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Happy, Healthy Holiday Recipes

Spicy Apple-Filled Squash

Recipe Summary

    Preparation Time: 45 minutes
    Number of Servings: 4
    Cups of Fruits & Vegetables Per Person: 0.50


    1 acorn squash (about 1 lb)
    1 golden delicious apple, peeled, cored and sliced
    2 tsp reduced-fat margarine, melted
    2 tsp brown sugar
    1/8 tsp cinnamon
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    dash ground cloves


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 1-quart baking dish.
  3. Halve squash and remove seeds; cut into quarters.
  4. Place quarters, skin side up, in dish and cover; bake 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine apple, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  6. Turn cut sides of acorn squash up; top with apple mixture.
  7. Cover and bake 30 minutes longer or until apples are tender.

  8. Variations: Quick microwave version Halve and seed squash; cut into quarters. Arrange quarters, cut side up, in microwave-safe baking dish. Microwave on high (100 percent) 6 to 7 minutes, rotating squash halfway through cooking time. Top squash with apple mixture, cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on high 4 to 5 minutes or until apples are tender.

Jicama, Orange & Onion Salad

Recipe Summary

    Preparation Time: 10 minutes
    Number of Servings: 4 (110 calories per serving)


    2 cups torn lettuce leaves
    2 navel oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
    4 red onions, thinly sliced
    1 cup peeled and julienne-sliced jicama
    1/3 cup orange juice
    1/2 tsp light olive oil or vegetable oil
    1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
    1/4 tsp chili powder


  1. In a large salad bowl, place torn lettuce.
  2. Cut orange slices into quarters; toss into lettuce with onion and jicama.
  3. For dressing, shake together all ingredients in a shaker jar; toss with salad.

Avocado Green Onion Party Dip

Recipe Summary

    Preparation Time: 30 minutes
    Number of Servings: 7 (120 calories per serving)


    1/2 medium avocado, seeded and peeled
    1 cup low fat cottage cheese
    3/4 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
    1/2 cup sliced green onions
    1/4 cup shredded carrots
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup non-fat mayonnaise
    2 cups broccoli florets
    1 cup cucumber slices
    28 melba toast rounds


  1. Dice avocado into small pieces, toss with lemon juice and set aside.
  2. In food processor or blender, blend cottage cheese, yogurt and mayonnaise until smooth.
  3. Add cottage cheese mixture to avocado, gently stirring in onions and carrots.
  4. Cover and chill.
  5. Serve with vegetable crudités and melba toast rounds, allowing 1/2 cup vegetables, 4 melba toast rounds and 8 Tbsp dip per serving.

Potatoes & Leeks with Chicken

Recipe Summary

    Preparation Time: 30 minutes
    Number of Servings: 8 (250 calories per serving)


    2 Tbsp olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger root
    2 tsp curry powder or to taste
    1/2 tsp crushed, dried chilies
    1/4 tsp allspice
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
    3 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1" chunks
    1 cup low sodium tomato sauce
    2 cup low sodium chicken broth
    3 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
    2 red peppers, diced
    4 chicken breasts, boned


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, spices and leeks.
  3. Cook a few minutes until tender.
  4. Add potatoes, tomato sauce and chicken broth.
  5. Cook 10 minutes.
  6. Add squash and peppers; cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  7. Lightly brush chicken breasts with oil.
  8. Grill approximately 10 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear.
  9. Cut each chicken breast into 3 or 4 large pieces and add to sauce.
  10. Reheat just before serving.
  11. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Keep the Beat Cookbook

Download a free copy of Keep the Beat, heart healthy recipes from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.

The book contains a collection of recipes that grew out of research and education projects that dealt with ways to help Americans keep their hearts strong by reducing their intake of calories, fat, especially saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

They include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — or "DASH" — clinical study and the popular Stay Young at Heart nutrition education program.

Now, you can use the results of these efforts to improve your own heart health.

Click here to download the book (PDF, 2 MB).

From the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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