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Chef Brenda Recipes: Add Dairy to your Holiday Cooking

Chef Brenda Thompson is a registered dietitian chef with a passion for making healthy delicious food. This holiday season Chef Brenda has teamed up with the United Dairymen of Idaho to bring your family healthy holiday recipes. Try out a halloumi and roasted sage butternut squash green salad or her low-fat frozen yogurt pecan pie. All guaranteed to be delicious and nutritious!

As seen on Good Morning Idaho! 

Grilling Cheese and Roasted Sage Butternut Squash Green Salad by Chef Brenda

 Makes 6 – 1 ½ cup Servings

  •  3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and medium diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces Grilling Cheese, medium cubed
  • 9 cups baby spring mix
  • 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons cranberry vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Toss butternut squash cubes with olive oil, sage, and salt.  Place butternut squash on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Roast until squash is tender and slightly browned, 25-30 minutes.  Remove squash from oven and let cool for 15 minute.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high heat.  Sauté cheese on dry heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Place ingredients into a salad bowl.  Toss well with salad dressing and serve immediately.

Calories 290 |Total Fat 12 gm | Saturated Fat 4 gm | Cholesterol 15 mg | Sodium 385 mg | Carbohydrates 35 gm | Dietary Fiber 11 gm | Protein 8 gm

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Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette by Chef Brenda

 Makes 24 – 1 Tablespoon Servings

  •  1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons shallot
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Place ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Calories 60 |Total Fat 5 gm | Saturated Fat <1 gm | Cholesterol 0 mg | Sodium 15 mg | Carbohydrates 3 gm | Dietary Fiber 0 gm | Protein 0 gm

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Sharp Cheddar Cherry Green Salad by Chef Brenda

 Makes 6 – 1 ½ cup Servings

  •  9 cups baby spring mix
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, small cubed
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, dry roasted, chopped
  • ¼ cup cherries, dried
  • ¼ cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoon garlic balsamic vinaigrette

Place ingredients into a salad bowl.  Toss well with salad dressing and serve immediately.

Calories 210 |Total Fat 14 gm | Saturated Fat 5 gm | Cholesterol 20 mg | Sodium 210 mg | Carbohydrates 12 gm | Dietary Fiber 2 gm | Protein 9 gm

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Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette by Chef Brenda

 Makes 24 – 1 Tablespoon Servings

  •  1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons shallot
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Place ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Calories 50 |Total Fat 5 gm | Saturated Fat <1 gm | Cholesterol 0 mg | Sodium 15 mg | Carbohydrates 2 gm | Dietary Fiber 0 gm | Protein 0 gm

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Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt Pecan Pie by Chef Brenda

 Makes 8 Servings

  •  20 reduced fat snack crackers, such as Ritz, crushed fine
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Using a mixer, beat egg whites till stiff peak.  Gradually add sugar, baking powder, and vanilla.  Fold in Ritz crackers.  Add pecans.

Grease a 9” pie pan and dust with flour.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool.

Cut into 8 pieces.  Top each piece with ¼ cup of frozen yogurt. Serve immediately.

Chef tips: 1. Use food processor or blender to crush crackers into fine consistency.

 Nutrition Facts (using vanilla frozen yogurt):

Calories 240 |Total Fat 7 gm | Saturated Fat 1 gm | Cholesterol 5 mg | Sodium 107 mg | Carbohydrates 40 gm | Dietary Fiber 0.5 gm | Protein 3 gm

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