December 18, 2009
Table of Contents:
A Sleigh Full of Savings (Stuff your stocking)
Festive Mini-Tomato Hors d'oeuvres (Get the celebration started)
Jolly Island Temptations (Always leave them wanting more!)
Red, Green & Gold Fruit Appetizers (Additional teasers before the
'Tis-the-Season Garden Salad (A gala way to serve fresh carbs)
Santa's Main Dish (Protein for extra holiday energy)
The Potato Dilemma Solved (Cut out excess fat and calories)
Green Pea Splendor (Turn traditional into unforgettable)
Colorful Hot Veggie Delight (Fiber-Fa-la-la)
North Pole Pasta (Talk about comfort food!)
Desserts to Ring Your Jingle Bells (One red, the other gold)
A Golden Toast to Good Friends (Getting into the spirits)
Don't Eat This One! (Set the mood with a spicy scent)
Wintry Inspirations (Savory food-for-thought at year's end)
- Holiday Gifts from Us to You
Holiday Gifts from Us to You
Season's Greetings from all of us at the American Senior Fitness
Association (SFA). For our Experience! readers this year, we have a
Today's newsletter is an extra-length, special holiday issue full of
healthy holiday recipes and tips we hope you'll enjoy using and sharing with
your senior fitness clients.
We're also offering sugar-plum savings -- and terms! -- on
award-winning SFA professional education programs.
The recipes in this issue are lighter than most this time of year -- a little
less fatty, sugary and salty. Food ideas were contributed by SFA staffers and,
when known, credit is given to the recipe's source or even the inspiration for
it. The theme for our menu is holiday colors: red, green and gold. There's even
a non-edible recipe to keep your home merrily fragrant!
Our last article contains ten joyful quotations reflecting insights timely to
the season. Please pass your favorites along to clients, family and friends!
A Sleigh Full of Savings
This year the SFA reindeer are delivering truly magical discounts on senior
fitness professional education, but only for a short time!
for details. These savings also apply to our new layaway plan! Layaway
orders must be placed by telephone. For more information, call toll-free (888)
689-6791, weekdays, 10 am to 5 pm Eastern.
* If this is your first time visiting our new order site, please
to receive your special member discounts.
Festive Mini-Tomato Hors d'oeuvres
Before your holiday meal, serve some irresistible munchies.
1 quart cherry tomatoes
1/4 pound smoked salmon, minced
1 onion, minced
1 green pepper, minced
Cut off and discard the tops of the tomatoes. Using a small pointed spoon,
scoop out the seeds and pulp. Thoroughly mix together the pulp, salmon, onion
and green pepper. Then refill tomatoes with the salmon mixture. Refrigerate to
chill before serving. Makes two to three dozen hors d'oeuvres.
This recipe, as well as the "Jolly Island" and "Golden Toast" entries below,
originated from an early edition (1972!) of the Southern Living Party Cookbook.
Jolly Island Temptations
2 to 3 pounds raw shrimp
2 lemons (unpeeled), sliced paper thin
1 large onion, also sliced paper thin
1-1/3 cups olive oil
2/3 cup tarragon vinegar
The juice of the 2 lemons
2 teaspoons salt, or salt substitute
Black pepper to taste (freshly ground is best)
Boil and devein the shrimp (if desired, also slice them). Place them in a
bowl with the lemon and onion slices. Place all the other ingredients in a jar
with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Pour this mixture over the
shrimp. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve the chilled shrimp in their
marinade, and provide wooden picks for spearing. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Holiday tip: Serve this appetizer in a bright red or green container on a
colorfully decorated table. To freshen previously used holiday candles included
in your display, wipe them with rubbing alcohol. This method will also refresh
artificial flowers and greenery.
Red, Green & Gold Fruit Appetizers
For the next two recipes, purchase ingredients in amounts depending upon the
number of guests you wish to serve.
Red apples, cut into wedges
Green grapes, seedless
Pineapple chunks (canned in juice-only), drained
Juice of 1 lemon
Drizzle lemon juice over your apple wedges to help preserve their color.
Using fancy party-toothpicks, make each individual appetizer by spearing through
1 pineapple chunk, 1 grape, and 1 apple slice, in that order. Arrange on a
platter, cover and chill.
Red or green apples, cut into chunks
Red or green grapes, seedless
Juice of 1 lemon
Drizzle citrus juice over apple chunks to preserve color. In a bowl, mix
ingredients together in amounts to suit your taste. Cover and chill.
'Tis-the-Season Garden Salad
1 head lettuce, dark green, leafy (such as Romaine)
10 to 20 cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber (unpeeled), sliced into medallions
1 yellow squash (unpeeled), sliced into medallions
From the supermarket's baking section, buy an aluminum container shaped like
a Christmas tree. Fill it with dark green leafy lettuce. On top of lettuce,
arrange the small tomatoes, cucumber medallions and squash medallions so that
they appear to be the ornaments on a Christmas tree. Provide low-calorie
fat-free salad dressings.
Santa's Main Dish
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
1-2 onions, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
2-3 carrots, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
2-3 celery stalks, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt, or salt substitute, to taste
Black pepper to taste (freshly ground is best)
1 sprig fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse chicken in cold water, pat dry, and then
season it inside and out with salt and pepper.
