Slimmed-down dishes make a holiday dinner

December 15, 2004

The Danville-Boyle County Healthy Communities Coalition has published a book of holiday recipes. Donna Clore, Boyle County extension office agent for family and consumer sciences, Julie Steber, a dietitian with the Boyle County Health Department and Nancy Ricker, a dietitian with McDowell Wellness Center, put the book together. Here are some of the appetizer recipes. The booklet is available at the extension office. Call (859) 236-4484.

Festive Corn Casserole

1 cup frozen corn

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk

2 cups egg substitute

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

1/4 teaspoon celery seed


2 teaspoon sugar substitute

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 11- by 7- 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix corn, zucchini and bell pepper in baking dish. Whisk evaporated milk, egg substitute, salt, pepper, celery seed and sugar substitute together; pour over vegetables in baking dish. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden. Yield: 10 1/2 cup servings.

Holiday Candy Fudge Bars

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 1/2 red and green candy-coated chocolate pieces, divided

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well. Add butter, and stir or beat at low speed with an electric mixer until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumb mixture into a lightly greased 13-inch by 9-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Place 1 cup chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 30 seconds. Press chocolate pieces with the back of a spoon to mash them. The candies will almost be melted with pieces of color coating still visible. Stir in condensed milk.

Spread mixture evenly over crust in pan, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides.

Combine reserved 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate pieces; sprinkle evenly over chocolate mixture, and press lightly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden; cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Crispy Peanut Butter

Chocolate Treats

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups chucky peanut butter

6 cups crisp rice cereal

2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until blended and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Combine cereal and chocolate morsels in a large bowl. Stir in hot peanut butter mixture until combined. Spread mixture into a 13" x9" pan lined with plastic wrap. Cool completely. Lift out of pan. Cut into stars or other shapes, using 2-inch cookie cutters, or cut into squares. Yield: 22 stars or 16 squares.

Note: To make lollipops, insert 4-inch paper craft sticks into cutouts.

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