Happy New Year or Happy Sylvester, whichever one says, the message is the same..health and joy for 2011! With that in mind, how about eating healthier as a resolution? Talking to some friends about their weekend celebrations, I heard lots of talk of cocktail franks in buns, or even worse, hot dog “specials” and knockwurst. Although delicious, who needs all that extra cholesterol, not to mention, fat? A guest blogger to this column, Waltraud Unger, a holistic life coach, and mom, has shared some valuable information in past entries, on healthy eating including fats in our diet. She can be reached via e-mail at waltraud.unger@verizon.

So keeping with the idea of starting 2011 in a healthier way, I included a nice recipe for steamed fish with dill sauce. Steaming fish is a great way to cook it without any extra fat!
Also, with the cold and flu season upon us, there is a recipe for “Jewish penicillin” a.k.a., chicken soup. To round off this week’s entry, I am also adding something fun for everyone, not necessarily low fat, but a great cookie to make with the family in case you all get snowed in!!

Lemon steamed fish

4 (8-ounce) fish fillets
2 lemons, sliced in thin round slices
1 tbsp. minced fresh basil, parsley, cilantro, or chives

Fit a steamer basket in a large pot. Add water until it touches the bottom of the basket. Put half the lemon slices in the basket, cover, and bring to a boil. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. With the skin side up, roll the fillets into bundles. Reduce to a simmer. Put the fish into the basket, seam-side down, and cover with the rest of the lemon slices. Cover and steam until the fish flakes apart, about 5 minutes. Put the fish onto serving plates and sprinkle with whatever fresh garnish (above) you prefer. Make the creamy dill sauce and serve on the side.

Dill sauce

dairy

1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tbsp. low fat sour cream
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. fresh dill
water
salt, pepper

Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, shallot, dill, and lemon juice. Add water to thin the consistency as needed and use salt and pepper to taste. Cover and put in the refrigerator for a half and hour before serving.

Chicken soup

1 4-5 lb. pullet, cut in eighths
2 stalks celery, cut in pieces
6 carrots, sliced in circles
4 qts. cold water
1 large onion
1 parsnip
parsley
dill
3 potatoes, optional
2 tsp. broth powder

Put chicken in 6 to 8 quart pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a slow boil, skimming off fat. Add broth powder and all the vegetables. Simmer 45 minutes to an hour. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked. Let sit 30 minutes. Drain into a strainer with a pot underneath to catch the broth. (Last year, I was so tired when I made the soup, that I forgot that pot, and down the drain went the soup). Separate the chicken from the cooked vegetables. You can either put all the veggies back into the soup, or if you need to camouflage them (many children and adults like the soup plain), you can puree all the vegetables and put them back into the broth. (This a very good way to keep all those great nutrients in the soup). As for the chicken, wait until it cools and either cut it up and put into the soup, serve it for dinner, or make fabulous chicken salad for lunch the next day! Whatever you do, it is a win-win situation.

Chocolate chip snowball cookies

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) low fat margarine, or if you want, butter
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. flour
2 cups mini-chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat powdered sugar, margarine (or butter), vanilla, and salt until creamy. Beat in flour and stir in chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Shape into 1 1/4 inch balls (each one is about 1 tbsp. of batter). Put on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove. Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies. Cool for 10 minutes and then put them on wire racks. You can sift more powdered sugar on top if you want. Enjoy them and remember, eat everything in moderation!!!