Stuff cavity with the garlic,
rosemary, thyme and bay leaf, as well as with several of the onion, carrot and
celery pieces. Place the remaining vegetables in the bottom of your roasting
pan, then put the chicken on top. Squeeze lemon juice over entire chicken, then
place the lemon half in the cavity. Place chicken in oven, cook for 15 minutes,
then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue cooking till crisp and golden brown,
and till juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a knife. This may take 45
minutes to an hour, or slightly longer. Remove chicken to serving platter and
let set for approximately 10 minutes. Because it has been so well-seasoned while
roasting, you may remove and discard the skin without forfeiting tastiness.
Carve serving-sized pieces. Remove the lemon, seeds (if present), bay leaf, and
any garlic pieces deemed too large. Enjoy the bird and vegetables!
This entree derives from An Original FoodFit Recipe, "Herb Roasted Chicken,"
which is provided on www.foodfit.com.
The Potato Dilemma Solved
The problem with potatoes isn't potatoes -- it's butter, margarine,
sour cream, bacon bits, high-calorie cheeses, salt and other suspect ingredients
that may be added in immoderate amounts. Below are some quick tips to help keep
holiday potatoes healthier:
Top baked potatoes with flavorful alternatives such as finely sliced
scallions, sunflower seeds, plain fat-free yogurt, paprika, salt-free
seasoning blends like Mrs. Dash, white pepper, coarsely ground
black pepper, turkey bits in place of bacon bits, sodium-free salsa, hot
pepper sauce, or low-calorie fat-free Ranch salad dressing.
Prepare mashed potatoes using low- or no-fat buttermilk and garlic,
which will boost flavor, thereby reducing the tendency to add excess salt,
butter or margarine.
Make an easy potato casserole: You'll need 4 cups of cooked and cubed
potatoes, 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt, 1 cup low- or no-fat cottage cheese,
1/4 cup chopped chives, 1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute, and a dash of
garlic powder. In a nonstick 9-inch square baking pan, combine all
ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or till hot and bubbly.
Makes 8 servings.
Green Pea Splendor
Jazz up conventional green peas with one of these speedy flavor enhancements:
Add chopped mint to peas while cooking.
Mix nutmeg and chopped pickled onions into hot cooked peas just before
Stir in savory or thyme while cooking.
These hints come from a very old recipe book named Shortcut Cooking, which
was published by the Meredith Corporation back in 1969!
Colorful Hot Veggie Delight
Instead of the usual green bean side-dish this year, serve something more
interesting and nutritious. Simmer together: cooked green beans, cooked yellow
wax beans and sautéed button mushrooms along with pungent seasonings such as
garlic. For a touch of red, add a few small-cut pimiento pieces (jarred,
drained). Serve hot.
North Pole Pasta
8 plum tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Pinch of fresh oregano, finely chopped, or dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 package angel hair pasta
Salt, or salt substitute, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Separately, simmer garlic in
olive oil till tender. Add tomatoes and simmer till tender (about 15 minutes).
Add basil, oregano, salt, pepper and water, then simmer for 2 more minutes. Fold
tomato mixture into pasta and serve hot. Makes 8 servings.
This recipe was based on a "Family Favorite" posted by
Desserts to Ring Your Jingle Bells
Here are two simple-to-make sweet treats, the first featuring the holiday red
of strawberries and the second the holiday gold of pineapple:
1 pint fresh strawberries, the leaves on top sliced off
5 servings sugar-free vanilla pudding, prepared
Optional: 1/2 cup bran cereal, small-nugget
You can make your pudding with an instant powder mix or buy it ready-made.
Cut any large strawberries in half. Reserve several of the small, whole berries
to use for garnish later. Place the remaining fruit on 5 individual dessert
dishes. Spoon pudding over. Top with whole berries. If desired, sprinkle lightly
with dry cereal nuggets. Makes 5 servings (recipe is easy to double or even
1 regular-size low-fat graham cracker pie shell
1 (5-serving) package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (16-ounce) container fat-free sour cream
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple (canned in juice-only)
Optional: 1 small can fat-free whipped cream
Don't follow the pudding mix package instructions. Instead, stir together the
pudding powder and the sour cream. Add the pineapple, including all its juice.
Blend thoroughly. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate to chill. If desired, top
each individual serving with a small dollop of fat-free whipped cream. Makes 8
A Golden Toast to Good Friends
Oranges are popular this time of year, so incorporate them into your
1 bottle champagne (4/5 quart), chilled
4 cups fresh orange juice, chilled
Immediately before serving, combine the chilled liquids. Serve in champagne
glasses. Makes 12 five-ounce servings. Have on hand additional orange juice for
guests who prefer to toast alcohol-free.
Don't Eat This One!
While not for eating -- or drinking! -- the following recipe will lend a
delicious holiday fragrance to your home:
5 small cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons whole cloves
2 cups water
Combine ingredients in a pot and place on stovetop. Bring to a boil, then
turn to lowest setting. Simmer all day, as necessary adding more water and
"Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age."
-- Carrie Latet
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch
of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
-- Edith Sitwell
"Blessed is the season which puts the whole world in a conspiracy of
-- Hamilton Wright Mabie
"Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me."
-- Seymour Miller and Jill Jackson
"Let us love the world to peace."
-- Quoted by Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angel's Little
"A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they
can do when they stick together!"
-- Author Unknown
"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."
-- William Blake
"A hug is a great gift -- one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange."
-- Author Unknown
"Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons."
-- Ruth Ann Schabacker
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift.
That's why we call it the present."
-- Babatunde Olatunji
Experience! readers: Thank
you for your interest and questions. Due to the high volume of contacts SFA
receives, we cannot respond to individual queries or comments. However, the
newsletter does address frequently asked questions and topics of vital interest
to our members.
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