Soul Food Recipes for The Holidays

Published December 10, 2008

Posted Nov. 20, 2008 - Thanksgiving celebrations, holiday gatherings, Pastors' Anniversaries, Women's and Men's Day Celebrations, Sorority and Fraternity meetings, National Community Conventions and family reunions are all well-known community gatherings that take place during the holidays that have food as its centerpiece.

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So often "menus" for such gatherings feature soul food mainstays like fried chicken, catfish, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and collard greens. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has created a new tool to assist in planning healthy meals without sacrificing flavor for the next church, community or holiday gathering.

This month, the ADA will publish "The Family Style Soul Food Diabetes Cookbook," its fourth cookbook by well-known dietitians Fabiola D. Gaines and Roniece A. Weaver. The popular authors are joined this time by Dietitian Rojean L. Williams and Executive Chef Shawn Fralin to serve up healthy varieties of traditional soul food dishes the entire family will love.

"As the holidays approach, we feel our new Family Style Soul Food Cookbook makes an excellent resource in bringing the family together with delicious and nutritious meals," states Ms. Lee Romano Sequeira, director of Book Promotions, Rights & Special Sales for the American Diabetes Association. "While being a beneficial tool for families, churches and community organizations, the Family Style Soul Food Diabetes Cookbook also shows how to prepare the traditional soul food favorites, but in a new, exciting and healthy way."

Today's African Americans have new health concerns not shared by their ancestors. With 3.2 million Africans Americans suffering from medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity and children showing risks of diabetes at a younger age due to excessive amounts of high-fat and high-sugar foods, "it has become apparent to us that there is a need to evaluate the nutritional content of soul food and to find exciting ways to improve its nutritional value while maintaining culture and tradition," say the cookbook authors.

Using the "New Soul Food Way" detailed in THE FAMILY SYTLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK, the authors show how a few simple ingredient substitutions or changes will not alter the flavorful, robust taste of many soul food favorites and make them healthier at the same time. For example, they suggest using sugar-free jams and jellies in place of butter, jam or cane syrup commonly served with biscuits; grilling or smoking catfish instead of dredging it in seasoned corn bread and frying; and using low-sodium bouillon or smoked turkey necks in place of meat to prepare fatback, ham hocks and hog maws.

THE FAMLY STYLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK also offers other basic hints for modifying one's diet such as:

1. Using the Soul Food Pyramid to know what and how much to eat.
2. How smart shopping, such as walking along the perimeter of the store where the healthier, fresher foods are stored before heading down the aisles, leads to healthy eating.
3. How to get the most from reading food labels by distinguishing the difference between a portion and serving size.
4. How keeping a food diary can help you better understand your eating style.
5. How to introduce exercise at home, work and play to increase energy and stop weight gain.
6. Customized soul food recipes for kids to enable parents the ability to prepare fun, healthy and quick meals kids will enjoy.

With healthy recipes that are family-friendly, easy on the budget, and simply delicious, THE FAMILY STYLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK is a must-have for families seeking traditional African American cuisine but wanting to ensure a healthier lifestyle for many generations to come.

THE FAMILY STYLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK
by Fabiola Demps Gaines, Roniece A. Weaver, Rojean L. Williams & Shawn Fralin
SOUL SISTAH SLAW
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves 50 / Serving Size: 1/2 cup

  • 1 lb shredded cabbage 
  •  4 ounces grated onion 
  •  9 ounces Splenda baking sugar 
  •  2 ounces vinegar
  • 12 ounces bell pepper thinly chopped
  • 1 lb low-fat mayonnaise
  • 12 ounces grated carrots
  • 1 can evaporated milk

1. Chop the cabbage in a food processor.
2. Add sugar, bell peppers, carrots and onions in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the vinegar, and low fat mayonnaise. Toss gently.
4. Add milk and mix well.

HEAVEN SENT CAKE
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves 24 / Serving Size: 1 slice

  • 1 1/2 cup flour divided
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  •  6 eggs separated
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk 
  •  tsp ground nutmeg 
  •  1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  •  2 cups dates chopped 
  •  1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups raisins 
  •  2 cup Splenda baking sugar 
  •  2 tbsp flour 
  •  2 sticks low fat margarine

1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Spray cake tube pan with a non-stick baking spray.
2. Mix flour, baking powder spices and salt in a medium bowl.
3. In another bowl mix sugar, margarine and honey and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth.
4. Beat egg whites in another large bowl and beat until peaks are formed. Stir egg white into batter.
5. Toss in almonds, dates, raisins and the 2 tbsp of flour. Pour into a prepared pan.
6. Bake 2 hours and 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen from sides of pan and remove cake. Cool before serving. Slice very thin.

This article appears courtesy of BlackDoctor.org, the World's largest and most comprehensive online health resource specifically targeted to African Americans. For more tips on preparing heart and diabetes friendly holiday meals, go to "The Skinny on Holiday Meals".

Written by BET-Staff

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