Nutrition Tips Washington DC

When I was growing up, Sunday supper was the only time I could count on all four of my siblings showing up at the table at 6 p.m. sharp. No late arrivals because of football practice. No reprieves for dance lessons. No break for TV shows.

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Good Food - Sunday Supper

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By Maureen Callahan

When I was growing up, Sunday supper was the only time I could count on all four of my siblings showing up at the table at 6 p.m. sharp. No late arrivals because of football practice. No reprieves for dance lessons. No break for TV shows.

No problem. We liked Sunday dinners because they tended to be small-scale celebrations. Mom had a little more time than usual that day, and she often put it toward cooking up something special—a roast chicken, maybe, a stuffed pork loin, or a long-simmered pot roast. And she liked to pair her entrees with all sorts of side dishes, from perfectly seasoned green beans to creamy mashed potatoes.

Since nobody was in a hurry to go anywhere, both the meal and the company were things we could sit back and savor. Still, what we kids loved most about the event was that it starred our favorite foods. Of course, that was also the one little glitch in this nostalgic family portrait: Our supper was probably as high in fat as it was in popularity. It wasn’t Mom’s fault. She had no idea about the difference between “good” and “bad” fats, or how to fiddle around with ingredients to lighten up a meal. In fact, it never even occurred to her to do so.

But I don’t have that luxury. Knowing what I do about good nutrition, I can’t in good conscience serve my childhood favorites to my family. So I’ve learned to tweak these dishes to include healthier fats, less salt, and more of the foods’ original goodness. Try them out for yourself, and you’ll see why Sunday supper is still something no one in my family would consider missing. Recipes

Herb Roasted Chicken With Mushroom Gravy
Fresh herbs are tucked underneath the skin of a roasting chicken to subtly flavor the meat. Mushrooms and thyme are added to the gravy to give it depth.

1 4- to 5-pound roasting chicken
4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 tablespoon each minced fresh oregano and sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 4-ounce package sliced button or crimini mushrooms
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450º.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing fingers between skin and meat.

Combine 2 teaspoons of the thyme with the oregano, sage, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and evenly distribute herb mixture under loosened skin of breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and tuck under chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, on a broiler pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350º; roast chicken an additional 45 to 55 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 180º.

Place chicken on a platter, reserving pan drippings for gravy. Cover chicken loos...

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