healthy FOOD and WINE pairings

Hey everyone thank you for visiting my page! It is the New Year and I know a lot of people aim to start the year off with healthier eating habits. If “Dry January” isn’t for you, but you are still wanting to include some healthier options to pair with your favorite wines, don’t worry I put together some great alternatives to enjoy while you sip! As I always say it is about BALANCE!

Now if you are being more conscious of choosing healthy options overall, it is good to know that more alcohol in your wine = more calories. Therefore, the next time you are at your local Trader Joes or go-to wine shop, make sure to check the label to see the percentage of alcohol in the bottle. Just because the wineries are not required to list the calories on the bottle doesn’t mean there isn’t any! Anything above the 15%-16% alcohol threshold will be around 175 calories per 5-6oz glass of wine. And of course sweet wines, dessert wines, and sweet champagne all contain more sugar.

Chardonnay Lovers

Grilled Lemon Chicken breasts on a plate with lemons and parsley
Photo from the FeelGoodFoodie.net

If you fancy yourself a nice Chardonnay try pairing with some grilled chicken or halibut for dinner. Now, I do not consume seafood, this is always shocking to everyone when I tell them, “NO SUSHI?!” is always the response! But I found this delicious recipe for some Grilled Lemon Chicken with less than 10 ingredients and in only about 25 minutes you can enjoy this healthy option, I would also pair with garlic asparagus, and your glass of Chardonnay! This can be such an easy meal to recreate in vegan or vegetarian options as well if you so choose with plant-based products that are chicken substitutes like the “Mindful Chick’n” from Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods.

Reisling Whisperers

close up of a black pan with easy garlic sesame chicken
Photo from savorybitesrecipes.com

Now a Resiling can be so light and easy to sip on that you feel as though you are already drinking less calories than most other white wines. And you are right! Resiling is definitely less in calories (usually around 110 calories per glass) than its fellow white wine partner Chardonnay, as well as popular red varietals. Rieslings are known for pairing wonderfully with Asian cuisine. The total time is under 30 minutes and are a much healthier alternative than ordering in chicken lettuce wraps from a restaurant.

Pinot Noir Fans

Stacked 3-ingredient chocolate date nut bars on parchment paper
Photo from fitmittenkitchen.com

Now if you saw my recent article about Pinot Noirs, you know I am falling more in love with this varietal! One because it is so dang delicious, but two it is a much lighter red that is easier to pair with different foods. Now Pinot Noir ranks lowers in calories at around 150 per glass compared to a Cabernet Sauvignon (175 calories) or Zinfandel (190 calories). Now, we know that Pinot Noir pairs so great with dark chocolate and I found this healthy Dark Chocolate Date Nut bars. Now these bars are three ingredients, and in less than 35 minutes you can be snacking on these guilt free treats with some delicious Pinot!

Cabernet Sauvignon Kings & Queens

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Casserole
Photo from theironyou.com

Alrighty, now the Cabernet Sauvignon is the almighty red that is known for being a big bodied wine that should be pared with a steak or other heavy meal. However, I am here to tell you this doesn’t always have to be the case! As much as I love a nice filet mignon dinner with mashed potatoes or a heavy burger with fries, that is not a part of my normal weekly meal line up. I truthfully only have a meal like this if it is a special occasion and I am with family. (Over the years I have made more of a conscious effort to limit the amount of animal product except for social gatherings or special occasions, but that story is for another time!)

I found this great alternative to pair with a big bold Cabernet Sauvignon! This eggplant parmesan quinoa casserole will compliment the full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with rich Italian flavors and it is a hearty meal. At only around 275 calories per serving (not to mention it is gluten free and 30 grams of carbs) it is a great alternative to a heavy meal that makes you not able to get off the couch afterwards (I have definitely been there before!).

I hope this gives you some inspiration for some healthy alternatives and options while you enjoy your favorite wine! Cheers friends!

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