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The fall and winter holidays bring together families, festivities, and, of course, food—and plenty of it. But you can still celebrate the season to its fullest without destroying your diet or negating your hard-earned results. These recipes were created by Carlo Filippone (aka the “Muscle Chef ”), a three-time national bodybuilding champion and the founder of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine, who knows what it takes to eat healthy without sacrificing taste. Each low-carb dish is packed with the perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, and smart carbs, so you can enjoy all the merriment of the holidays without any of the guilt. Party on!
Cranberry Turkey Cutlets with Wild Rice and Chestnuts Makes 4 servings
Seasonal favorites turkey, wild rice, cranberries, and chestnuts blend scrumptiously in this holiday centerpiece.
Turkey Cutlets 1 lb turkey cutlets, sliced about 1/4″ thick cranberry sauce 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen 2/3 cup water 2 pinches salt 6 packets sugar substitute such as Splenda or Equal
Wild Rice 1 cup uncooked wild rice 1 tbsp olive oil 1 scallion, thinly sliced 1/4 cup chestnuts, chopped 1⁄4 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1/4 cup cranberries Pinch black pepper 1/2 tsp sea salt
Directions: Grill or broil turkey cutlets until center reaches 1550. Meanwhile, to make sauce, put cranberries and water in small pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and add rest of ingredients. Mix well until cranberries pop. Cook 4–7 minutes or until desired consistency. Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Set aside. Heat oil in medium-size saucepan for 15 seconds, then add scallion and chestnuts. Stir quickly, then add cooked rice. Stir. Add broth, cranberries, black pepper, and sea salt. Stir and cover. Cook 5–7 minutes over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. To serve, place grilled turkey cutlets in a serving dish atop wild rice medley. Pour the cranberry sauce over the cutlets and serve.
Orange-Honey Pork Loin with Sweet Potato Mash Makes 4 servings
A citrusy glaze helps the naturally lean pork loin stay juicy and delicious.
Pork loin 1 lb center-cut pork loin, sliced 1/2″ thick 1/2 cup orange juice 1 tbsp honey 2 pinches sea salt 4 pinches black pepper 1 tbsp parsley, chopped 4–6 orange slices
Sweet Potato Mash 1 large or 2 medium yams (about 12 oz total), baked and peeled 2 tsp honey 4 pinches sea salt 4 pinches black pepper 2 tsp light cream 1 tsp olive oils
Directions: Preheat broiler on medium. Place pork loin in an oven pan. Heat juice and honey in a saucepan over medium. bring to a boil, then simmer 3–4 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Pour mixture over pork loin. broil for 12 minutes or until center reaches 1550. For mash, blend all ingredients in food processor until creamy. Place pork loin on a plate alongside mash and top with remaining glaze. Garnish with parsley and orange.
Turkey meatloaf with Baked Potatoes Makes 4 servings
Slash the fat and calorie count of this classic comfort food by using lean ground turkey breast.
1 lb lean ground turkey breast 1 tbsp onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp red pepper, chopped 1 tbsp green pepper, chopped 2 tsp parsley, finely chopped 1/8 tsp sea salt 4 pinches black pepper 1 egg white 6-oz can tomato paste 4 medium potatoes (about 6 oz total)
Directions: Preheat oven to 4500. Combine all ingredients through egg white, then blend in 2 oz tomato paste. Pour mixture into a baking pan and shape; top with remaining tomato paste. bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until center reaches 1550. Meanwhile, slice open potatoes lengthwise and wrap in foil. bake for 25–30 minutes or until soft in the center. Serve with meatloaf.
Tomato & Basil Chicken with Garlic Green Beans Serves 2
Simple grilled chicken gets an elegant makeover when topped with fresh tomatoes and seasonings.
Tomato & Basil Chicken 4 tbsp red onion, finely chopped 6 tbsp cherry or vine-ripened tomato, chopped 4 large basil leaves, chopped 4 pinches sea salt 2 pinches black pepper 2 pinches oregano 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 2 6-oz chicken breasts Garlic Green Beans 2 cups green beans 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp olive oil
Directions: Combine onion, tomato, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and oil. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate. Grill chicken breast until center reaches 1600. Meanwhile, steam green beans. Top chicken with tomato mixture and serve alongside green beans, tossed with garlic and oil.
Marinated Ginger-Garlic Chicken & Brown Rice with Cranberries Makes 4 servings
Marinating the chicken breast a day or two in advance lets it absorb the rich ginger and garlic flavors.
Ginger-Garlic Chicken 1 tsp ginger paste 11/2 tbsp garlic, minced 1 tsp sea salt Juice of 4 lemons 1 cup water 4 6-oz chicken breasts
Brown Rice with Cranberries 1 cup uncooked brown rice 3 tbsp dried cranberries
Directions: Combine all ingredients through water in medium bowl. Add chicken. Cover and chill 24–48 hours. To prepare, preheat grill or broiler. Cook chicken evenly on both sides, basting with rest of marinade. Cook rice according to package directions. Add cranberries at the end. Mix well. Serve alongside chicken breast.