Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

A side dish at Max's Oyster Bar combines sauteed Brussels sprouts, house-cured pancetta, shallots and macadamia nuts. (Stephen Dunn | Hartford Courant / December 16, 2010)

It happens to the best of us every year. From Thanksgiving till New Year's, we navigate through endless nutritional land mines: cookie swaps and bottomless candy bowls; office potlucks with the requisite starchy crock-pot comfort foods; cocktail parties with eggnog and phyllo-wrapped hors d'oeuvres.

No wonder pants buttons (and health clubs) are bursting at the seams come January.

But the traditional holiday meal doesn't have to be another calorie bomb. We consulted with five local chefs, each of whom submitted lightened-up versions of classic entrees, side dishes and desserts. (And for those who can't imagine the holidays without indulgence, we've included the original recipes as well.)

Carrie Landry, owner and executive chef of Zest in Tolland, came up with two holiday roast recipes; the second, a beef tenderloin with a red-wine reduction sauce, is the healthier choice.



Bone-in prime rib, 4-5 pounds

1 tablespoon rosemary, crushed

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Yorkshire Pudding

1/2 cup beef drippings

6 eggs

2 cups whole milk

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt