled some tasty recipe ideas to show how much good you can do with your food. And not just for yourself — for the world.

By making minor tweaks to how we buy, cook, and eat, we can make a big difference for our planet and millions of people in it. Here are a few ideas to get you going (used with Oxfam's permission):

1. Utilize your leftovers — and reduce food waste — with this skillet chilaquiles dish. Delicious and easy!

Image via iStock.

We throw away so much food, it's embarrassing. Before tossing your leftover vegetables, beans, meat, or stale chips into the trash, why not turn them into dinner instead?

Recipe here.

2. Cut down on energy use — and wasted water — with this sweet pear and apple salad.

Image via iStock.

Energy-saving tip: When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid to waste less energy and water. It's good practice for future meals, too!

Recipe here.

3. Support global farmers with this chickpea rice pilaf.

Image via iStock.

Rice is a staple crop produced by millions of farmers around the world, but only a small percentage of what we spend on rice — if any of it — actually goes back to them. To counteract this, look for products and brands that ensure small-scale food producers get their fair share when you're out shopping.

Recipe here.

4. Satisfy your sweet tooth AND help small farmers with an espresso chocolate chip angel food cake.

Image via iStock.

90% of cocoa comes from small farms, so when buying chocolate for recipes, look for a brand that guarantees farmers a fair price.

Recipe here.

5. Save energy (and cleanup time) with this one-pot kale and tomato stew.

Image via iStock.

Dirty dishes begone! This entire meal is prepared using one pot, which makes cleanup a breeze and requires a lot less energy. Little by little, save on that energy bill (and reduce your energy use!).

Recipe here.

6. Go meatless for the night with this squash blossom risotto — you won't even miss the meat!

Image (cropped) via Maggie McCain/Flickr.

Did you know it take nearly 2,000 gallons of water just to produce just one pound of meat? Yowza. Cutting back on your meat consumption saves a lot of water and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Recipe here.

7. Forget trashing those carrot tops! Turn them into a pesto instead.

Image (cropped) via Marc Falardeau/Flickr.

Your wallet and the environment will thank you when you turn would-be trash into your next pesto sauce.

Recipe here.

Find even more recipes from Oxfam's series here.

In our world of 7 billion people, enough food is produced every day to feed 10 billion. Still, 795 million people are undernourished.

This is a lopsided problem that we can all help to fix.

The issues of global hunger and poverty are central to our ability to move forward as a world. Whether you aim to waste less food, reduce energy use, buy fair-trade-certified products, or only shop for food that's in season, little steps add up in ensuring global farmers are given their fair share, holding the food industry to a higher ethical standard, and protecting the planet for future generations.

Our decisions as consumers make an impact. In this new year, try to do your part in being extra thoughtful in your food decisions. Isn't it great to know that you can have your cake — and eat it, too — for a better future?

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